Posted over 6 years ago



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There are tons of people on Bigger Pockets who have a shared interest in real estate. We all come here for one common reason, to grow our business. Even though we are all here to grow our business we all have vastly different businesses, experiences, goals and knowledge bases. We have the new investor who wants to educate themselves about real estate investing. We have the hard money lender and real estate agent who are looking for clients, we have the mentor or coach who would like to sell their education program or boot camp.

For all intents and purposes we can break up all Bigger Pockets users into 3 basic categories.

Knowledge seeker.

The knowledge seeker or new investor aka Newbie. These are the people who have heard about real estate investment and would like to use the site to grow their knowledge base. They are here to absorb all of the knowledge they can and to figure out what type of real estate business they want to involve themselves in.


The Consumer came to Bigger Pockets to buy things. They are here to network and meet other industry professionals aka Operators. They are the peanut butter to the Operators jelly. They are looking to buy a turnkey property or perhaps they need to hire a CPA or an insurance agent. They want to grow their investing business and need to hire operators to do that. Your typical consumer is working full time in another industry and real estate is a side project for them. They are usually looking to build themselves long term wealth.


The operator is the most widely recognized member on Bigger Pockets. Not necessarily because there are more Operators than Consumers and Knowledge seekers, quite the contrary there are far few but Operators are the loudest of the bunch. Operators are full time real estate professionals who are here on the site to sell something. The Operators’ primary source of income is selling something in the real estate related field.

Some commonly seen Operators on the site.

  • Turnkey company
  • Real Estate Agent/Broker
  • Property Manager
  • Hard money lender
  • Home Inspector
  • Insurance Agent
  • CPA
  • Attorney
  • Mortgage Broker
  • Title Company
  • General Contractor


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Knowledge seeker.

The knowledge seeker is here solely to absorb information. They don’t need to do much in regards to networking or advertising therefore at this stage of the game the knowledge seeker would probably retain little value from a paid membership. It is not that important for the knowledge seeker to have a completely filled out profile with a picture and links to their other social media profiles.

The knowledge seeker can grow their business by reading, studying and asking other forum members questions. After retaining all of the knowledge that they learned from the site the knowledge seeker will do one of three things.

  • Decide that Real Estate is not for them.
  • Move onto becoming a Consumer.
  • Move onto becoming an Operator.
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The consumer can grow their business in several ways. Bigger Pockets is an amazing club of some of the brightest minds in the industry. It is a who’s who of Real Estate professionals. If you are looking to build your dream team Bigger Pockets is the place to meet Operators offering products and services. The consumer is able to meet, interview and vet every type of Operator in the industry. From Mortgage Broker and Turnkey company all the way to Home Inspector and CPA.

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It is very important for the Consumer to network and have a completely filled out profile complete with a picture, contact information and links to other social media accounts. The consumer should interact with Operators, Knowledge seekers and other Consumers. At this stage of the game a free membership could still work well but the Consumer would get some benefit from a pro or plus membership. Consumers would need a paid membership if they wanted to directly seek out an Operator or deal of some kind.

The Consumer would want to network with all three groups for a couple reasons.

  • When working with real estate Operators, there is typically a two way vetting process. Yes the Operator wants the Consumers business but the Operator also wants to know that the Consumer would make a good client. Most of the Operators do not get paid until the Consumer actually closes the deal so Operators will want to get some type of insight into how the Consumer handles their business.
  • Consumers who are active in the community build a report with other Consumers who may have used certain Operators’ products or services in the past. Consumers are able to network and get unbiased opinions on all the Operators in the business. Having the ability to discuss with others how working with certain Operators went will keep the Consumer from working with a bad Operator or an Operator who’s business model does not necessarily gel with what the consumer wants to do with their Real Estate business.
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The operator has the most work to do in regards to building their business on Bigger Pockets. At this point a Pro membership is an absolute must! The profile must be completely filled out, include a picture, contact information, forum signature, links to other social media accounts, Bigger Pockets company page, occupation and personalized video.

If any Operator is on the site trying to solicit business and they do not have everything mentioned above they are showing up to a gun fight with a knife. Not even a knife, more like a slinky.

Once all of the above has been completed it is time for the Operator to hit the forums. As a Pro member the Operator can advertise their products and services in the Marketplace forum. It is imperative that the Operator follows the forum rules. Failure to follow the forum rules could lead to myself and or the other moderators removing a members posts. Advertising can only happen in the Marketplace and even the Marketplace has some rules.

Let’s quickly go over the major Marketplace rules for Pro members.

  • Two ad per day maximum.
  • Have to wait five days before adverting the same deal again. This includes thread bumping.
  • No responding to other members ads with ads of your own products & services.

When placing ads in the Marketplace make your ads visually appealing. Pictures say 1,000 words. No Marketplace ad should be posted if it does not include a picture. Use Headings, Bold font and bullet points. If all of your information is jammed into paragraph form people will miss it. Nobody wants to read through all of that stuff. QUICKLY HIT THE KEY POINTS. If you can say the same thing in 8 words that you said in 10 words, say it in 8. If you can do it in 7 even better!

