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Real-estate investor Brandon Turner owns 1,500 units and achieved financial independence by age 27. He shares 6 steps for buying a first rental property within 3 months.

  • With interest rates low, it can be a difficult real-estate market to break into.
  • In a recent podcast, Brandon Turner laid out a step-by-step process for buying a first property.
  • He shared 6 steps to follow to secure a deal in 90 days.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Brandon Turner loves ju-jitsu. He sinks his time and money into the sport, and says he’s in the best shape of his life because of it.

There’s a greater metaphor there for Turner. He sees overlap in the results he’s seen from the sport and his success in real-estate investing. 

“There’s delayed gratification, and there’s a lot of work that’s done up front that doesn’t turn into results right away,” Turner, founder of the real-estate investment firm Open Door Capital, said during an April 25 episode of his “BiggerPockets Podcast.”

“Very similar to other things like learning ju-jitsu or getting fit,” he added. “Everything good in life, you’ve got to put the work in upfront before you get the result.”

Turner, who said he currently owns around 1,500 units, started buying properties when he was 21 years old and became financially independent by age 27.

On the podcast, he broke down why the ingredients of having success in real estate are the same as they are for accomplishing a fitness goal — and shared a six-step plan for how to get into your first rental property in a span of 90 days.

6 steps to buying your first rental property within 90 days

First, Turner says to figure out your purpose or motivation for getting into real estate. Turner wanted things like financial freedom and freedom from conventional work hours so he could spend more time with his kids.

Having a strong reason for investing in real-estate will help to make the effort more sustainable, like having a strong motivational driver for working out will lead to better long-term results, he said.

Second, Turner recommends crafting a specific plan, meaning finding a “niche and strategy.” This means establishing which kind of real estate you want to buy — Turner invests in apartment complexes and mobile home parks, for example — and then figuring out what you plan to do, whether it’s fixing and flipping or buying and renting out. 

Turner stressed not letting these decisions overwhelm you, but simply picking a course of action and committing to it.

“In the beginning, you do not need this whole list. Just pick one niche and pick one strategy and just go with that,” Turner said. “You can correct course later on, but just start, what’s your next deal going to be? What are you looking for right now?”

Third, Turner says to decide which location to zero in on. This means broader regions like a state, but also narrower markets like a specific city and even neighborhood. 

Narrowing a search like this will allow you to compare properties and prices to find good deals, and to know the ins-and-outs of the market, he said.

And similar to deciding on a niche and strategy, Turner said making a decision is more important than the decision itself. 

Fourth is the process of finding a deal itself and funding it. Turner recommends going through a real-estate agent or using sites like Zillow or Realtor.com to start. But longer-term, once one is more experienced, he said off-market buying — or asking property owners themselves if they’re interested in selling — is one of the best ways to find good deals.

As far as funding goes, Turner mentions two options. First, there’s taking out a mortgage yourself if you can afford a down payment. But if you can’t, you can partner with someone with the capital for the down payment, and then flip the property.

“The partner brings the $66,000. You bring what? The deal. You bring the deal. You bring the hustle, you bring the knowledge, you bring the confidence, you bring the sweat, you do whatever you got to do, and they bring the down payment,” Turner said.

He continued: “You go buy the property and you just flip things. In fact, literally that’s what I do. It opened our capital. We raised $20 million in the last year, we’ve raised $20 million from partners. They are literally called limited partners. That $20 million funded the down payments needed to buy $50 million of real estate.”

In his partnerships, which Turner said he does put some money into, he said his partners get a 70% stake in the deal, while he takes 30%.

In addition to flipping the property, you can also continue to rent it out and refinance it later, he said.

Then there’s the process of self-education to prevent things like “injury” — physical when working out, or financial in the case of real-estate. This also means not falling for quick schemes, and being willing to invest in educating yourself, whether that’s getting a hold of books, becoming part of a group of similar-minded people, or hiring a personal consultant or coach.

Finally, there’s consistency, or putting in the work day after day. Regularly identify leads, analyze them, and pursue them, he said. He recommended setting goals of analyzing a certain number of deals per week, which can vary based on your goals. 

Turner again applied the fitness metaphor to success in real-estate.

“The most important thing of all — [people who get in shape] show up consistently, despite not seeing immediate progress,” Turner said. “If you just show up every day and stop worrying about like, ‘Oh, I didn’t lose that weight today.’ And you just keep pushing play, it’ll eventually happen — the results you want.”

To try to land a property deal within three months, Turner challenged his listeners to devote at least 15 minutes a day working on the steps listed above. 

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