The end of the year is always an interesting time because I believe it gives us opportunity to reflect upon the impact we’ve had, and the goals we’ve accomplished. There’s nothing like a year where you get a lot done; I like the end of the year because it also gives me a chance to see where I’ve fallen short, so I can work harder the following year.
I use those little failures to inspire me to work harder and to grind more, in much the same way that I use the negative energy from the naysayers to push me to prove them wrong.
Influencing Millions of Investors and Would-Be Investors
Not a week goes by that I don’t hear from our users about how BiggerPockets has affected their lives in a positive way.
Some use the site to save money, others to get help analyzing deals, while many use it to network, to find partners and to do business.
In the end, these people are all using it for the same reason — to improve their financial well-being.
I am proud to tell you that over 5,000,000 people came through the walls of the BiggerPockets sphere in 2013, and we’ve affected the financial well-being of a good number of those folks.
Here are some basic numbers to think about . . .
- 5,000,000 unique visitors in 2013
- 150,000+ members
- 687,652 total BP forum posts
- 4,842 articles on the BiggerPockets Blog
- 3,425 registered companies
- and there’s more.
The measurable numbers and analytics are impressive in their own right, but there’s more to the story.
In 2013 we launched the BiggerPockets Podcast, now the top rated real estate show on iTunes. We’ve produced 50 episodes, which reach on average over 16,500 listeners per show, and we’re regularly amongst the top investing and business podcasts out there.
We’ve interviewed many amazing investors — both novice and experienced — and not a show goes by where I don’t personally learn something. The value contained within these shows is truly second to none, and the comments we’ve gotten on the show notes and on iTunes are reflective of that.
We decided that BiggerPockets needed to leave its mark on the world of real estate books as well. Our first, the online Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing, is a free guide to the basic ins and outs of real estate investing. Read by tens of thousands of people, this guide has everything a new investor needs and there’s even good stuff for the experts, too.
We produced two more books which came out this Spring — The Book on Flipping Houses and The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs from author J. Scott. Collectively, these books have sold over 5,000 copies, both via direct sale and through Amazon.com — an impressive feat for an independent publisher. According to Publisher’s Weekly, in 2006 the average book sold about 500 copies, and today, the average book sells less than 250 copies a year and less than 3,000 in their lifetime.
The flipping book is easily one of the best ever written on the subject of real estate investing and is definitely the top flipping book I’ve ever come across. I recommend EVERY investor have this in their library!
While selling books is good for business, we know how important it is for us to continue to produce epic content to give to our users free of charge, without a catch. In 2013, we’ve created some amazing articles that are absolutely second to none.
- Tenant Screening: The Ultimate Guide
- The Real Estate Agent’s Ultimate Guide to Working with Investors
- How to Rent Your House: The Ultimate Step by Step Guide
- and many others
We set out to create new tools to improve the way our users do business in 2013, and made some great strides. We created a suite of real estate calculators, including our Fix and Flip Analysis & Reporting Tool and Rental Property Calculator. These tools not only allow users to analyze potential deals, but give them the opportunity to print out professional reports which can be given to partners and money sources.
We also built tools to help our members better network with one another — giving them the opportunity to connect with local investors and to better see who is looking at their profile. Ultimately, we know that our job is to do more to help people better interact with one another and we have put a lot of effort forward this year to make that a reality.
Overall, we launched quite a few additional changes, tools & features and our members — both free and paid (we offer a TON of value to our BiggerPockets Plus and PRO members) are reaping the rewards. If you’re a casual reader of the site and haven’t taken the opportunity to set up an account and to engage with us, you’re missing out on much of the best value that comes from BP.
Working With Partners to Better Serve You
We initiated several new partnerships in 2013 and intend on doing much more of the same in the coming year. Working with companies like Zillow, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp, Wix, Rocket Lawyer, PayNearMe, TransUnion and others has not only been great, but has continued to help build our brand. Most importantly, we’ve used the collective bargaining power of the BiggerPockets community to negotiate discounts from many of our partners, bringing extra value to our users.
If you’ve got a product or service that you believe our users would appreciate, be sure to reach out and take advantage of the millions of eyeballs we can send your way . . .
Our advertisers have not only seen fantastic results from working with us, including above average CTRs — but more importantly, they have seen very good conversion rates on the traffic we send them. What I’m most proud about is that the vast majority of our sponsors have come back over and over again to run campaigns with us.
As we start 2014, we’ve got some new sponsorship initiatives that we’re set to kick off . . . build your brand and audience by working with our team. Contact us today!
