Where are the real investors? Any one know?... Bueller... Bueller

184 Replies

@Steve Snyder - I understand what you're getting at. I've only been on BP for nine months and have seen many repeat questions. I just think some of the new people lose out if all the heavy hitters are in the back room moving weight. If I wasn't deploying to another sandbox, I'd try getting a deal together worthy enough to try getting into those pockets (literally, bigger pockets). Until then, fly on the wall, my friend!

Originally posted by @Jeff Sechrest :


Wasn't Biggerpockets built for the newbie in the first place? I dont ask that to throw shade, just an observation of sorts. 

" for the investor large and small"

It would seem there's an opportunity here for BP or maybe one of you "big boys".

 WE all put our pants on one leg at a time.. and I was not born a successful real estate investor broker.. and I have made millions and got hammered in the down turn like many and lost millions.. we are just all people. so I don't want to get lumped into the High class real estate society.   And I enjoy helping out beginners like I said above sometimes its not what others want to hear but it is a way of giving back.

@Jay Hinrichs

Well, I for one am grateful you and others like you do so here, Jay. There's a core group that's taught me things I didn't know and, looking back, most certainly didn't want to hear. I hope I can at least be a class followup as I get closer to my financial goals.

Originally posted by @Jim K. :

@Jay Hinrichs

Well, I for one am grateful you and others like you do so here, Jay. There's a core group that's taught me things I didn't know and, looking back, most certainly didn't want to hear. I hope I can at least be a class followup as I get closer to my financial goals.

 well based on vote to post ratio your in the high society club  !!!!! so there are a lot of people that value your opinion.

It's sort of like playing chess. It's great to be able to teach someone and play with them and watch them get better. But sometimes we need to play with some that are at the same or higher level to feel challenged.

That's not a snub to the newcomer.

I wish I hadn't read through this thread before creating my next post...now I'm worried about being "that" newbie...

It did provide some great insight, though.

Originally posted by @Scott Trench :

@Jay Hinrichs - Thanks! I'm mostly spitballing with that idea for the groups, and I think they could easily be free, and community driven - X amount of posts, Y amount of Votes, Z amount of investments (Dollars + # of deals). Just as a way of identifying those with experience from the new. 

As for @Steve S. 's concern, with size will always come this problem. The key is appropriate site navigation and filters. Right now, he's right, it's a bit tough to navigate the forums and find posts on specific niche topics. By simply knowing your preferences and using our data correctly, we can easily begin pairing you with content and people that are relevant. 

Steve's concern is obvious - he is a lender looking for high-volume, big money clients, likely serial flippers or those doing new construction. He runs a website that is probably trying to do exactly that - collect a bunch of users who have a high demand for loans, like serial flippers. A first-time flipper is probably small business and higher risk for him compared to a "real investor" that fits his underwriting criteria.

And, just because that's his business, doesn't mean that he's not right that this is a concern for non-vendor investors looking to actually connect and learn from one another about projects they are working on that are not accessible for newbies or those with less than six figures in investable liquidity. There is a need for this, and these are the very folks that may be able to provide the best information to newbies. But I think that the solution is the same - personalizing the experience to a greater degree based on your interests and experience level. A long-term project with incremental milestones for sure. 

I'm not sure what sort of backend functionality that BP has. I've seen some really clever stuff  leveraged to push content, use smart telemetry to surface what's likely to matter most to individual users. 

Anyway, I feel that the community isn't itself the problem. The platform's limitation and lack of smart tools is. That's very fixable. I know there's tons of UX designers, researchers, engineers on this site. The community could be part of the solution.


Maybe Bigger Pockets could use a software similar to an plagiarism checker. I remember when I was in college one of my English professor required us to submit every essay through this before submitting it. If your essay was above a certain percentage matched, it was back to the keyboard ( you could not submit it). It could check  previously asked questions by members and if yours matched a certain percentage, no need to post.  Just go to those questions and read what has already been touched on.  Just food for thought. I am forever grateful for the knowledge I've gained by BP members, without it I don't think I would be where I'am today with my goals. 

Hmmmm, I have some mixed feelings. On one hand, I don't mind answering questions and helping out newer investors find their way. It's daunting to learn all the elements that go into being a successful real estate investor. At the end of the day, I don't want to see anyone go into a bad deal and lose money. On the other hand, I've been frustrated with posting properties and investments only to have a bunch of tire kickers with no money asking me questions. Lots of complaining about finding good properties and when I offer up a solid property, nothing. 

This site is really geared towards newbies on purpose I think.  Pro membership obviously gets you a bit more but ya, the more seasoned investors network 1 on 1 rather than in forums.  I think that's just the natural evolution of things.  

I haven't really noticed this, but BP is first and foremost, an educational site directed primarily although not exclusively at new investors. So it wouldn't be shocking.

BP is a brilliantly put together BUSINESS.  IMHO the problem is they are something of a victim of their own success at least in the interest of those of us that have been in the industry for a long time. Their ability to scale and pull in very large numbers of people necessarily means the experience base is going to be diluted.  That’s usually an indicator in the commercial world of an opportunity for competition.  When BP rolled out they were pretty much blue ocean but I have noticed the same thing you have and suspect that competition may be around the corner.  My best guess is the team at BP would welcome the competition and it would in the long run serve them well.  For the rest of us, we’ll just have to hang in there.  For myself, I can say I do a fair amount of networking via PM but it is much harder to sift through the Loopnet from the true off-market if you catch my drift.  

To me this trend reflects the stage of the economy and investing cycle we are in. The status of the investor has now become a commodity.

Let me state 2 examples.

