Using BiggerPockets to find Help or Partners

64 Replies

Hey everyone,

I have just spend the last 30 minutes or so getting caught up on the forums and something really caught my eye...the number of people who come seeking deals/partnerships/HMLs and do not follow basic etiquette or treat people with respect. For anyone using BP to make contacts or find partners I thought I would lay out a list of basic rules to follow (I apologize if this has been brought up lately).

1. Be honest. Not telling the whole truth about yourself, your company or the deal is the quickest way to ruin your reputation on BP. Remember, BP is full of experienced investors and business persons, who can very easily find the BS. If you cannot be honest, why would anyone risk getting involved in anything with you?

2. Expect a lot of questions and answer them openly and to the best of your ability. You are asking people to risk their hard earned money with you, they have a right to ask as many questions as they need to feel comfortable, and your job as someone seeking funds or a partnership is to answer the questions. When you invest in stocks or funds, you can read a prospectus to better understand the purpose/strategy/numbers and any good investor will seek those same answers in a any real estate deal. If you truly have a good deal you should be able to answer the questions and prove it.

3. Know what you are talking about. Make sure you have done all your homework on a deal before you present it to the BP community. People get offended when someone comes seeking money, yet they have only scratched the surface as far as research and due diligence is concerned. Know the deal, know the numbers, know the plan!

4. Do not be easily offended. You have to have thick skin sometimes, and retaliating to questions or accusations in a rude way is not going to help your cause. If someone accuses you of something you have not done, simply explain your case. This is a business, so treat it as so.

I know these are all very basic "rules" but I believe if people thought of these before they posted about deal making, they would see much better results and see that BP is one of the best resources for successful real estate investing.

This topic actually gets brought up a lot. I know personally when I invite someone I know to BP, I lay out the ground rules to them myself. I tell them to check the forum rules and to give an introductory post without a pitch.

The problem is how does BP pre-screen these people before they get on and post?

Originally posted by motiv8td:
This topic actually gets brought up a lot. I know personally when I invite someone I know to BP, I lay out the ground rules to them myself. I tell them to check the forum rules and to give an introductory post without a pitch.

The problem is how does BP pre-screen these people before they get on and post?

That is a good question and I think it would be impossible to do. With any group of people you are going to have people who choose to do things the wrong way. Luckily, BP does not have a lot of people like that, in fact it is impressive how few. I was just trying to help the people who post things like the examples I talked about and act surprised by the response. If only there was as way to pre-screen them!v

while you bring up good points james, to me it seems like common sense..i shouldn't have to remind someone to be honest..lol....it serves as another screen to see who is good to partner with and who is not....

Originally posted by motiv8td:

The problem is how does BP pre-screen these people before they get on and post?

Perhaps it's just an example of vigilante justice, but I try to take it upon myself to return the rudeness, but one notch higher... :lol:

James,

Great post! I definitely understand the rules and wholeheartedly agree with your words. As you already know, my first deal could have been a complete disaster, but I laid it all out there opening myself up to lots of critique lol.. I took every word said to me as education. It helped me a great deal and got lots of valuable info from it. On a personal level, I am not very thick skinned, but I viewed this as it should be; its business and folks on here are only trying to help. Try not to get offended if they ask the tough questions. Remember they are asking them to help you. I just hope me being so open about my first blunder doesn't deter folks from wanting to work with me in the future. I figure we all make some mistakes coming out of the gate right? Anyway great post and I voted for it.

Sherry,

I do not believe people here would be detered from working with you in the future based on a mistake that you almost made. Once you have a few deals under your belt and have the profits to show, that will be ancient history.

You also make a good point about thick skin. Sometimes when people are trying to help, it comes across a little harsh, but people have to remember it is hard to sound helpful when typing your thoughts. Good luck to you!

Great post, James.

Sherry: it sounds like you really brought a great attitude to posting, and it seems that your openness to feedback allowed you to get so much more from your experience on BP. Very encouraging!

