How To Use BiggerPockets As A TREMENDOUS Lead Generator

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I recently wrote an article on 3 Web Sites that really transformed our real estate investing business from 2010 to now. At a time when we were working hard to improve every facet of our company, we also began to use technology and web based companies or sites to enhance our mission. BiggerPockets was one of those 3 sites and this is exactly how we/I have used Bigger Pockets to make it our BIGGEST online lead source and at a fraction of the cost for other traditional lead sources.

First - Understand that BiggerPockets is really not that powerful by itself. If it were nothing more than a web address with one guy posting or writing or selling ads, it would not be all that powerful. But that is what makes Bigger Pockets different and when I realized this I began implementing a plan to use it for all its power. There are nearly 100,000 UNIQUE users who have registered accounts on Bigger Pockets and many of those users are active investors. Those investors, like myself, spend some time on the site everyday and that is why it is so powerful. A site full of your target audience that log on every day and interact.

Second - I used what comes naturally to me and that is an open and willing to share form of marketing. I like to share and educate and so I set out to to perform "edu-marketing". Educate first, show you may actually know something and even more important are willing to admit what you don't know and many will come to respect you. For months, I did nothing but respond on forums, write an occasional blog on the site, link articles I thought were interesting and leave comments on articles or blog posts that fit my core knowledge. I gave a lot of advice. I was also polite.

It may sound stupid, but that was my personality. I treated people the way i wanted to be treated and when someone was rude to me, I tried to kill em with kindness. I believe that I earned a reputation that I truly felt I deserved and that was of someone who would freely help others and was willing to engage in good conversation and debate. I never let it bother me if someone disagreed with me, I simply wanted others to know that I believed in my opinion and could back it up.

Third - I realized that BiggerPockets was a great linking site. So even though I wasn't trying to sell houses on the site, I still listed my properties on there and used each listing for backlinks. The same thing with my blog on the site, I made sure that i linked each blog back to my site or a particular page on my site to take advantage of the great back links.

Fourth - Once I had spent time on the site, I decided to test the marketing waters and run ads on the site. I made a conscious decision to run two types of ads. I ran ads that linked to landing pages for educational videos. These were videos that we had recorded in our offices and were detailed. Many still run today on BiggerPockets. We identified our brand and company on the videos and had a registration from for viewers prior to watching the video.

The second ad we ran was strictly a branding ad. It identified a need for investors and invite them to learn about our company. There was no registration form and no data collection. Just a simple redirect back to our website. These types of ads are used by us to build our brand recognition and to show, again, that education is first.

These ads, placed as banners on the site and within the newsletters, have generated several thousand hits and several hundred leads. We use a very laid-back approach when reaching out to these leads, but every one hears from us directly to see if there is any way we can be of service. When potential leads click on our branding ads and go directly to the website, many end up registering to receive more information on our company. When these leads identify where they learned about our company, BiggerPockets has become the #1 answer today.

Admittedly, we are doing a lot more on BiggerPockets today than on other sites, but that is simply because the users on bigger pockets are active investors and many are interested in learning ways to earn invest passively. I hate the cliches, but this is the exact target audience we want to reach and taking extra time to build an online presence before marketing has really paid off.

If you are going to use BiggerPockets to develop an online presence, then I believe this is the blueprint for finding success. It is not as simple as place ads on the site. Many of the users are very savvy real estate investors and whether they ever purchase from you is not the primary reason for engaging. As an investor and as a business person, I have learned a ton from other BP users and in turn have honed and improved the outreach we do on the site. Today, nearly 30% of our monthly leads can come from Bigger Pockets and that is a tremendous improvement over other online ads such as PPC ads and Facebook.

I wanted to share our story and generate some discussion from other real estate companies or entrepreneurs who are wanting figure out how to use BiggerPockets to develop brand awareness and stimulate business.

@Chris Clothier - While many people might shy away from divulging "their secrets," I appreciate you being so candid with your use of the site and how it has benefited you.

I know how much business you guys do, and it is great to hear that we're responsible for close to 30% of your leads.

You are certainly one of the users who understands the power of this site, and the power of contributing to the community and being visible as a marketing tool.

Thank you for sharing this post with everyone. I know that many will read it and do hope that most of those people try to follow your lead, because we both know that by giving back to BiggerPockets and by being active, they will grow their businesses.

@Joshua Dorkin Hey man, sorry for such a long post. It was important to share that. We are obsessive about tracking everything we do and I figured there would be a lot of investors and RE business owners on here that could benefit from reading how we planned our marketing the last couple of years. I definitely think being active on BP and attending the Summit are two reasons we are having such success and enjoying a reputation as a good, honest company.

cheers -

@Ann Bellamy thanks for the kind words - you don't have to be a fan of Turnkey investing (there are some companies I am not a fan of :-)) to earn my respect! I will tell you, we have made a concerted effort to move away from the term because it is so over used and really means nothing in today's investment market.

