Nobody said it would be easy, and it hasn’t been. I remember having conversations with some of my friends in the early days of BiggerPockets, and there was a lot of doubt about creating an online company to serve the real estate investing niche. There were already several established players in the REI online space, and I was just another investor struggling to succeed . . .
Why would anyone come to my site?
Millions upon millions of visitors later, I still ask myself the same question – not due to a lack of confidence in our site, but because I believe that once I stop asking, I’ll forget the reason that I created BiggerPockets in the first place.
People come to BP because it fills a need. I believe that what has set us apart from the rest of the “players” in the real estate investing space is the focus on improving the bottom line of our users as opposed to filling our pockets at any cost. We have always put our users first, and doing so has allowed us to build a reputation that is second to none in the investing sphere.
BiggerPockets has become a diverse community of active investors, real estate professionals, service providers and those people who want to become investors; we’re now reaching close to a quarter of a million unique visitors each month. We help them by providing a means of connecting and networking, a place for learning, analyzing and making deals, marketing, and keeping up with the latest news and real estate advice available. While we’re accomplishing all of these things, I believe that we can reach so many more people who could truly benefit from our site, and we can ultimately change not only how real estate investors get things done, but can change attitudes about investors as well.
And, we can and will do so much more!
By the way . . . one man can make a difference
What most people don’t know about BiggerPockets is that this is essentially a one man operation. While we’ve got some incredible volunteers who help out with tasks like moderating our community, I’m the cog at the center of the machine. I’m the customer service guy, the marketing and advertising guy, the sales guy, the PR guy, the lead gen guy, the seo guy, the product guy, the editor, the community administrator, the social media maestro, and everything else. I’ve had to learn by doing; and in doing I’ve made countless mistakes. Those mistakes, I believe, have made me stronger and a better CEO.
They have also given me the opportunity to examine not only how I run my business, but also what my strengths and weaknesses are — I know what I know and what I don’t know. The beauty of knowing these things is that you can then work to find people to step in and be strong where you are weak.
This is the challenge that all entrepreneurs must face, and certainly anyone in the real estate business, but sometimes figuring these things out isn’t as easy as it may seem.
The Path Forward
Over the past few months I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future of BiggerPockets and I’ve worked very hard to map a path forward. I’ve also been working to put the pieces into place that will allow us to succeed in accomplishing the grand vision that I’ve created.
I’ve thought a lot about how much I should share with you about the path I’ve taken to get us here and the journey forward; I believe that it is important for our users to have an understanding of my motivations, our challenges, our goals, and some of the inner workings of this place – not only because it it may be interesting, but because I believe that you can relate to the trials and tribulation of the past, as well as the challenges and successes that I will encounter in the future. I’m planning on using this column to share all of that with you.
I hope that by opening up to you, that you’ll see that I can’t do this alone. BP has reached the tipping point, and I need your help. I need your support. I need your enthusiasm.
If BiggerPockets has at all impacted you – your life, your business, your friendships, your bottom line – I hope that you’ll join me in my mission to bring this place to the next level.
Are you on board?
Photo: Grant Montgomery