Mr Vermillion- I am glad that I came across this post today, thank you. I wanted to clarify to you and anyone else who may read this post reply that I am guilty of having posted a partner request without all the figures...let me explain

I understand that you can buy real estate with 0 money out of my own pocket, however the real estate agents in my area seem very hesitant to even work with me because they know I do not have the funds to close a deal. Assigning contracts is frowned upon with all the new banking rules. I am stuck!

I posted a request for a partner / mentor before I had a deal because I feel I need the capital, at least lined up, before I begin bidding on property. I really struggle getting anyone to take me seriously...

I appreciate any input you may have regarding this and again thank you for starting the thread!

Sean

@Sean Rand it's a tricky situation partnering on a deal. You can't tell a worthy partner from the size of their shoes. In your position, you have to have something tangible to offer. Either a sound deal, experience, time, project management, sweat equity, etc. If there's nothing the capital partner stands to gain by partnering with you, then there's no tangible benefit and you're going to get turned down. Determine what you bring to the deal and seek out those that NEED those benefits.

In addition, it takes time to establish a good professional relationships. Getting out and pressing palms goes a long way. We're social animals and tend to instill a lot more trust and confidence in those we meet personally. Go make connections in your market of interest, even if it's just to talk to the local credit unions or HMLs (hard money lenders). Even if they turn you down or politely state, I'm sorry we don't fund those types of loans, you've at least opened a dialogue and more than likely learned something. In the past I've done that, and learned that my deal criteria wasn't aligned with the loan terms a bank was willing to offer. Once I aligned my deal search or finance terms with the bank's program, I found a new lending source.

Thank you @James Vermillion . I am new to BP and have just gotten started making connections. I have read a few of your posts now, always good stuff, and am compelled to comment on this one. It seems common sense but we know that can be lacking these days. It always bears repeating. I clicked on this post because I am about to post my application for a Job with a Mentor attached. Another example of how BP can be there for you.

Thanks again, Brad

Thanks for the post @James Vermillion . You're absolutely right. The worst thing a person, who's seeking partners, can do is be defensive when asked about their project. And as other posts mentioned, it should be common sense to be cordial in a business network platform, where you wouldn't want to burn bridges. I'm looking forward to posting a project of my own and the feedback.

I have been refraining from asking for anything but advice so far. I am not sure if I am trying to learn too much or just cautious so I don't do the wrong things. The main thing is I want to be able to be a member on BP for years to come. I have learned a lot from everyone and the posts I that I have read. I have been looking for funding from other sources or avenues so far. I have more to try but have not had any luck yet and just feel I haven't found the right one. So far non of our offers have been accepted so it hasn't been an issue. I guess I really don't understand how to look for a partner on BP and don't want to go about it wrong. I am not computer illiterate but feel I have a lot more searching menus, blogs, and reading to do here. Do I need to be a pro member to look for partners or funding?

Originally posted by @Terri Lewis :
I guess I really don't understand how to look for a partner on BP and don't want to go about it wrong.

It looks like you're a Pro member, so you have access to the Marketplace forum (where you're allowed to solicit, market, advertise, etc). Given that, if you have a specific need, post in the Marketplace and see if anyone can provide you with what you need. Looking for a partner? You can certainly post in the Marketplace with a request for potential partners to contact you.

Now, with that in mind, I prefer to use BP as more of networking site, and I try to build personal relationships with those on the site who appear to have similar interests, backgrounds and goals. Not to mention connecting (both online and offline) with those who live near me.

As you spend more time here, you'll start to see people who appear to have similar interests, are at a similar place in their investing careers and who are in close proximity to you. Shoot them a PM and introduce yourself. Invite them to lunch. Discuss the projects you're working on and the farm areas where you live and are investing.

What you'll find is that BP is great for learning, but the real networking is the stuff that you do in addition to the forums -- email/PM, lunches, get-togethers, meetups, etc.

Personally, I've done deals with over a dozen people I've either found on BP or they found me on BP. Each of these relationships evolved from an online communication to private discussion to meeting in real life and getting to know each other.

