Want to know the best way to build your real estate network?

173 Replies

No matter how you’re involved in real estate investing, I’d venture a guess that one of your main goals on BiggerPockets is networking. I know this is true because one of the most common questions we get at BiggerPockets is, “How can I make more connections on BiggerPockets?”

Well lucky for you, there is a simple answer: Post frequently on the forums.

There are dozens of ways to connect with people on BP, but I ran the numbers and the results are clear. People who post on the forums most frequently have the most profile views, and the most colleagues.

That makes sense, right? It doesn’t take a numbers whiz to see the connection: if you post, and build a reputation as a helpful and knowledgeable member of the community, people are going to want to connect with you.

And connections mean more deals seen, partners identified, and clients secured. A.K.A more money.

Still not convinced? Here’s some statistical nerdery to backup my claims:

I grabbed data for the 1,000 most-visited profiles on BiggerPockets. I then looked at correlations between profile views and forum posts, post votes, and number of colleagues. But before we get into that, a quick refresher on correlation in case you haven’t kept up on your stats knowledge since high school.

Here is the dictionary definition of correlation: a relation existing between phenomena or things or between mathematical or statistical variables which tend to vary, be associated, or occur together in a way not expected on the basis of chance alone.

In english? We’re measuring how changes in one variable affect changes in a second variable. So in our case: how does posting on the forums influence the number of profile views, or number of colleagues a member has?

And the reason stats nerds like me love correlation is that it is unit-agnostic. It tests the strength of a relationship between two variables, no matter if you’re measuring inches, pounds, housing prices, or forum votes. It’s a handy little tool.

I won’t bore you with the math to derive correlations, but I will explain a bit on how to interpret them. First, correlations are always a number between -1 and 1.

As you can see in the graphic above, a correlation of 0 means there is no linear relationship between the two variables (a change in variable A has no effect on variable B). A correlation of -1 means there is a very strong correlation, but the relationship is negative (one variables goes up, the other goes down). Lastly, a correlation of 1 means a strong positive relationship (both variables move together in the same direction).

So, back to how to make more connections on BiggerPockets. I ran a correlation matrix for the four variables: posts_count, profile_hits, votes_received, and colleague_count. Here are the results.

For our purposes we really just want to look at the numbers in BOLD right now.

profile_hitsposts_countvotes_receivedcolleague_count
profile_hits1.00
posts_count0.671.00
votes_received0.710.871.00
colleague_count0.700.540.491.00

Now that you’re an expert in correlations, we can see how strong these relationships are. 

As you can see the correlation between posts and profile hits is .67, a really strong positive relationship! This means that the more posts you have the more times people will look at your profile.

The correlation between votes and profile hits is even stronger, at .71. Meaning that if you write such great forum posts that people vote for you, you’re even more likely to get profile hits.

But what good is a profile view without a connection? Well, the correlation between profile hits and colleague count is .70, also really strong. More profile hits means more colleagues.

So in short: more posts = more profile views = more colleagues.

I also did some regression analysis, which I can’t explain in a single forum post, but trust me, it’s really cool. What I discovered is that 50% of your colleague count can be attributed to the number of forum posts you have. That’s crazy! There are tons of variables that contribute to how many colleagues you have, but one variable reigns supreme: forum posts.

Posting on the forums is the single best way to build your network on BiggerPockets.

So you want to make more real estate connections, find partners, and make more deals? POST!

Stay tuned for a follow up post on the monetary value of BP connections! 

If you have any questions about posting, correlations, statistical nerdery, or have some ideas for other data studies we should run, let me know! 

@Dave Meyer I'd like to add that it's not just posts per say, but the quality of the posts. As a moderator on BP I can tell you that those that consistently answer others posts, and give relevant answers to questions, etc. will grow a good network of followers and colleagues. So rather than just posting a topic, try looking at the discussions, and contributing thoughtful, professional answers that gain the trust of members, and build your network! 

@Dave Meyer

I grabbed data for the 1,000 most-visited profiles on BiggerPockets. I then looked at correlations between profile views and forum posts, post votes, and number of colleagues

That would be a very interesting list to read through.

I've been on BP for over a year now and you can easily watch the correlation in my stats between the times I was active and those I was not. Being active on BP has definitely helped build my network locally. I have a list of people I can now call upon with questions or deals.

@Dave Meyer  Although it may seem intuitive (that more posts = more colleagues), seeing the actual numbers really drives the point. And your clear explanation along with a chart and graph is impressive! I can't believe I'm saying it, but it kind of makes me miss my college statistics classes. I might need to go back for a refresher..

Good morning my name Jerome williams from Orlando fl presently I work a job ,but want to become a real estate investor I have looking at deal and just doing and reading applying the information I learn just want to network with some good guy in my area that we can learn from each other.. 

Glad to hear people like the study!  I got a lot of colleague requests and profit hits from this post, so I'm glad my finding proved true. Stay tuned for more! 

@Dave Meyer nerd alert! Kidding... this is really fantastic, and I will say first hand that this has been true for me. I was just telling my wife the other day that I get the highest ROI relative to time invested on my time spent on BP. The connections I've made here and the education I've received have literally been the catalyst for my REI career.

@Karen Margrave Preach!  I just read a post the other day from a CPA who talked about how much his business had grown through BP, and he attributed that growth to not just posting, but providing real value.  https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/223/topics/28...

Dave, great post.  That certainly took some time and effort to pull together.  Appreciated the refresher on statistics.   As a new BP member, this insight is helpful to know early on to successfully build relationships/connections/network.  My takeaway from your analysis....forum participation yields results.    

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