My 19 yo nephew is looking to raise 75k to invest OOS RE. He says most of his friends are doing it or talking about it. He wants to get in on the action. He came to me for help. I told him I did not have that kind of cash. He said I was not doing it right and should start pulling equity out of the few SF BA properties I own. That's how the money gets created! Cool, young boy does know his stuff. 

Another example, I have a friend who is a chef at a medium sized restaurant, blue collar, hard working and come up the very hard way,  and its always great to attend dinner at his place usually every 2 years. He invites his cohorts from the industry. 2 years back this group, mostly chefs, only spoke of vacations, kids, their business, families, sports. This time, they all behaved like mini Grant Cardone's and Robert Kiyosaki's.

All of them without exception were taking some credit for the appreciation of their primary homes in California and all of them had taken out equity to buy OOS to 'set them up for life'. I bet one of them is very good at it but all of them??

I question that.

Talks of OOS investing are every where. In cafes, parties, gyms etc. To me this is a red flag signaling higher and higher leverage on primary assets, over investment and soon some major investor burn-outs. Scary to me.

So the real investors are being crowded out and pushed into the background. They will only be seen when things normalize.

I follow industry forums at my day job. It’s not impolite to refer newbs to the search box for answers to the frequently asked questions. They actually get more robust info in most cases.
Originally posted by @Jessica G. :
@Steve Snyder It seems that your post would probably have done more to effect change had it been directed at the mods or the BP powers at be then? In terms of filtering things out, encouraging people to post beginner questions in Starting Out forum, etc.

I keep seeing posts that indirectly express annoyance at all of the recent new people joining. It’s somewhat insulting actually, and I’m sorry if that wasn’t the intentIon behind the underlying tone of your post, but yours is the lucky winner that I’ve decided to comment on ;) No biggie, hope you find what you’re looking for!

Anyway, I’ll let the real investors get back to it!

 I can only speak for myself here. I joined this website 4.5 years ago as one of the annoying newbies asking repetitive questions. Here I am now and I own 10 units and over $1 million in real estate in 5 properties. 

While I am by no means one of the experts, I readily admit that the information I got from the forums is what got me to this point. That is why I still contribute to these forums. I want to see other newbies make progress and reach success.

Originally posted by @Matt K. :
Originally posted by @Anthony Gayden:
Originally posted by @Steve Snyder:

BiggerPockets for a long time was a great place where investors could meet and exchange information and work together. Over the past year I have noticed a trend of a lot more newbies coming in just looking for information and a lot less real players who truly invest and work together. 

SO... I have two questions....

1) Has anyone else noticed this trend?

2) Where are the real real estate investors conversing if not on this forum?

Trying to figure out where everyone went.


 The problem is defining who the “real” investors are.

How do you define it? Net worth? Properties owned? Years of experience? 

A doctor who owns a 24 unit apartment complex valued at $1.5 million. That is his only deal and he bought it turn key and out of state. Compare that to a mom and pop investor who owns 6 properties which he bought and rehabbed individually, he self manages and has been investing for 10 years, but the value of his properties is less than $1 million. Who is the more experienced investor? 

 Let's go by votes, if you're not over 1k votes you obviously aren't real....

(hopefully my sarcasm comes through loud and clear....)

I'm not a real boy.... (queue the sad face and Pinocchio nose)

@Steve S. I don't have a hard and fast answer but I know the BP marketing (Brandon's weekly webinar / and to a certain extent the news letter) push seems to target brand new/pre investors. The more I grow as an investor the less answers I find on here. I don't this this is a problem with BP at all. The higher you climb on any skill - the fewer people can truly help you and the less pre-digested information is available on the web.

The website promotes real estate education for those who are looking to learn. What that is going to do is attract two types of people.

1. People who are looking to learn about real estate.

2. People who already know about real estate and want a platform to present their knowledge.

There are more people in the 1st category than the second. That's just a fact. Has nothing to do with bigger pockets, just a fact of life. Most other industries are the exact same way. Bigger pockets has gone through some pretty rapid member growth over the last couple years, so naturally the more the member count grows the larger the gap between group 1 & 2 grows.

I found this site about 3 years ago. I’m a Realtor and I invest in homes in my area. I’m not a newbie I have done some flips and I and I have since then purchase 2 multi family properties, a single family, and have flipped 3 houses and have made great returns on all of them. I just bought a duplex in Decatur Ga. and I am in the process of renovating it so I can rent it out. I don’t get on here very much because I’m busy. I don’t have time to chat with folks or respond. I have never talked to anyone from here about any moves that I make. No real connections per say. I just do my stuff and rarely log on here. The people that I do chat with or brainstorm with I have met in the areas that I work. I love to pop in and say hello and check out their projects. Not sure how many post one can read about being a newbie and being afraid of making the first step.
@Steve S. relatively new investor here. What I do recall from other forums I’ve been on over the years (for various topics) was certain requirements that had to be met to reach new levels of access or interaction (speaking for lack of better words; I’ve been up for quite some time). I recall one member forum where you could read posts but not be allowed to post until you were a member for a certain amount of time. Some had daily post limits until you received a certain amount of votes, at which point your post count would gradually increase. There were also other categories or subgroups that only members with a certain amount of votes could enter, and some subgroups that were invite-only. Not traditional “VIP” areas but point being there were areas that long-time or well-recognized members could associate separate from the hassles of sifting through heaps of redundant newbie material. I haven’t taken full advantage of my PRO membership here just yet so I don’t know if such a thing exists already on BP, but perhaps there could be PRO-only forums/subgroups? 2 cents deposited.
@Steve S. (New🐝) I feel unwanted on this forum sooooo....I’m going to leave now. Just to let you guys know a lot of “New🐝” look up to ”real players” like yourself (I’m assuming). Also they have BPPro, I’m sure that’ll be more if you’re liking, I think. I wouldn’t know cuz I can’t afford it.