The Big Long

How Going Big on an Outrageous Idea Transformed the Real Estate Industry

In 2008, with housing prices in free fall, even experienced investors wouldn’t go near the single-family rental (SFR) home market. It was too unmanageable, too hard to scale.

According to the experts, SFR wasn’t even a real asset class.

But Doug Brien and Colin Wiel looked at the homes of the Bay Area’s working class communities and saw something different. They saw an opportunity not just to build a profitable business, but to transform residential real estate, establish SFR as a legitimate institutional investment, and restore devastated neighborhoods.

The Big Long is the story of how two friends defied pundits, doomsayers, and house-flippers to “go long” on a revolutionary business idea. Through FBI investigations, financial reversals, and a pandemic, they endured to build the SFR industry’s pioneering company, Waypoint.

The Big Long shows that wealth and success don’t come from short-sale thinking and meme stocks but from committing to a vision and going BIG.

ISBN: 978-1-64307-552-5
SKU: 08-580-01
Categories:Amplify Publishing, Business and Finance, Entrepreneurship, Industries, Real Estate

“Truth is always crazier (and more interesting) than fiction—you just can’t make this stuff up. Through Colin and Doug’s transparency, you’ll glean dozens of expensive and insightful lessons, which will make and save you millions. Grab your favorite beverage and enjoy one of the finest and most inspiring scale-up stories I’ve read in a long time.”—Verne Harnish, Founder, Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) & author of Scaling Up

“Colin and Doug point the way to how they raised billions of dollars to create two new industries that conventional wisdom did not think was possible. Their hard work, optimism, relationship building, confidence, data analysis, and visionary adaptations of new technologies were both a pleasure to read and a privilege to witness.”—John Burns, CEO & Founder, John Burns Real Estate Consulting

“Unlike cliché Wall Street pros simply out to enrich themselves by destroying lives, Colin and Doug create wealth by making the housing market more efficient, benefiting thousands of ordinary people in the process. This peek into their fascinating, sometimes hair-raising, occasionally hysterical story will fascinate entrepreneurs and investors alike.”—David Meerman Scott, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Fanocracy

“Through their combined expertise in technology and real estate, Colin and Doug have opened the door—literally—to a new method of homebuying and homeownership. What they have been able to achieve is truly inspirational. This book captures the thrill of their entrepreneurial journey.”—Austin Allison, Cofounder & CEO, Pacaso; Founder, Dotloop

Colin Wiel

Real Estate Entrepreneur

An engineer, artificial intelligence patent-holder, and serial entrepreneur, Wiel began his career at Boeing, where he designed algorithms to improve automatic control systems on airplanes. After running a Java programming consultancy that built early e-commerce systems like Charles Schwab’s online trading website, Wiel partnered with Brien to launch Waypoint Homes in 2009. Wiel led the tech, M&A, and fundraising teams at Waypoint all the way to the NYSE, where Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust (SWAY) debuted its IPO in 2014.

Doug Brien

Former NFL Player and Real Estate Investor

A former Super Bowl-winning NFL placekicker, Brien got his start in real estate following the collapse of the housing market in early 2009, when he and Colin Wiel began buying single-family homes to renovate and rent out. Together, they were able to scale an industry of mom-and-pop shops into a more than $3 billion portfolio of over seventeen thousand single-family home rentals (SFR) that attracted institutional investors and competition from private equity firms. With the success of their company, Waypoint Homes, Wiel and Brien defied critics to put SFRs on the map as a profitable and scalable financial asset class.