I was really wondering if anyone else is using or even planning on using BP as a marketing tool. The site is so well respected that how you use BiggerPockets can absolutely have a positive effect on your online image. Even local RE agents can use BP to enhance their credibility. I would love to hear how others are/or are planning to include BP in their marketing strategy?

I am new on this site. Joined a couple of hours ago and browsed on some posts. I'm glad this is one of the posts I've read first. I hope to be able to take advantage of its features for the success of my business too.

@Chris Clothier First that was a very well written article. It was long but there was something to say after reading each sentence. Some inspiration, some honesty, and some of your thoughts were included in your post.

I think Bigger Pockets is the best to lay out one's marketing strategy since it's about real estate. The audience is supportive and will also let you know if you're off course. Not may forums do that. It's either one way or the other. Here you get both.

My plan will hit high gear one day, just not yet. I have a few more moves before I can get settled in one area to get established for real estate. Until then I'll pick up a few more properties in one or two more states.

Tom

@Chris Clothier Dude, you did my homework. Thank you. Yep, planning to follow along in your footsteps. Still working out a for sell product for my blog, but once I get something I'm really, really proud of, I'll give ole @Joshua Dorkin a call. Thanks for your transparency (and courage that goes along with it).

Originally posted by Thomas Handy:
Chris Clothier First that was a very well written article. It was long but there was something to say after reading each sentence. Some inspiration, some honesty, and some of your thoughts were included in your post.

I think Bigger Pockets is the best to lay out one's marketing strategy since it's about real estate. The audience is supportive and will also let you know if you're off course. Not may forums do that. It's either one way or the other. Here you get both.

My plan will hit high gear one day, just not yet. I have a few more moves before I can get settled in one area to get established for real estate. Until then I'll pick up a few more properties in one or two more states.

Tom

Tom -

I've seen a lot of the posts you leave and forum discussions that you start and I will tell you that you are doing a great job of jumping in and actively learning. People on this site, and there are a lot of them, will always support others who are not just talking about it, but also getting involved and stirring the conversation about investment real estate. Keep being active, build your reputation and following and you will develop into the go to guy in your area and even one of the respected commentators here on BP. Both will help you in your local business. Best of luck.

Originally posted by Al Williamson:
Chris Clothier Dude, you did my homework. Thank you. Yep, planning to follow along in your footsteps. Still working out a for sell product for my blog, but once I get something I'm really, really proud of, I'll give ole Joshua Dorkin a call. Thanks for your transparency (and courage that goes along with it).

Until that time comes when you want to promote a product, make sure you keep promoting yourself and your knowledge daily. I've read a lot of your posts and you make great points and ask really good questions. Just keep doing it. Everyone, including guys like myself, will grow in respect for you as you are willing to share, be polite and honest and share the good with the bad. That is how you build credibility and whether you sell a product or simply promote your company, credibility has to come first.

Looking forward to connecting more. Good luck -

Great post @Chris Clothier . One thing I love is learning from BP members who are doing something different than I am and being successful. BP is undoubtedly a great tool to learn and market. I came to Bigger Pockets seeking answers to the most basic questions several years ago, and stayed because of the members who constantly contribute how they are finding success.

I have learned more than I can express from the members here, both through the site and off the site via phone calls, emails, and the conference. Thanks for sharing how you have found success through BP, there is a lot to take away in your post. Your best marketing tool though has been the content of your forum and blog posts!

http://blog.memphisinvest.com/blog/bid/85521/3-Web-Companies-That-Transformed-Our-Real-Estate-Business

Hey guys, here is the original article I wrote on the three companies - BiggerPockets, Salesforce.com & Hubspot.com.

Those three companies, used together, have really helped us hone in on how to deliver a great product and a great service. Let me know what you think on the article and spread the word by sharing it. Letting others know about BiggerPockets and attracting more investors with great ideas and techniques only improves the site that much more for all of us.

My natural impression of BP is that its comprised of people who are all professionals, wholesalers, etc... either new, some experience or seasoned investors. I don't normally think if this site as a place to generate actual sales for our company as I have been active since 2008 and have generated 0 sales from this site, sham on me I guess according to Chris's article. If BP generates that many leads then I need to take a real hard look again. Thanks Chris

@Chris Clothier , great post! Glad to see you're getting alot out of BP and you have certainly contributed in a professional manner.

I wonder if I should read between some of the lines in this thread, LOL, agreed, we are not all here for business, but dpending on what you do (investing out of state or even assisting others doing so) it seems BP is the spot to be in order to grow your business.

I'm not a techie, I'm old fashioned in many ways and I don't tweet, but even I can see the potential.

Branding yourself is always an important part of doing business, any business! Good luck....

Originally posted by Jon K.:
Curt, when I Google "@Curt Davis Memphis" the number one result is your BiggerPockets profile.

Jon - That was a powerful statement! I'm sure @Joshua Dorkin is gonna love to hear that and it just illustrates how important BiggerPockets is becoming in the real estate world.

