The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Business with BiggerPockets Keyword Alerts

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Have you ever missed out on an important event because someone forgot to tell you about it?

It sucks.

Sure, when it’s dirty Uncle Harry’s birthday party, it’s not such a big deal. However, when it’s an incredible real estate deal that perfectly matched what you were looking for or a local meetup of real estate entrepreneurs willing to fund your next deal.. it can be a much bigger loss!

For this reason, BiggerPockets created the Keyword Alert System to help you stay connected with the important events that could affect your business and today we’re excited to announce some new updates to this system… so stay tuned!

This post is designed to be the ultimate guide to using and managing the BiggerPockets Keyword Alert System to get notified of the events and conversations that matter to you!

What is the Keyword Alert System

In the past 24 hours, there were 1,437 BiggerPockets Forum posts placed on BiggerPockets. Figuring an average of 50 words per post, that’s 71,850 words every day written on the Forums.

Wow.

It’s not like it used to be! Several years ago, a person could easily keep track of all the important things going on around the BiggerPockets Forums by simply logging in. They could scroll through their Forum feed and see a few hundred posts. However, in the past two years BiggerPockets has exploded and we were faced with an interesting problem: how do we help people stay connected to the posts that interest them?

Enter: The Keyword Alert System. 

The Keyword Alert System is a unique tool developed by BiggerPockets to help YOU stay connected to the Forum and Marketplace conversations that matter to you.

When you set up a Keyword Alert, you will be notified when the word or words you chose have been mentioned anywhere on the BiggerPockets Forum.  You can receive your notification in three different ways:Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 2.15.00 PM-1

  1. On BiggerPockets, through the notifications in the navigation bar (see photo to right.)
  2. In your email (set to either instant, daily, or weekly)
  3. Via text message to your cell phone (for BiggerPockets Pro members only.)

Let’s talk about how to use the Keyword Alert System to grow your business!

How Keyword Alerts Can Help Your Business

There are a number of different ways you can use the Keyword Alert System to grow your business. Below I’ve outlined 5 different ideas!

  1. City/State Name - The first Keyword Alert I recommend everyone setting up is their local city and state name. This way, when someone begins talking about your local area, you can jump into the conversation this can be helpful for getting notifications about deals on the market or to welcome new members who are joining from your area.  Personally, I welcome every single person from the “Seattle” area, knowing that I want to be a point of influence in our market.   Furthermore, having a keyword alert set for your local city name will help you know when a real estate meetup is being formed on BiggerPockets! (To learn more about creating your own meetup, check out Why YOU Should Organize a Local BiggerPockets Real Estate Meetup )
  2. What Do You Want to Learn More About? – If you are interested in learning more about a certain real estate investing topic, keyword alerts can help you stay up to date with new conversations about this topic. For example, let’s say you want to know more about the changing legislation surrounding Dodd-Frank Act. You may want to make an alert for “Dodd.”
  3. What Can You Help With? BiggerPockets is not the world’s best real estate investing website because of any one person. It’s the most amazing real estate investing website because of the community of people willing to donate a few minutes each day to help others. Whether you are brand new or have been investing for decades – you have experience you can help guide others with! For example, if you’ve dealt with a lot of section 8 tenants in your business, perhaps you want to create a Keyword Alert for “Section 8″ (and “Section-8″) so you’ll be notified when people ask questions about Section 8.  You don’t have to be an expert to share your stories and experiences! You never know who’s life you might change by being willing to share your story! (Tweet That!)
  4. What Can You Offer? If you are a vendor, selling products or services in the real estate industry, Keyword Alerts can be an awesome tool to build your authority! However, I have to caution you: Don’t use the Keyword Alert system to spam. We’ll talk more about that in a moment. However, use it to build your credibility! For example, if you run a company that sells legal forms to real estate investors, set up some keyword alerts for the most common legal-form phrases, like “lease” or “contract.” Then, jump in and offer advice and share your knowledge (but don’t pitch or sell or you’ll quickly be booted off BiggerPockets!)  People will read your responses and respect your knowledge and will come to you when they are looking for whatever it is you have to offer!
  5. Your Personal or Company Name - This one is so obvious but most people don’t do it! When people talk about you or your company on BiggerPockets… don’t you want to know about it? Many people try to use the @mention tagging feature on BiggerPockets to tag a person in a thread, but fail to do so correctly. By having a Keyword Alert set, you won’t miss any conversations that are involving you!

Bad Keyword Alert Practices

Please don’t abuse the Keyword Alert System. If you do – you’ll be banned from the Forums, the Private Message system, or BiggerPockets completely.  The system is designed to help you engage on the site, not pitch.

