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The BiggerPockets Keyword Alert System Tutorial (+Video)

by Brandon Turner on December 19, 2012 · 21 comments


I’ve got some exciting news for anyone who is involved with BiggerPockets!

Today BiggerPockets is unveiling an awesome new feature that will make interacting on our real estate forum much easier and more efficient: the new Keyword Alert System!

In response to suggestions from our members, we’ve put together a brand new system that will notify users whenever a particular topic is being discussed on the forums so they don’t miss important threads.

Check out the following video where I talk all about it! If you’d rather skip the video and just get the facts – keep reading below –

The Keyword Alert System is a new tool that gives you instant notifications whenever a forum thread mentions a word or phrase that you choose. For example – if you are interested in “Flipping Houses”, you can set up an alert so you’ll instantly know whenever a someone mentions “Flipping Houses” on the BiggerPockets forums. Or if you set up the keyword for “New York” you’ll be notified whenever someone mentions New York. Pretty cool, huh?

You might also want to set up keywords for things like:

  • your city name,
  • your state name,
  • your company name,
  • property types,
  • investment types,
  • investment strategies
  • or anything else you can think of.

Why Use the Keyword Alert System?

Increasing Engagement

The Keyword alert system is great because it helps you engage in the conversations that you want to be a part of. BiggerPockets is about helping you connect and network with other people – and the Keyword Alert system is going to help you do just that.

Find Out First About Deals and Opportunities

One of the most beneficial characteristics of the entire BiggerPockets network is the ability to find deals and opportunities that can help you grow your real estate investing business. By setting keywords that are related to business ventures you want to engage in, you can be notified immediately of those opportunities when they occur.

Share Knowledge

By receiving keyword alerts – you are able to jump into the threads that you feel most knowledgeable about and offer advice. Being a consistent voice in a few specialized areas is going to help you build your brand and your expertise, and the Keyword Alert System is going to help you do so.

Promote Your Business

The Alert System is great for promoting your business also. Let’s say you run a business that helps people with self-directed IRAs. If you set up several keywords revolving around the term “Self Directed IRAs” – you can quickly jump into those conversations to offer advice and ideas, which helps establish you and your business leaders in that field. As always- however, BiggerPockets still won’t allow spam on the forums. The alert system is going to help you interact and build your credibility -not throw up ads every time someone mentions a related topic.

Find Things to Learn About

You can also monitor topics that you want to know more about. For example – I want to know more about “direct mail” – so I am going to enter that keyword so I am notified each time a forum discussion talks about “direct mail.”

How to Use the Keyword Alert System

You can get to the Keyword Alerts page a few different ways. From your Dashboard- click the “Forums” toolbar on the left side of the screen and select “Keyword Alerts”

Arrow 1

You can also access it from the Forums home page on the top right side of your screen.



In the “Alerts” page , notice the area where you can type your keyword (See Image Below)


The number of keywords you can have at one time depends on your membership level:

  • Free members are able to set up five different keywords to be alerted about.
  • Pro Basic members can set up ten alerts
  • PRO members can set up twenty different keywords – with an option for SMS alerts (text messages! More on that in a bit)

All you need to do is enter in the keyword that you want to use.  The keyword can be either just one word, or a phrase – spaces are okay. Add your keyword and select “Save Alert” to add it to your list.  Once you add a keyword, “Email” will automatically be checked. If you wish to not receive email updates, simply un-select “Email.”  You can also select “SMS” if I want the alert sent to you with a text message. However- the SMS option for text message alerts are only available for PRO members – so if you want access to Alerts while on the road- be sure to upgrade to a PRO account. Click here to learn more about the benefits of PRO membership.

Setting up SMS Alerts (for PRO members)

If you are a PRO member - you are going to need to make sure you have a cell phone linked to your BiggerPockets account. Dont’ worry – this number is private and we’re not going to call you and your number will not be published on your profile or anywhere else. To set up your cell phone, simply click on “account” and select “edit profile.” From your profile page, click “contact” and then look for “Cell Phone” and choose “Change.” You’ll get a text message with a 5 digit code that you’ll need to enter in – and like that – you are set up.

