Last week I was driving into town along the same route I’ve taken daily for years and noticed a large sign on the side of the highway advertising local apartments for rent. The sign was old, crumbling, and faded from years of exposure – which is why I thought it so odd that someone would bother to put this old sign up to advertise an apartment for rent. Furthermore – I didn’t even know there were apartments located at that location.
I made the remark to my wife that I found it odd that someone would put up an old sign like this. She looked at me with a funny look and said “Brandon – that sign has been there since before I was born.”
“How have I never seen that before?!” I exclaimed.
You see, I had been driving by this area for more than five years, nearly every day, and never noticed that sign. No wonder the sign looked so dated – because it was.
This happens to me all the time. Does it happen to you? Perhaps it’s because I’m always in a hurry – or perhaps because I have too many things going on at one time. Or perhaps I’m simply unobservant. Whatever the reason, it seems I’m always discovering new things that have been right in front of my face all along.
This has been the case this week over and over as I began to explore, in depth, the BiggerPockets website. For those of you who don’t know – last week I joined the BiggerPockets’ team and officially became the Senior Editor and Community Director of BiggerPockets.com. In other words, I get to devote more time to making cool stuff for BiggerPockets and more time growing and nurturing the amazing community that Josh has built over the past near-decade. This is a very exciting time and I’m thrilled to be able to help Josh make BiggerPockets an even stronger community.
As part of my introduction to the BiggerPockets’ world, I had the privilege of walking through the entire BiggerPockets’ website with the founder and CEO of BiggerPockets and was able to peer into every nook-and-cranny of the site. Do you know what I kept saying – time and time again?
“How have I never seen that before!?”
Today I want to take you with me on a quick journey and show you 10 cool features that I didn’t even know existed (or didn’t fully understand) about BiggerPockets.com. Even if you are a BiggerPockets’ Pro – I bet there are things here you didn’t know about. After you read the list, please leave me a comment with any questions or let me know which feature you didn’t know about and are going to start using!
Ten Awesome Things To Know About BiggerPockets
1.) Colleagues vs. Followers
No doubt – if you are a member of BiggerPockets you have seen the words “colleagues” and “followers” before. Of course, I’ve seen them but failed to make good use of them or clearly understand the difference. Simply put:
Colleagues: Individuals you want to mutually connect with are known as “colleagues”. Sending a colleague request means you want to interact with the person and the person to interact with you. It is my goal to interact with as many individuals from BiggerPockets as possible – so head on over to the site and send me a Colleague request! I promise I’ll accept! Being Colleagues with others allows you to send private messages to them as well – which is great for networking.
Followers: If you simply want to keep an eye on an investor and receive status updates and their interactions on BiggerPockets – following is for you.
Tip: To send a colleague request or follow an individual, simply hover on “Connect” beside their name on either their profile or simply on any forum post and chose “Follow” or “Send Colleague Request.”
2.) Search Bar at Top-Right
At the top right corner of the BiggerPockets’ website there is a “Search the Site.” Actually -there are two:
- On the Blog (scroll up and look!)
- On the BiggerPockets website (see picture below)
Both these search tools are incredibly accurate and useful in finding out information. While the “Blog” search bar only searches the blog, the BiggerPockets’ website search bar searches people, the BiggerPockets blog, the forums, companies, member blogs, articles, and files! Seriously – this is awesome. Go ahead and try it. Head over to the BiggerPockets site and search for something. For example, I’m going to search for “Hard Money.” Take a look at the screenshot below:
Notice above – by searching for “Hard Money” I discovered 16,103 results, including 985 posts right from this very BiggerPockets Blog, 11,786 posts in the forums, and even 309 companies with “Hard Money” in their profile! Go ahead and try searching for some terms yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much information BiggerPockets has acquired!
3.) Private Notes
One of the coolest, yet most under-used, features on the BiggerPockets’ site (and something I had absolutely no clue about) is the “notes” section. Take a look at the photo below; this is the view you’ll see when you go to someone’s BiggerPockets’ profile (in this case, mine!)
The purpose of the “Private Notes” tab is for YOU to keep notes on someone else. No one will ever see the notes you leave! Leave reminders for yourself such as:
- “This guy is really good with flipping information – ask him”
- “This girl is really great at wholesaling! Keep in touch with her”
- “Don’t talk to this guy … he is weird!”
The private notes tab is designed to help you keep track of the valuable relationships you forge here on BiggerPockets. Feel free to go check it out and start using it!
4.) PRO Memberships
I’m going to be 100% honest with you – for months I didn’t understand the benefits of being a Pro member of BiggerPockets. However, I only wish I had taken the time to learn when they first were introduced – I would have been the first one in line! Besides being able to give back and help support BiggerPockets, Pro Members also have numerous benefits including:
- PRO members can see who is visiting their profiles, property listings, and blogs = meaning free leads!