Plans for 2014
We’re in the midst of a massive site redesign, which is intended to bring a fresh look and feel to the site. We’re not only going for aesthetics, but we’ve gone through every page on the site to see how we can improve it to make the experience of our users a better one.
Beyond the design, we’ve also got some really cool features planned, including a complete overhaul of our Marketplace, new ways for local professionals to get exposure, and much more. Stay tuned!
The Numbers that Count: Our Success Stories:
Most of the successes that happen on or because of BiggerPockets, will never be quantified. We believe that the influence of our platform is really paramount in the investing space, and I just wanted to share a few of the many 2013 success stories of our users with you.
The 3% Partnership with Dawn Anastasi and Mehran Kamari
Partnerships happen all the time on BiggerPockets, but this one was especially public in 2013 as both Dawn Anastasi and Mehran Kamari are very active posters on the BiggerPockets Forums. Dawn used the BiggerPockets Marketplace to advertise her ability to help out of state investors get into real estate, and Mehran responded to the post, striking up a friendship and business partnership. Together, they’ve purchased multiple properties this year in the Milwaukee area, including some pretty incredible cash flow properties that meet not only the 2% rule - but the 3% rule!
Many people complain that they live in areas that are too expensive to invest in – but this story illustrates and example of people who are using BiggerPockets to work together to create some fantastic win-win situations. To read the rest of this story, click here.
Vanessa Ugochukwu’s First Wholesale Deal
This past fall, BiggerPockets Member Vanessa Ugochukwu decided to up her wholesaling game using BiggerPockets. She tells the story better than I could, so I’ll just quote her:
I’ve been trying to break into wholesaling since I first heard about it this summer in July… With BP, my wonderful tool and weapon, in hand I sent out more letters. And then in early November I finally got a call back from a motivated seller… I went on the Marketplace forum on BP and I admitted my ignorance and I asked for help. My new BP connections were there to help me. Dawn Anastasi referred me to Dale Giles we connected and then became a power team. We offered to split the assignment fee of any deal that we did. Dale really has taught me a lot. She has a lot more information and resources than I have and she was so willing to share them all with me.
We went to go see the house and with her help things went really smoothly. After using the techniques she new to evaluate the offer price for the home I then negotiated with the seller and I was able to bring the price down marketable one. A few days later, Dale drafted the flyer and she went to the REIA to market it for us. I really wanted to be there but living and going to school out of town made that very difficult. At the local Milwaukee REIA she met two interested buyers, they saw the house the next day and it was a done deal! From then on it was just a bunch of faxing and emailing back and forth. And then the day before Thanksgiving we closed and I got my first check for $1,750! Not bad for a newbie, huh? Just five LONG months after I first started! I would just like to thank everyone on BP, Dale Giles and Dawn Anastasi, especially. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for my real estate investing career!
Awesome! I’m excited to see where this first deal leads Vanessa and her future in real estate. To read the whole thread and get involved in the conversation, click here.
Spec Home Building and Funding with Jon Klaus
This year Jon Klaus, an active BiggerPockets member and moderator, used his relationships created through BiggerPockets to find a lot in Austin, TX through direct mail marketing, and used another BiggerPockets member to finance much of the construction costs for the project. John and his business partner saw six-figure profits on this incredible deal. If you haven’t seen the photos yet, be sure to click here to view the entire thread. They are simply amazing.
27 Houses in 12 Months with Sam Craven
Another story that really caught my attention this year was from BiggerPockets Member Sam Craven, who spent a year learning from BiggerPockets and in mid 2012 finally jumped in. Over the next year, he and his partner purchased or wholesaled more than 27 properties, relying heavily on BiggerPockets to provide support, advice, “partners, active buyers, active sellers, friends, and excellent networking opportunities.”
140 Unit Apartment Complex with Brian Burke
Earlier this year, BiggerPockets member Brian Burke purchased a 140 unit apartment complex in Texas. The deal was financed with a $4 million loan from a national CMBS lender, as well as $2.3 million raised from a private offering (Reg D 506) partially funded through relationships made at BiggerPockets. Brian was one of the most popular guests on the BiggerPockets Podcast in 2013, so be sure to check out his interview here as well as the full story on this 140 unit apartment complex here.
In the success story thread Brian left, he made this one quote that I absolutely love:
“If anyone doubts that BP can help you accomplish your goals, I hope you are a believer now!”
It has been a truly amazing year for our site and our users. We’ve accomplished so much and look forward to making many more incredible strides in the year to come.
If BiggerPockets has in some way touched your life in 2013, tell us about it in the comments below or in our Success Stories forum.
Thanks for being a part of our community!BiggerPockets 2013 Review: Influencing Millions of Real Estate Investors by Joshua Dorkin