In my opinion, that's the real power of this site...

Originally posted by @J Scott:
Originally posted by @Terri Lewis :
I guess I really don't understand how to look for a partner on BP and don't want to go about it wrong.

It looks like you're a Pro member, so you have access to the Marketplace forum (where you're allowed to solicit, market, advertise, etc). Given that, if you have a specific need, post in the Marketplace and see if anyone can provide you with what you need. Looking for a partner? You can certainly post in the Marketplace with a request for potential partners to contact you.

Now, with that in mind, I prefer to use BP as more of networking site, and I try to build personal relationships with those on the site who appear to have similar interests, backgrounds and goals. Not to mention connecting (both online and offline) with those who live near me.

As you spend more time here, you'll start to see people who appear to have similar interests, are at a similar place in their investing careers and who are in close proximity to you. Shoot them a PM and introduce yourself. Invite them to lunch. Discuss the projects you're working on and the farm areas where you live and are investing.

What you'll find is that BP is great for learning, but the real networking is the stuff that you do in addition to the forums -- email/PM, lunches, get-togethers, meetups, etc.

Personally, I've done deals with over a dozen people I've either found on BP or they found me on BP. Each of these relationships evolved from an online communication to private discussion to meeting in real life and getting to know each other.

In my opinion, that's the real power of this site...

J really nailed this. A lot of new members come to BP and expect to immediately connect with a partner and start doing deals right away. Not that this does not happen, but much more often, just like outside the web, relationships are built over a period of time. Many of the collaborations going on between members on BP are members who have been around for some time and managed to get to know each other a bit through conversations, forum posts, etc.

Btw, just to give everyone an idea of the type of partners I've met on BP, here's a short list:

  • I've found a partner and now good friend who I've worked with on probably 25 deals in different capacities (partnering, lending, listing, buying, staging, etc)
  • I found a partner and now good friend that taught me how to build new construction and who I've started building spec homes with
  • I found an out-of-state partner that I've done nearly 20 deals with
  • I've purchased deals from 4 different BP members
  • I've sold deals to at least 3 different BP members
  • I've borrowed money from 3 BP members
  • I've loaned money to 2 BP members
  • I've found two people who I've mentored
  • I found a GC who has worked on about a dozen projects for me
  • I found a partner that I'm hoping to start building spec homes with in the near future
  • I've found a partner (@Joshua Dorkin ) who has published two of my books

And that doesn't include the dozens of people I've met, keep in contact with, and will likely partner with in some capacity in the years to come (I hope!)...

If anyone has questions about the power of BiggerPockets, re-read my list above. It's probably safe to say that BP has been responsible for putting literally hundreds of thousands of dollars into my pockets.

That's awesome @J Scott . And nice post James.

In addition to what has been said, I think before one seeks out money partners here on BP, one has to introduce oneself first and contribute to the forums. When you do this, the members get to know you a little bit more. The more people know you, the more people trust you...and as we all know...people do business with people they trust.

I'm a little leary working with people with a blank image or not using their full name.

why the anonymity?

I dont use my full name in my profile. Google can be a problem. I posted a question on Ohio eviction law and my tenant brought up my post at the hearing. I won the eviction so no harm no foul but decided I wouldnt be using my full name on here anymore.

I do see the power in the BP site, and thanks both of you guys for the advice. I have always had sooo much patience. lol. I will be glad when Wayne and I get done with some of our PPO work for a new account, and I can get back to spending some time here reading, learning and connecting. I have actually been learning a lot and really am amazed that BP is here. I am also amazed at the free advice from experienced people like yourselves, are willing to help give me direction.

Originally posted by @Evan R. :
I dont use my full name in my profile. Google can be a problem. I posted a question on Ohio eviction law and my tenant brought up my post at the hearing. I won the eviction so no harm no foul but decided I wouldnt be using my full name on here anymore.

This is a pretty valid concern.

What did you post?

What did the tenant say about it in court?

What did the judge say about it?

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