REITD 012: Brian Borawski – CPA for Real Estate Investors in Metro Detroit

REI Talk DetroitIn this episode I talk to Brian Borawski.

Brian is a CPA who happens to have several real estate investors as clients in this area – including me. I’ve used Brian for several years now, and it’s been great to have a knowledgable person like him available when issues come up like the sale of one of my apartment buildings back in January of 2013.

The great thing about Brian is that he’s versatile. I found him during my search for a CPA who knew real estate investing in depth, but he’s also been very helpful in creating and managing a corporation that I set up for an Information Technology consulting business I started two years ago.

A Word About Motivated Seller Leads

Just a short year ago the question that I got most often from real estate investors here was how to fund deals. Lately though, with the market tightening up and a ton of new investors entering the space, the question I get most often is how to find motivated seller leads.

I started in REI here in 2004. And the source that I started with was Probate leads.

And ten years later in 2014 – I’m still using them. In fact, I never stopped. The reason is that they are a tremendous source of leads. There’s not a lot of competition, and there are plenty to choose from. Plus – they’re easy to find, cheap to buy, and simple to process.

If you’re someone who’s having trouble finding motivated sellers, then I highly encourage you to start chasing probates.

And I also encourage you to use my educational program as your roadmap.

It’s $97 and it includes my six letter sequence and my excel tracking and follow up spreadsheet. In short – it includes everything you need to start chasing probates today.

Check it out at Probate Real Estate 101.

How He Got Started Working with Real Estate Investors

Brian has an interesting story.

He started with a day job at the Taubman Company, which develops and owns upscale shopping malls around the country. There he was exposed to complex real estate accounting transactions. While working for Taubman he started a blog website for the Detroit Tigers because he’s a huge baseball fan.

He started accepting advertising on his site – and he realized that it could be a very lucrative side business. So he started additional blogs, and at his peak had over three dozen active baseball-related blogs with 30 college students writing for him. When it got to the point where the advertising revenue provided enough income, he quit his job and went full-time into blogging.

That lasted two years until Google changed their search algorithms and 70% of his revenue disappeared.

He flirted with getting another day job, but decided to open his own CPA practice instead.

Having had an interest in real estate investing, and also realizing that it might be good for business development, he started attending REIA meetings and he also attended several real estate seminars. He picked up numerous real estate investor clients along the way, which was good for his bottom line, but it pushed his desire to get into real estate investing to the back burner.

Taxes and REI

You don’t need a crystal ball to know that taxes are only going one way – and that’s up.

I asked Brian if there’s anything that we as real estate investors can do to prepare for it. His main piece of advice is to keep excellent records and documentation, because he thinks that the IRS will be going after “low hanging fruit” – and that means real estate investors.

He also offered to sit down with you to take a look at your business and prior year taxes. That would be a great way to understand what your options are in an environment where taxes are expected to rise sharply.

Answer to Listener Submitted Question

The listener question I asked Brian was “Why shouldn’t I do my taxes myself and save a couple of hundred bucks a year?”

He had a couple of reasons why that’s not the greatest idea.

The first is time. It may take him a couple of hours to complete a tax return for a real estate investor. But it could take the investor 10 to 20 hours to complete it. Even if the investor could do the work as well as a CPA, wouldn’t the investor be better off putting those hours into his REI business rather than doing taxes?

The second is expertise. Using a retail tax prep software package will not give an investor the same comprehensive view that a human CPA, who know REI can. It’s just not possible. So it’s likely that by saving a couple of hundred dollars by doing taxes yourself you’re costing yourself thousands of dollars in missed deductions.

Haves and Wants
Brian has one item to offer.

A complementary one hour consultation.

That’s how I met him, and I encourage you to take advantage of his offer, even if you still want to do your taxes yourself. I learned a ton from him when I first sat down with him, and I know that you will to.

Give him a call – it will be worth your time.

Links and Resources and Information

1. You can contact Brian via his cell phone at (248) 346-4732

2. You can reach him via email at

3. Or you can reach him via facebook at Brian CPA

If you have feedback on the show, a question you’d like answered, a news item, or perhaps a recommendation of someone you’d like me to interview, or if you’d like to be a guest on the show, go to and let me know about it.

I'm a real estate investor in Metro Detroit.

My primary focus right now is wholesaling, but I also own a portfolio of profitable rental properties. And I work a full time day job.