What a year! 2012 proved to be an incredibly productive year for BiggerPockets, and has set the groundwork for an awesome 2013 to come . . .
1) The Growth of a Company:
Here’s a look at some of our growth numbers for 2012:
BiggerPockets Blog Articles: +22.3%
Forum Posts: +23.1%
User Blog Posts: +38.5%
Newsletter Subscribers: +25.9%
Unique Visitors: +54.6%
We anticipate these growth percentages to ratchet up in 2013 as we implement our strategic plan.
Check out this quick video from Josh Dorkin about what the future holds for BiggerPockets…
2) The Birth of a Conference:
We had ambitious plans back in 2011 to put on a kick-ass conference for real estate investors and we certainly delivered. On March 23-24, we put on a incredible event at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver — the 2012 BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing Summit. This event attracted approximately 375 people and produced close to 25 hours of incredible content.
What was most incredible about our Summit was the fact that there was no pitching. We knew that investors were sick and tired of the old bait and switch and back of the room upsell events that are pervasive in the industry, and set out to do what we do best, prove the naysayers wrong. Our attendees left the event with great new colleagues and friends, as well as with new tools to help them succeed with their businesses. And best of all, they didn’t have to worry at all about being upsold from our speakers . . .
If you missed it, we made audio recordings of the event, which are available for purchase. Buy The Audio Today.
We have been plotting a 2013 event, but don’t yet have details. When we do, we’ll let you know.
3) Profiling an Industry:
For the past few years, we’ve felt that there just wasn’t enough good data out there to analyze the real estate investing niche, so we set out to change that in 2012. In conjunction with Memphis Invest, we put forth the Joint BiggerPockets.com / Memphis Invest National Survey of Residential Real Estate Investors, which was incredibly revealing. We learned more about the size of the residential investor market (28.1 million individuals), how much they spend on rehabilitating properties and neighborhoods ($9.2 Billion Annually), buying intentions, and much more. [Check out the cool infographic]
As a result of this survey, we saw an incredible amount of press, including coverage from the Washington Post, CNBC, Bloomberg, The Dallas Morning News and many others. If you missed the survey, be sure to check it out here
Another hugely important development in 2012 was my realization that something needed to change with our company. After close to 8 years in operation, we brought in an outside consultant to help review the business and its core competencies, and as a result, enacted what was to be dubbed, Project Simplify. In short, we cut out a lot of fat from the website, including features that weren’t being used much and others that added little value to our mission. We also enacted a strategic plan for building the BiggerPockets team, and began to plot the next steps in the future growth of the site.
5) The Beginnings of a Media Empire:
One of the realizations from our work with our consultant was that we needed to build out our team. We began by bringing in the first of many new forum moderators to help manage our community, and then hired a Senior Editor and Community Manager, Brandon Turner to help over see all things community and our BiggerPockets Blog. We’ve also brought on many great new contributors to the BiggerPockets Blog, and now put out near 20 new articles each week.
As a result of all the new content, we’ve expanded our newsletter to 2x/week (Thursdays & Sundays), and will continue to develop that medium. We’re also looking to extend our brand and reach into other areas, and will be launching a BiggerPockets Radio Show (Podcast), and are planning for some groundbreaking tools to help take your business to the next level.
6) New Tools & Site Improvements:
We had a bad scare this year after a server crash that began on February 4, 2012 and went almost two days; through those VERY dark days, we thought we lost everything, but ultimately came out of it stronger. We improved our infrastructure and put in a ton of time into stabilizing our site. As a result, load times are much faster than ever before and the site crashes far less.
Otherwise, we’ve made countless improvements to the site, including the launch of social company profiles and the one we’re most excited about, our Keyword Alert System, which allows users to track terms that they want to be notified about by email or SMS to help enhance their learning, networking, and most importantly, dealmaking.
7) Even More Success Stories
While the numbers are always fun to look at, what I’m most proud of are all of the member success stories. While most will never be shared publicly, I can tell you that not a week goes by that I’m informed of the value that our members derive from BiggerPockets. Not only is it personally fulfilling, but it also tells me that we’re continuing to push down the correct path.
If you’ve had a story of success this year as a result of our site, please do share it with us.
Wrapping it All Up . . .
Overall, I’m extremely proud of the site that BiggerPockets has become. As we continue forward, our aim is to help millions of additional investors via our community and media operations in their goal of finding success with their personal finances and real estate portfolios.
Please help us accomplish that goal by spreading the word of BiggerPockets by word of mouth, via your social networks, and by inviting your friends, colleagues and family to join you here on the site. Please also be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, G+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Thanks for your encouragement, support, and continued use of BiggerPockets.com!
Photo: NASA2012 BiggerPockets Year In Review & 2013 Preview (With Video) by Joshua Dorkin