Your Keyword Alerts Will Appear In Your Notifications Menu

If you log into your dashboard, you’ll now be notified whenever a Keyword Alert is triggered. For example, I’m just cruising around my dashboard, updating my status when I notice this little “9” in the corner. When I hover over it, I can see it says “6 Forum Alerts.”


When the notification is clicked, you’ll be taken to the alert page and can see where that keyword was used.


From here – you can go directly to the forum post that mentions your keyword and begin engaging.

Final Thoughts

I honestly believe this is one of the most revolutionary changes to BiggerPockets I have seen. I’m very excited to be able to use this to become more engaged in the forums and be able to help answer more questions and build deeper relationships. I hope you’ll find this tool just as useful for your interactions in the BiggerPockets forums.

A few final tips:

  • You can become the expert in any topic by setting alerts for that topic and being consistent in responding to questions and discussions about that topic.
  • Pick keywords that will help build your brand and peak your interests.
  • The more keywords, and the more generic, the more notifications you’ll get.
  • Find deals and opportunities by choosing related keywords.
  • Network and meet new members by using location-specific keywords.

If you aren’t currently a member of BiggerPockets – I highly encourage you to join! BiggerPockets is a huge community of active real estate investors that spend time helping each other learn and grow each day. The forums are free to join, free to engage on, and free to learn from. To set up your BiggerPockets account – click here.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff Brown December 19, 2012 at 10:19 am

Simple, brilliant.


Joshua Dorkin December 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

Hey Jeff –
I’m glad you like it! This system is designed to help everyone — from guys like you (think keywords: retirement, IRA, etc) to a flipper searching for deals in Des Moins, Iowa (keywords: Des Moins, Iowa, wholesale deal Iowa, etc.).

So, jump in and get your keywords plotted in and be sure to strike while the fire’s hot when you learn of a new post that talks about your terms of interest.


James W. Vermillion III December 19, 2012 at 11:46 am

Amazing! Right when you start to wonder what BiggerPockets will come up with next…KABOOM! I cannot wait to test this out, nice work!


Joshua Dorkin December 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Thanks! Jump on it James! I’m sure you’ve got a great long list of terms — I hope you’ll add things like veteran, military, air force, etc. and connect with your brethren as they engage on the site!


Keith December 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm

wow this is a great feature can’t wait to use it!


Brandon Turner December 19, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Agreed Keith. I’m probably most happy to be able to get texts regarding certain keywords so I can jump on quickly. There is a certain specialness that comes with being the first comment (and the fact that everyone reads it!)


Joshua Dorkin December 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm



Joshua Dorkin December 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Glad to hear you like it, Keith! Jump in and get it set up . . . I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the functionality.


Al Williamson December 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Josh and BP staff,
You listened to us and innovated to meet our wants – that’s smart!
Thanks for leading!


Joshua Dorkin December 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Thanks, Al. Much appreciated, sir.


Ken Corsini December 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Very Cool – Josh. I’m all about efficiency!


Tiffany H. December 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Very good addition as the forums seemed difficult to search based on topic. This should help. Weird thing is it saves Long Beach as “Beach” whereas Seal Beach saves correctly. ???


Joshua Dorkin December 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Tiffany – does it happen for any other multi-word phrases?


Tiffany H. December 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Not that I can tell. I have several multi-word alert searches, including Seal Beach. But when I try to save Long Beach, the “Long” disappears and it just says ” Beach”.


Daniel Fisher December 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I love this feature! I have “Pennsylvania” as a keyword. But I would like to be able to use “PA” too. Any way 2 letters could be enough in a word?


Joshua Dorkin December 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Daniel – Good suggestion. We’ll make sure users can do this with an update next week.


Mike LaCava December 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Awesome, just set it up. ill call you later at 555-555-5555 :-)


Joshua Dorkin December 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Good deal, Mike. Perhaps you could share how you’re using the Keyword Alert System in this thread in the forums: How Are You Using the BiggerPockets Keyword Alert System?


Mike January 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Josh, will do. We really like it so far. Thanks, Mike


Gloria Davis February 11, 2013 at 11:39 pm

This is another reason why I am so glad to join this group. I like the fact that you are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency which translate to saving time. Thank you.


Brandon Turner February 12, 2013 at 12:05 am

Thanks Gloria! It definitely saves me a lot of time. I have “WA” set up, so anytime someone talks about Washington – I’m notified!


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