How BiggerPockets Helped with our Early Real Estate Successes

20 Replies

Many of my early ‘successes’ are attributable to BiggerPockets, and I am very thankful for the site and community. Even though we haven’t profited on a deal yet – we are in the middle of rehabbing our first flip, and hopefully going under contract soon on our second deal – I believe we laid a lot of our business’ foundation and that is the success I am posting about here. I hope what we have done will inspire some of the newbies, and also help others see how BP can help play a role in your real estate investment business.

My business partner @George Paiva   and I met through BP. We had no intention of partnering until we sat down to coffee one morning in March and we posed the idea of “Hey, what about house flipping together?” We learned that our skills and personalities complement each other well: George is strong with finance, rehabbing, and his sub-contractor rolodex in our farm area is incredible. My strengths lie with finance, marketing, sales, and I also have my CT real estate license which we have found to be very helpful.

We further educated ourselves on house-flipping primarily through BP. BP’s podcasts, members, forums, community, and it’s book it published @J Scott “The Book on Flipping Houses” have been instrumental for us with the building blocks of our flips.

We mainly started looking and making offers on properties from the MLS, but had no success, we actually were not even close to agreeing on a price in any of the MLS deals we put offers on. We quickly needed to find another way to locate deals. So we put together a direct mail marketing campaign (the first time half-heartedly), and the second time with a different approach that resulted in our first deal seven weeks later – this is the deal we are working on at the moment.

Additionally, through our marketing campaign we will hopefully be going under contract on a different home this week (knock on wood), and we also have other deals in the pipeline that might close in the coming months. We also have found some deals that I might list, or receive a percentage of the commission on.

We built our marketing campaign almost all through BP. It was inspired by many of the BP podcasts, and just doing what everyone on BP talks about. (We are continuing to find new ways and improve our campaign through different strategies like @Michael Q. and others have mentioned.) Nothing that we have done is original to us; it has all come through learning what other successful members have done, and taking notes on the podcasts, and putting it into action.

One other thing that BP has helped us with is its meet-ups. I have been attending the NYC meet-ups organized by @Darren Sager   which have been phenomenal, and I needed something to attend something like that in Connecticut to meet like-minded individuals, because this whole business relies on networking. So after searching unsuccessfully for a pitch-free real estate meet-up in Connecticut, we successfully started a meet-up in Connecticut that provides a place for us to meet local like-minded investors, and we have met some incredible people! Already at least one deal was done because of the meet-up, and personally we met wholesalers, rehabbers, lenders, private investors, and other service professionals that I plan on working with in the coming months. (I also met one of my early book mentors @Frank Gallinelli at the CT meet-up who's book on cash flows was one of my favorites.)

So even though we have yet to make money on a deal, we believe that we are moving in the right direction. 

Our goals are to acquire 12 rehab properties in 12 months (beginning in July 2014) and then scale that up from there. It might be an aggressive goal, but we are trying to take small steps to get to where we need to go.

If anyone is looking to get started and has any questions, I will try to do my best to help out. Also, if you are thinking about paying a lot of money to take a course, my advice would be to consider learning many of the real estate investment strategies directly through BP for free. I don’t know anything about the paid courses – and for all I know it might be an excellent way to go about getting started in this business - but I do know that there is a lot of free/low cost information, and my advice would be to try that first and use the big money towards an investment property.

As you can see a large part of our success is because of BiggerPockets. (If you are wondering, I am neither paid nor a shareholder of BP, I am just thankful for what they provided me and hope to be able to give back.)

Happy investing!

Hello, Jonathan

Congratulation on getting your first flip. It's good to see that hard work pays off; you are on your way. I am glad to hear that you have started a meet up in CT. Please let me know when you are hosting you next meet up in CT.  I am also waiting on calls from a mailing list. Lest see if I can get my first contract as you have. 

Hope to hear more of your success. 

Thank you for sharing! I agree about the meet ups and connections especially - the business relationships formed can be phenominal when you put in the effort to connect offline.  My strongest RE business connections yet have come through BP. 

@Jonathan Makovsky  - Thanks for sharing such a great story. I do have similar vision like you (but may 2-3 rehabs by next year), as I am currently working on the first one and having a full time job leaves you with less time. With that being said "What is the one thing you recommend to find prospective deals"

Were you able to put your own financing or raise funds from outside?

@Nilesh Makhija  Thank you. 

We picked-up this deal through direct mail marketing, but to add one more wrinkle to that is we follow-up with all of our qualified prospects that call us from our campaign. So our deal that we acquired was at first a no-go, but I stayed in touch with the seller through phone calls and texts, and a few weeks after came to agree on price. Same thing happened with our prospective second deal that we just received the contract.

So far, we put our own funds in and raised money from friends and family. Very soon we're going to need to expand our network to raise money outside of family and friends. 

Great post @Jonathan Makovsky  it's inspiring to hear about your early success and I am looking forward to hearing more details on the deals you have in the works. Thanks for all your efforts setting up the Connecticut meet ups. I am hoping to make it down to Fairfield and eventually put together a meet up in the Hartford area. 

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