Top 5 Reasons We Pros are TOTALLY Ignoring Your BP Forum Questions
I do love BiggerPockets! What's not to love about an international community of real estate aficionados and enthusiasts all committed to mutually beneficial collaboration and networking? I've made friends, done deals, found investors, and learned many clever strategies all right here on BP.
So, amidst all of this sharing and goodwill, why are there literally thousands of Forum posts that go unanswered?
Certainly, there is no shortage of knowledge here. There are TONS of experts in every facet of real estate imaginable, and they are eager to share their hard-earned wisdom.
So, if you're not getting the attention of the Pros when you post your Forum question, you're likely making one of these 5 deadly mistakes.
MISTAKE #1: You Clearly Haven’t Done Even Basic Homework
"How do I calculate net operating income?"
"What does Subject-to mean?"
"Are there real estate investment groups in Atlanta?"
There's no crime in not knowing things. None of us Pros were born with a working knowledge of all things real estate: We were all newbies at one time.
But, there's no excuse for not taking a few minutes to research your question first.
BiggerPockets provides a superb search capability that lets you seek answers across forum posts, podcasts, webinars and blogs. And then there's always Wikipedia, which has definitions for just about any financial term you can imagine.
The fix is simple: If you want a high-quality answer, be sure to ask a high-quality question! If an explanation can be found within 2 minutes on Google, do that instead. Reserve the BiggerPockets Forum for your truly critical, relevant, and specific queries.
MISTAKE #2: You Don't Appear Coachable
I'm not on the Forums looking for a fight or to make anyone feel foolish. When I give my perspective on a topic, I do so based on my personal experience in the business. There's no reason for me to knowingly give bad or inappropriate advice. I believe this is true of the majority of Pros here.
Given this, if your response to the honest advice of others is to lash out, go negative or become sarcastic, I'm skipping your thread entirely.
Life is too short to waste time on the unworthy.
MISTAKE #3: You’ve Made It Impossible to Help You
Real estate investment is a local activity governed by the laws and regulations of a particular city, municipality, county and state. When you need specific help, be sure to provide enough detail for someone to give an informed response.
For example, an eviction in New York City is vastly different than in Atlanta, yet I've seen many forum posts that ask a specific question about the process without providing any information on where the property is located. Even worse, the profile of the poster doesn't include any hints about where they operate geographically.
Guess what? No Pro is going to skip-trace you just to answer your questions.
Complete your BiggerPockets user profile to at least include a real first and last name, and a city and state. While you're at it, there's no excuse not to use a real photo of yourself. Seriously, do they even make cellphones anymore that don't have a camera?
MISTAKE #4: You’re Asking for a "Mentor"
First, let's clear up a major misconception. Most people who are asking for a "mentor" really mean a "full-time, unpaid real estate coach."
It’s not the job of a mentor to teach you the real estate business. A mentor is there to answer your tough questions and to give you occasional guidance. It's your investing journey and you need to take responsibility for driving it forward. A mentor can't be your engine, nor your fuel. They are more like AAA for necessary emergency roadside assistance.
So stop asking for a mentor. The kind of people you’d actually want are way too busy doing actual deals, and the people who are interested might not have your best interests at heart.
MISTAKE #5: You’re Clearly a Taker, Not a Giver
You're not fooling anyone: I can see from your BP profile page that you joined all of 10 minutes ago and now your first (and last!) Forum post is a desperate, Hail Mary question. Once you have your answer you'll never be seen again.
If you've decided to join my beloved BiggerPockets community, I expect you to contribute when and where you can. You might not be able to offer many answers to others in your first few months here, but there are many other ways you can give back.
One of the best ways is to ask really great questions. I love nothing more than responding to a Forum post that is both thought-provoking and meaningful to the poster. The best way to thank a Pro for their advice is to take it and actually do something with it.
But even if you don't ask the question, you can chime in when the answer given is particularly useful and well explained.
And finally, there's the power of the vote. Forum votes are free and unlimited, so when you receive value from someone's post, be sure to let them know by giving them a vote!
So, am I being unfair? Have I become the "cranky old guy" yelling for the kids to get off my lawn? Let me know in the comments below!