Inside the rise of BiggerPockets and real-estate investing star Brandon Turner

Welcome back to Insider Weekly! I’m Matt Turner, a co-EIC of business at Insider.

Not many of us get to popularize an acronym of our own making.

But the real-estate influencer Brandon Turner has done just that with BRRRR, which stands for buy, rehabilitate, rent, refinance, and repeat. It’s a phrase he says often on his podcasts, as he counsels his listeners on how to achieve financial independence through buying homes and renting them out for passive income.

As Daniel Geiger reported this week, there’s a lot more to Turner than BRRRR and BiggerPockets, the real-estate media company that produces his podcast and where he’s a shareholder. He’s raised millions of dollars from his fans to invest in real estate, charging them hefty fees and sinking most of the money into mobile-home parks across the country.

For more on Turner, BRRRR, and the red-hot housing market, check out our Q&A with Dan and his editor Hana Alberts below.

Also in this week’s newsletter:

  • A leaked Microsoft spreadsheet disclosed 1,200 salaries, while leaked emails showed women sharing stories of gender discrimination and wage gaps at the company.
  • Wealthy boomer parents are taking out cheap loans to buy homes for their millennial children and saving on taxes in the process.
  • The next chapter of the Great Resignation is here – employees who quit during the pandemic are starting to ask for their old jobs back.

Let me know what you think of all our stories at [email protected].


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The story behind the BiggerPockets star’s rise

BiggerPockets Brandon Turner
BiggerPockets’ Brandon Turner. Samantha Lee/Insider

Correspondent Daniel Geiger and senior editor Hana Alberts gave us the behind-the-scenes story of their profile of the real-estate influencer Brandon Turner.

Why were you interested in speaking with Brandon Turner in the first place?

Dan: Brandon Turner has a large social-media following and has appeared to raise tens of millions of dollars for real-estate investment through that fan base. He is also a popular podcast host, and it’s fun – and maybe a bit challenging – to interview someone who is deft at speaking and telling their own story.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while working on this profile?

Dan: I think the sheer amount of money he has raised was striking. He has really been effective at gathering a fan base and monetizing it. Real-estate investment is a staid business that has long been dominated by established big-brand, blue-chip players. Turner shows the rise of something new.

What do you think readers will take away from this profile?

Hana: I love the way Dan positioned Turner’s meteoric rise and big following within the zeitgeist of Reddit and meme stocks and crypto. It’s part of this broader shift to follow – and invest money with – personalities rather than faceless corporate entities. Is that necessarily better? I think Dan set out to state plainly the complexities involved.

Read our full profile here: Brandon Turner makes millions selling real-estate investing dreams. Even he says you’ll lose money right now.


A Microsoft leak showed 1,200 salaries and disclosed stories of gender pay disparities

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stands on stage and gestures widely with both hands
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Legions of Microsoft employees compiled compensation and promotion data in a shared spreadsheet to encourage pay equity in the company. The leaked charts – which have made their way around the company in an internal email chain – showed salaries, bonuses, years of experience, promotions, and demographic data.

Seen by Insider, the leak also disclosed a gender pay disparity between female technical employees and their male counterparts. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company is listening to its staffers, and that it acknowledges that there’s more work to be done.

See the leaked Microsoft data here.


Wealthy parents are buying their kids homes

Wealthy parents buying their kids homes to save taxes.
Wealthy parents are buying their kids homes to save on taxes. Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Getty Images

Securities-based lending has surged amid low interest rates and a red-hot housing market. Wealthy parents have capitalized on this: They see these loans as a way to pass on their wealth to their children at a low cost.

Now, banks are targeting baby boomers who are looking to help their millennial children purchase their first homes. Taking a loan instead of liquidating securities is a no-brainer in high-tax states, one wealth-planning expert said. Buyers just have to navigate the strings attached to those loans.

Here’s how it all works.


‘Boomerang employees’ are coming back around

A man on a boomerang flying away from a corporate office building. The same man is flying back to the corporate office building. The background color is yellow.
Anthony Klotz coined the phrase The Great Resignation. His next prediction: a wave of quitters returning to their previous employers. Samantha Lee/Insider

Employees quit their jobs in droves during the pandemic – in what is being called the Great Resignation. You probably know someone who quit their job this year, or maybe you did it yourself. But some workers are now returning to the jobs they recently quit.

“We’re going to see lots of boomerang employees, who a year from now miss their jobs and decide their novel isn’t going as well as expected,” said Anthony Klotz, a management professor at Texas A&M University. He encouraged companies to embrace their ex-staffers as a pool for future staff because of how difficult it is to hire good employees.

Read about the latest workplace trend that’s already begun.


More of this week’s top reads:

  • The ad giant WPP suspended three staffers at its Finecast agency following a whistleblower complaint and investigation.
  • Amazon aggregators are buying up third-party merchants. Sellers are set to be acquired at an unprecedented rate next year, a new survey found.
  • This freelance writer stopped relying on Google Calendar to manage her life. Now, she swears the move has been her ultimate productivity hack.
  • Grant Wonders became one of the most profitable analysts in Viking Global’s history. Here’s how the hedge-fund giant became a training ground for a new generation of big-money investors.
  • The prosecution in the Elizabeth Holmes trial just scored a $US275 ($AU371) million point.
  • Watch out, FedEx and UPS, two of America’s biggest regional delivery companies are banding together as a new competitor.
  • Lululemon is about to make a splash in the footwear industry. See what its sneakers could look like.

Mark your calendar:

We’ve got two events for you.


Compiled with help from Phil Rosen.