Use the link tool when making hyper links. Nobody wants to see a link that looks like this

People want to see a link that looks like this

5 Landlording tips from an industry PRO

Include a lot of details but not all of the details. Ads that are too vague get little interest. The Operators' ads should be packed full of details but not every single detail. Ads are for lead capturing. If every question is answered the Consumer does not need to contact the Operator with questions. To effectively advertise The Operator wants give the Consumer enough information to be extremely interested but leave just a little bit out to prompt the Consumer to contact the Operator.

Backlinking is incredibly important for the Operators SEO. The Operators' marketplace ads should back link to the Operators' website, additional ads and other social media profiles such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. 

Be consistent. Operators that place a few ads here and there could be quickly forgotten. Operators should get their monies worth. Operators are paying for the right to post two ads per day and they should make sure they post two ads per day every day. Skipping a day is unacceptable. If need be the Operator should schedule a daily alert in their smart phone to remind them to do Bigger Pockets marketing.

Since the marketplace is the only area it is acceptable to advertise that is the only place the Operator should use to grow their business right? WRONG!

The forums and member blogs are just as important, if not more important than the marketplace. The forums and member blogs are where the Operator builds familiarity and credibility with the Bigger Pockets community. Placing two ads per day is great, but to really get something from this site the members of the community need to get to know and trust the Operator. 

Operators can gain familiarity and credibility by constantly interacting and networking with all members of the Bigger Pockets community. Giving new members a warm welcome helps put the Operator in front of more people who may end up viewing the Operators profile and be interested in their products or services. Giving another Bigger Pockets member an atta-boy via a forum vote is a way to connect with others. To say hey, I like what you are saying. The person receiving the vote will receive an alert which is another opportunity for a forum member to click on the Operators profile and be exposed to the Operators product and service offerings.

Lastly, the very best way to build credibility is by providing consistent and quality expert content. The Operators that prove to the community their level of expertise are the ones who are going to be the most successful. Operators should answer questions that Consumers and Knowledge seekers have as well as post meaningful blogs that are meant to educate the Bigger Pockets community as opposed to selling to the members of the community. 

By producing a blog that contains quality content the Operator will get themselves in front of many more eyes then they would with a simple advertisement or sales pitch. People will gravitate towards the quality content and then in turn many will end up looking at the Operators advertisements or social media profiles which exposes those Consumers to the Operators product and service offerings. 

Take this blog for instance. Ask yourself, are you a consumer? Am I an Operator? Are you reading this because I am selling you something or are you reading this because you want to grow your business through Bigger Pockets and this article has provided you with the quality content to do so? When you are done reading this article many of you are going to look at my social media profiles and website or follow me on Twitter and Facebook or even share this article with your social media contacts, friends and family thus bringing a greater awareness to me as an Operator. My quality content has put my product and service offerings in front of many more eyes.

What advertisements are going to do better? Ones from a random posters that the Consumers have never heard of, or only saw because they were randomly scrolling their computer screen? Or the ones that came from a known and trusted expert advisor? Advertisements from Operators that the Consumers have come to know and trust because they have Seem the same face over and over. Heard the same voice and message over and over consistently providing thoughtful content and advice. Building this type of relationship with the Bigger Pockets community will organically Grow the Operators business which what the site is meant to do. 

Help us all grow our businesses through quality content and networking, not endless sales pitches.

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Don't be shy. I would like to hear from you. Please leave a comment answering the following questions.

  1.  Which one of the three Bigger Pockets members are you?
  2.  How have you used Bigger Pockets to grow your business in the past?
  3.  How will you use Bigger Pockets to grow your business in the future?

About the author:

James Wise is the Broker and Owner of The Holton Wise Property Group, a real estate brokerage and property management company operating one of the largest scattered site rental property portfolios in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area. He has been a guest speaker on several real estate internet radio shows and podcasts. He regularly writes blogs and articles for multiple real estate related websites. He is an active member of the National Association of Realtors® and the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors®.

Comments (15)

  1. @James Wise I am just reading this now, because you referenced it in a recent post. I just became pro yesterday, I fit in all three categories. Very insightful! Thank you.

  2. I forgot to mention.... I completely agree with the PRO account as well!

  3. Excellent Post James!! I am going to have to go over my content to look a little more like yours!

  4. Fantastic material, James. This is a great post for any investor on BiggerPockets who wants to ramp up their exposure and benefit from this amazing community. Thank you for your contribution. It's certainly made me think about how I'll write blog posts in the future for each type of participant.

    1. Thanks Kent. I am glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing some more of your posts.

  5. great article. I am moving from being a knowledge seeker (though have much more to learn) to a consumer. Perhaps in a few years I can move to an operator once I reach my financial freedom.

    Next step is to build my network and buy some properties.

    1. Thanks for reading Julie Macd. I am glad you enjoyed it and can see yourself moving through the steps. Good luck and be sure to come back to this blog to post about the 1st BP deal you do.

  6. Great post James. 

    1. Thanks Antonio Biasiotta.

  7. Great job breaking it down!

    1. Thanks Rob LaRovere,

      Which one of the 3 types of Bigger Pockets community members are you? How has the site helped you grow your business in the past and how will you utilize it in the future?

  8. Holy moly, James, that was an amazing post!  Great job, my friend!

    1. Thanks Douglas Skipworth. Appreciate the positive feedback from a quality "Operator" such as yourself.

  9. Awesome post James, thank you!

    1. Sergey Tkachev,

      Thanks for reading. I am glad you enjoyed it. Now use the advice in the article and build your business to new heights in 2016!