Curt Davis is someone who I have respect for in the Memphis market and I know he wants to do things the right way in business. So remember Curt, I don't do business with all of those leads and many are more interested in duplicating our business model - not so much buying passive investments. But I hear form people all the time who are more than willing to promote or recommend our company to other investors when they know they cannot help them.

There are so many benefits to adding value to the users on BiggerPockets. And adding value, IMO, means being honest, respectful and humble/confident all at the same time.

Jon, that was really cool to point that out to Curt.

@Bill Gulley thanks for the reply and the compliment. I will tell you something that I have learned about branding - especially here on BP. I have an idea of what i want my brand to stand for - high quality, honesty & transparency, customer service, consistent and dependable returns - those are important things I want people to remember when they think about MemphisInvest.com.

BUT, I have learned that my brand is not what I say it is - it is what others say it is. It doesn't matter what I think, it matters what others experience. That is why we do a lot of advertising where someone doesnt have to fill out a registration form to get access. It is why we advertise a lot of education pieces. It is why anyone, whether they want to buy or not, can come to our offices at any time and tour them to see all of our people, systems and services. There are no secrets in real estate - just different ways to make money and different levels of work!

I wrote an article on the BP blog about doing the difference between marketing and performance. It was titled 'If You Are Going To Talk It, You had Better Walk It'. In the end, I just want people to equate us with a trustworthy company that is honest and transparent in an investment environment where you have to be very careful. So far, I think the way we approached BP is a pretty good blueprint for doing that.

For giggles I just used Jon's trick. Googled Shane Woods Weatherford, no quotes and my BP profile is the 2nd thing listed, few more down were several BP forums I've participated in. Go BP!

Awesome post @Chris Clothier ! It was a long one and I didn't read the entire thing but it was great from what I read. This truly is a unique site and is a goldmine for any real estate investor, no matter what strategy they are using.

I am working with clients off of Bigger Pockets.They found me in search engines from some of the topics where I answered questions.

I just give freely with the expectation of nothing in return.I actually love commercial real estate.

Some simply read posts on this site but never post and contact me privately through messaging.They are not interested in posting but want to invest.Everyone is different in how they want to participate and contact people.

I want clients for life and not sell people a bunch of goods for a quick buck.People that do not love real estate look to take advantage of people but people in it for the long haul realize that's the wrong approach.

You could study real estate your whole life and just scratch the surface of realizing how vast and infinite and ever changing it is.

Thanks Chris for your input. I respect your opinion and always get a lot out of it. I may have to replace Jack Miller with you as my new Role Model.

15 years ago I didnt get it. I had a realtor friend once say to another person in my my presence "What can I do to help you". More amazing she seemed sincere. Needless to say as a lifetime opportunist trying to take advantage of every opportunity and work every last angle, I sized her comment as either the dumbest comment in the world or could it be so startling so life changing that maybe I had it all wrong. Of course it was pretty persausive that she made more money per year and seemed to be enjoying herself more than I was.

Her comment changed my life. I have sinced learned to help others, if not for any other reason, do it strictly for selfish reasons. I am absolutely convinced I do more deals than ever because not only am I willing to help others, I sincerely beleive it makes good business sense. Also most importantly I have built credibility to myself. I now beleive in myself, because I do bring value to the table since I no longer have to win, but instead have fun.

Originally posted by Ray S.:
Thanks Chris for your input. I respect your opinion and always get a lot out of it. I may have to replace Jack Miller with you as my new Role Model.

15 years ago I didnt get it. I had a realtor friend once say to another person in my my presence "What can I do to help you". More amazing she seemed sincere. Needless to say as a lifetime opportunist trying to take advantage of every opportunity and work every last angle, I sized her comment as either the dumbest comment in the world or could it be so startling so life changing that maybe I had it all wrong. Of course it was pretty persausive that she made more money per year and seemed to be enjoying herself more than I was.

Her comment changed my life. I have sinced learned to help others, if not for any other reason, do it strictly for selfish reasons. I am absolutely convinced I do more deals than ever because not only am I willing to help others, I sincerely beleive it makes good business sense. Also most importantly I have built credibility to myself. I now beleive in myself, because I do bring value to the table since I no longer have to win, but instead have fun.

Cool---proving out the golden rule!

@Joel Owens - you made a point that I think is really good and I am going to expand on it a little.

There are a ton of BiggerPockets users who are not on the forums. Naturally a lot of us gravitate to the forums to discuss things, but there are users that never post or comment, but log-in and read everyday. There are users that are on the blog everyday, or reading users blogs or connecting with the headline articles. These are the users who connect with your business off-line if you offer something need. They learn if you offer what they need by reading your commentary online. If you build a solid reputation and couple that with ads on the site, you can generate web traffic and leads with the thousands of investors out there on the site.

@Chris Clothier THANK YOU! It's always great when someone is willing to offer real, practical advice, based on their business experiences. There are so many people on BP with various stages of experience, and no matter how experienced we may be in one area, there is always something new to learn in another. I appreciate your post, and learned something new.

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