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How to Turn Flipping Stuff on eBay Into a Real Estate Empire (w/ The Frugal Gay)

by Martin D. & Sahil M. | DYEH Podcast

Tom Brickman, better known as The Frugal Gay, is a real estate investor who started funding his projects by flipping bras on eBay while in college.

Tom, the 40-year-old married dog dad from Dallas, Texas, recently retired from the 9-5 grind to work on real estate full time (with 22 doors in his portfolio), a resale business, and Tom provides one-on-one coaching and covers financial literacy & real estate for building wealth.

How The Frugal Gay Built a real estate empire

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Show Notes & Episode Guide

  • 00:00 – How did Tom get into flipping bras on real estate and flipping real estate? Tom summarizes how he got to the point where he has 22 doors now.
  • 2:00 – How did Tom know what to flip so that he didn’t get stuck with a house filled with junk? Tom shares what does well on eBay right now (hint: stuff that you can’t find in stores any longer).
  • 5:11 – How does Tom know what’s going to sell on eBay? We look at secrets of how to know what’s going to sell and what isn’t worth your time. You can even see the profit margin.
  • 7:05 – Has Tom ever had any major flops when it comes to flipping stuff?
  • 8:23 – How did Tom go from flipping stuff as a college student to owning 22 doors? We look at how Tom ended up in Dallas with a portfolio that doesn’t contain many condos.
  • 11:30 – Why did it take Tom 6 years to turn a profit with real estate investing? Tom shares why he didn’t make money until door five. How did Tom not give up during this stressful time period? Tom talks about how he purchased five properties in 2022, which caused him to end in the red.
  • 13:45 – How does Tom handle the naysayers who doubt his real estate investments?
  • 15:55 – How much credit does Tom give to his social circle on Twitter for his success? He shares his story of how he became a millionaire at 31 by working at a movie theatre. Tom’s strength has been his story and transparency.
  • 17:15 – How did Tom grow his Twitter following so quickly?
  • 19:16 – What has Tom learned from his failures?
  • 17:50 – Sam talks about the importance of marketing, spending money on advertising, and how to actually get the word out about your services! This will be an eye-opener for many new hustlers who are looking to launch their own businesses.
  • 20:30 – Tom talks about a unique real estate issue, which is having a terrible neighbor.
  • 22:30 – Does Tom have any Airbnb properties? The guys talk about what to look for regarding short-term rentals.
  • 24:20 – How did Tom manage to retire in his late 30s? He shares the secrets for what gave him the confidence to finally leave the 9-5 grind. The Twitter Spaces had a huge impact on Tom leaving the corporate world. Tom talks about the transition to retired life.
  • 27:50 – Would Tom be where he is right now without Twitter?
  • 28:52 – How does Tom know when to accept an opportunity and when to turn one down? Tom shares the formula behind looking at various real estate deals. Tom digs into the importance of saying no.
  • 30:20 – Does Tom regret turning down any offers that could’ve helped him make more money? Tom talks about why he hasn’t always been a fan of partnerships. The conversation turns towards doing business with people you know. 
  • 33:35 – How did Tom end up buying a crack house for $13,000 on eBay? The guys end up discussing the logistics of cleaning up a crack house. 
  • 36:30 – Is Tom worried about the upcoming possible recession and its impact on the real estate market? 
  • 38:13 – What advice does Tom have for someone who wants to enter the real estate market right now? Tom talks about the various ways that he generated an income in order to beef up his savings. The discussion turns towards side hustles and making extra money. 
  • 43:00 The guys talk about the importance of picking up a side hustle to reach financial goals. Tom shares about why he never took a 401k loan despite struggling at times. 
  • 45:20 How does a retired real estate investor spend their days? Tom shares what his schedule looks like now. 

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