- Ability to send private messages to anyone;
- Add a clickable link and company logo into the byline of each and every forum post you write or comment on;
- Increased colleague limits;
- Search users by labels (flipper, lender, etc)
- Only PRO members can post in the Marketplace… this is huge. I’m gonna talk more about the Marketplace below.
Again, I wish I had taken the time to research for myself whether a PRO membership was worthwhile long before I finally became a PRO. The minimal cost ($5 per month for PRO Basic or $14.95 per month) is well worth it and will provide far more value than it costs. For more information and benefits – click here.
5.) The Marketplace
I mentioned above about the Marketplace and the importance of having a PRO membership in order to post in it. The Marketplace is, by far, one of the most beneficial aspects of the entire BiggerPockets website as it is the only place you are allowed to post ads for your business for all of BiggerPockets to see. Use the Marketplace to:
- Post the properties you are trying to sell
- List the type of properties you are looking to buy
- Advertise for private money lenders
- Advertise for potential partners
- Advertise your new eBook or training course
- And a whole lot more.
If you are already a PRO member- head over to the Marketplace and post what you are looking for. Everyone is in need of something – the PRO membership is where you can find it.
Located in the “Resources Tab” on the BiggerPockets site is the FilePlace (see image below.)
The FilePlace is exactly what it sounds like: a place for files. Within the FilePlace you’ll find audio files, eBooks, contracts, presentations, and spreadsheets. You don’t need to go out and spend a lot of money buying forms or spend hours creating your own. Find a huge collection of useful files right here, for free.
Basic users are allowed 10 file downloads per week, while PRO basic are allowed 15 and PRO accounts are allowed 20.
7.) News and Headlines
If you are involved in the real estate world or are planning on entering it at any time in the near future – the news matters.
However, sifting through the search engines for news that matters to me and my business is not only difficult but also largely a waste of time. However, as I just discovered, BiggerPockets has an awesome news page that is continually updated with information about real estate that can help you maintain and grow your real estate business.
To access the News and Headlines page, simply go to your BiggerPockets Dashboard and click on the “Learn” tab and select “News and Headlines.”
Go ahead and check it out! Click here.
8.) Real Estate Investing Tools and Resources
Another hugely beneficial area that I failed to take advantage of before is the Tools and Resources page on BiggerPockets. Found in the “Resources” tab on your BiggerPockets dashboard, the page is loaded with a variety of helpful utilities, documents, tools, and links to help you maximize your real estate business. Listing each of the resources would take forever, so I’m just going to show you a quick picture of what’s on that page. I highly recommend you head over there and check it out!
9.) Company Profiles/Company Blogs
One of the newest (and best) features on BiggerPockets is the ability to create company profiles in addition to your personal account. Besides gaining visibility for your company, the company profile also allows you to:
- Create a professional looking public webpage for your business.
- Add your company logo to your personal profile.
- Designate the URL for your company on the platform. e.g. http://wwww.biggerpockets.com/co/YOUR-NAME-HERE
- Share news, links, updates, and other information about your business with visitors and followers via our dashboard.
- Interact with followers who comment on those status messages in your dashboard.
- Create a blog on our blogging platform for talking about real estate or your products / services.
- Interact with followers via private message.
- Build your own website’s search engine rankings with links from BiggerPockets.
Creating an account is easy. Simply go to http://www.biggerpockets.com/signup#company and sign up.
Finally, I wanted to touch on an area I was not real comfortable with until the last several days: Twitter.
I honestly never “got” Twitter. I have my Facebook and even signed up for a Twitter account – but never used it. It wasn’t until I realized one simple fact that my opinion changed completely:
When I used to post on Facebook about my awesome real estate news, or link to a great article on the BiggerPockets’ blog via my Facebook – no one cared. Most of my family and friends are simply not interested in real estate investing. If I want to see cute pictures of cats, fake lottery ticket winners, or what my high school friends’ child did in the bathroom – Facebook is where I go. However, when I want to share something cool about an interest I like (such as real estate investing) – Twitter is quickly becoming my favorite destination.
Everyday, the BiggerPockets Twitter account posts a lot of great links to important real estate stuff and before I had Twitter, I didn’t get a lot of that interaction.
I’m not suggesting Facebook is bad or to stop using it. I will still be using Facebook and we will continue to be publishing status updates from BiggerPockets there as well. However, I just want to personally invite you to join us on all the social networks that you currently engage on. Below are a list of links to all our current social networks.
If you have a Twitter account – come follow me by clicking here! I’ll follow you back right away Also – if you read this far – will you leave a comment below letting me know which of these ten you do use and which one you are going to start using?