If you want to know more about what you can and can’t do on BiggerPockets, be sure to check out How to Grow Your Business Through BiggerPockets.

Keyword Alert Specifics

All members can set up keyword alerts, but there are limits on the number that you can establish:

  • Free Members:  5 free Keyword Alerts
  • Plus Members: 10 free Keyword Alerts
  • Pro Members: 20 free Keyword Alerts

Another bonus for our PRO members only is the ability to receive SMS alerts (text messages) alerts, to help you jump into the conversations that matter to you even faster!

To learn more about going Pro, visit BiggerPockets.com/pro

Getting Too Many Notices?

The Keyword Alert System is designed to help you, but we understand that receiving too many emails is a problem. For this reason we’ve invented some cool features to help you control how many alerts you receive. The following are three tools you should make use of to get the most powerful use of the Keyword Alerts.

Notification Management

The first tool to use to help keep your keyword alerts under control is the Notification Managment on BiggerPockets, found at BiggerPockets.com/settings/notifications. This page will help you choose how often you want to receive communications from BiggerPockets, including Keyword Alerts.

To do this, simple head to the Notification Management page and select how often you would like to receive certain messages from BiggerPockets. See the image below:

BiggerPockets Account Dashboard-3

Combination Alerts

Sometimes a certain keyword alert might give you FAR too many results that are not specific enough for what you are looking for. For this reason, we created “Combination Alerts” to help you combine different words so that you’ll only receive alerts if BOTH words are mentioned in a Forum Post.

For example, if you are interested in deals in California but you only want to get notifications about potential wholesale deals, you could create combination alert for “California” and “Wholesale” so you’ll only be notified when both those words are mentioned.

To access your Combination Alerts, simply head to BiggerPockets.com/alerts and enter in extra words where it says “Extra Keywords” (See image below:)

Combination Keyword Alerts

Negative Keywords

Sometimes, you’ll receive a lot of Keyword Alerts for a topic you care nothing about, simply because people mention your keyword in a different context. For example, this happens to me often because I have a Keyword Alert set for “Washington,” (because I live in Washington State) thus I am alerted every time someone mentioned “Washington DC.”  I don’t care about most things that happen 4000 miles away from me, so I set up a “Negative Keyword” so that when “DC” is mentioned in a thread, I won’t be notified.

To set up a Negative Keyword, simply head to the Alerts page at BiggerPockets.com/alerts, enter in the main keyword alert you want in the  enter in any negative keywords that you don’t want in the second line below that. See photo below:

BiggerPockets_ The Real Estate Investing Social Network-3 8.33.20 AM

Conclusion

By now, I hope you are able to see how the Keyword Alert System can change your business for the better. I truly believing knowing how to use the system properly will help you find more deals, learn more, and help others to an even greater degree.

The only thing left to do at this point is simple:

Click Here to Set Up Your Keyword Alerts!

Oh – and let me know in the comments what Keyword Alerts YOU have set up! I’d love to know!

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About Author

Brandon Turner (G+) is the BiggerPockets.com Senior Editor and Community Director. He is also an Active Real Estate Investor (Flips, Apartments, and Buy-and-Hold), Entrepreneur, World Traveler, Third-Person Speaker, and Husband. Come hang out with him on Twitter!

7 Comments

  1. Interesting. This negative keyword feature will definitely come in handy for me since my market is the Vancouver in Canada, but I keep getting alerts from about Vancouver, Washington >_>

    Thanks for the awesome article, Brandon!

    • Joshua Dorkin

      Vamsi – Your situation, amongst others, is why we elected to add that feature. We didn’t want people to just turn off their alerts or to start ignoring them. The negative alerts and combination alerts make for much more powerful and targeted alerts.

      • I absolutely agree. It seems like the issue isn’t necessarily the lack of features to solve the problems people run into, but more of a lack of awareness. I certainly didn’t know of the feature until this article was written, and I think it’s great that you guys are tackling both angles so efficiently by implementing solutions and informing people through articles :D

        Keep up the great work!

  2. Sara Cunningham on

    Great article. I have been using this feature since I joined. It works great! Yes I get a lot of emails since I am interested in more than 1 market but most of it is really relevant. Love the new negative feature.

  3. Thanks Brandon. I’ve been putting this off but just set up keywords for my name, company, city and business focus. Pretty much everything you suggested.

  4. Gloria D. Wilson on

    Thanks for the update, Brandon. I thought I had done it correctly when I first signed up, but I’m getting nothing on Philadelphia or income properties – so I’m going to revisit and revamp. Great instructions.

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