3 Ways BiggerPockets Can Seem Overwhelming to Newbies (& How to Avoid Them)

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Before I begin I would like to preface my discussion by informing you that it was very difficult writing this post. I am an advocate for self education and self mastery in the field of real estate; however, I must warn you about overwhelming yourself with the educational resources available on BiggerPockets. I hope after reading the entire article, you will understand my perspective.

The real estate industry is very competitive and very transparent — everything must be disclosed and rightfully so. What makes BiggerPockets so innovative and cutting edge is this very premise of disclosure. For new real estate investors, this can be inspiring and discouraging, depending again upon your perspective. I steer all aspiring real estate investors to utilize the tools that BiggerPockets provides; however, I inform them that they must be focused, or the different investment strategies could mislead them.

Related: Does Education Paralyze Us? An Argument for Action in Real Estate

Here are some key factors that I found to be challenging when starting out using the site:

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3 Ways BiggerPockets Can Seem Overwhelming to Newbies

1. A Huge Quantity of Quality Information

The quality of information discussed and introduced on the site is very intriguing. This is a major benefit to the members of the site, but this information can slow down the process of implementation. If you haven’t already been introduced to analysis paralysis, let me be the first to tell you. This concept is described as gathering too much information and not taking actionable steps to utilize what was learned. To simplify, it’s a lack of putting theory into practice. This happens more often than not. Many new investors are so concerned with learning what they don’t know that they either forget what they do know or they just do not use it.

If you are not confident in yourself, it is very easy to fall into the realm of data retrieval. Due to BiggerPockets’ extensive network, there are numerous real estate niches that can be interesting and lucrative — and could make you lose focus.

2. Investor Testimonials

For those who are taking action, it is very easy to try and emulate another investor and measure your success to their success. This is where testimonials can become detrimental.

We all know testimonials to be a source of inspiration. Testimonials are used to inform others, “If I can do it, you can do it, too.” This is great; it gets you fired up and ready to go. You are so motivated, you believe you can take on any project or get any house under contract, but what happens when you’re not able to accomplish what they’ve accomplished? Then those very testimonials can work against you. You can begin to ask questions like, “What am I doing wrong?” or “Is this really for me?” Then, the next step is over analyzing your mistakes, and you fall back into analysis paralysis.

Related: Where’s the Wealth in Real Estate Education?

Do not try and compare yourself to someone else. Just remember, your path is not their path, and their path is not your path.

3. What’s Hot and What’s Not!

Distractions are easy to fall into if you are not focused on your investment strategy. Again, BiggerPockets offers so much information and different investment strategies that it’s easy to be guided by what’s hot for a season. I call it what’s hot and what’s not! One period in time, you may hear an awesome podcast on note flipping, and you believe this is the strategy for you — until you hear the success someone else is having in wholesaling. Without being focused solely on your business plan, the noise of success can steer you in the wrong direction.

Conclusion

Self education is very helpful in getting started and is needed to ensure that you are moving in the right direction. But I warn you to make sure you do not fall into the cycle of over analyzing, comparisons, and following the trend. BiggerPockets is such an informative resource that it can create the noise of success. Make sure you are listening to the right voice.

Let’s be honest: have you found yourself in any of these 3 situations, if so, what did you do to avoid the noise and stay headed in the right direction? 

Leave a comment below!

About Author

Marcus Maloney

Marcus Maloney G+ is the Executive Officer of Equity Realty & Investments as well as 3rd Generation Management & Holding LLC, both are family owned and operated real estate investment firms. The firms' goal is to provide affordable solutions in real estate while providing exceptional opportunities for community redevelopment for the residents of Phoenix, Arizona and Chicago, Illinois. You can follow Marcus on Twitter

14 Comments

  1. Sharon Vornholt

    Great article Marcus.

    The amount of information on this site can be quite overwhelming for folks just getting started. My advice to them for “devouring” all of this quality content is to start slow. Pick one or two things and learn those before moving on.

    Sharon

  2. Marcus Maloney

    Sharon,

    Great advice, the information here is a smorgasbord of delightful treats, not to mention all the great info shared on your podcast as well. Slow and steady should be the pace. Thanks again for your input.

    “Enjoying the Journey”

  3. Andrew Jones

    A very thoughtful entry. You were spot on about the “what’s hot and what’s not”. While it is inspiring to hear about those having success using different investing methods, it can be very confusing which one is the right one for an individual as an investor. The “what’s hot” this season can feel like a flashing light trying to distracted or pull away from a method that someone has been working with for a while or what has been known to generate income.

    All to say this post has reminded me to stay true to myself and to not be overtaken by the “what’s hot”, because surely something new is around the corner and will try to lead me in another direction.

    Thanks for the food for thought,

    Andrew J

    • Marcus Maloney

      Andrew,

      Very true just stay true to yourself and what you would like to get accomplished and set out to do that. I hate the philosophy of “Jack of all trades, Master of NONE, because you can be good at many things but it only takes the mastery of 1 thing to make you successful. The book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins outlines this perfectly. Thanks for reading.

      “Enjoying the Journey”

  4. Timothy Trewin

    Marcus,

    Good article and you bring up some good points. I do think that the best way to avoid being overwhelmed with the amount of information on this site is to find a niche that works for the individual and then focus on information related to that. Perhaps later on an individual can expand to other areas, but trying to gather too much info on too many areas in a short amount of time can be truly overload. Thanks for taking the time to write this article.

    Tim

  5. Brenna C.

    Great article. I’m glad I’m not the only newbie who’s overwhelmed by this website. I have probably 30 bookmarks of BiggerPockets articles marked “read later” which I’ve had for over a month now! Luckily, I don’t plan on starting real estate investing for a couple of years so I have some time to self-educate. I can definitely relate to #3, because I was always set on rehabbing & renting but then I heard about flipping houses and then wholesaling, analyzing the pros and cons of each. Sure it’s overwhelming, but there’s a lot of useful information that I need to absorb in order to help me out in the long run. I also agree with #2, I haven’t personally experienced it but I have a feeling I, as a newbie, won’t be able to make half the amount of success my first try as I’ve seen here on BiggerPockets, but it IS a source of inspiration for developing better techniques so that I CAN make that success in the future. Anyway, thanks for article – I thought I was the only one!

  6. Great article!

    Being someone who is new to real state, I can definitely relate to this. I have listened to all the podcasts, read the bigginer guides, looked at tons of articles and read a few books, and still feel like there is so much more to learn before starting. Overwhelming indeed..

    But i guess you have to take it all in little by little and have the confidence to start and continue learning as you go.

    • Marcus Maloney

      Karelia,

      There is a wealth of information, but as some older people would say “you have to eat the fish and spit out the bones”. You have to find out what will be your investment strategy and focus in on that.

      You will find however your strategy will begin to evolve which it should for example; you begin flipping houses and you find a deal that will work better as a long term play so you hold it and rent it out. Due to the returns on the property now generate passive income as a landlord. It happens and that’s a great thing because then you are truly building long term wealth. You have to get started don’t fall into analysis paralysis.

      “Enjoying the Journey”

  7. Marcus Maloney

    Brenna,

    I used to be very anxious about getting started, feeling like I am loosing time, but I have done more by focusing my efforts versus just jumping out there and trying to do everything. At some point you will need to take that step and remember you do not need to know everything before you get started. Allow yourself to make mistakes, because they will occur and you will have to be resilient in order to get up and get back to work. My first big mistake was a $5000 loss but I welcome that because what I learned from that deal I have been able to create a great path to success. The real estate world is ready when you are. FYI; when the student is ready to learn the teacher will appear.

    “Enjoying the Journey”

  8. Jordan Finkelman

    Yes it can be very overwhelming. The worst is that when you are reading an excellent article, you have 2 or 3 or more links to other outstanding articles embedded in that article. Before you know it, you have 20 tabs open.

    My computer crashed TWICE. Each time i lost all my tabs and then i started bookmarking. Still having a difficult time organizing all the articles i have read (100’s by now, some short, others very long). If anyone has a great strategy for keeping organized with a plan of action, let me know! I printed out alot of the articles and made highlights for later reference.

  9. Kimberly Wirz

    Hello Jordan,

    There are many ways to organize so I hope you find this helpful.

    Each article you read will have gems (pearls of wisdom) that you will want to read time and again but very seldom is the entire article necessary to clarify your thought process or remind you of steps you need to take. By saving the gems of information it saves time and keeps you on point. Very much like a word problem in an algebra, strip the filler sentence down to the substance to address the question. Then, depending on your comfort level, you can either cut and past to a topic based file in Word, which you will continue to add to over time, or use Excel and organized by topic based tabs, or even create an e-mails to yourself which you store in topic folders within your e-mail. Each of the options should be Cloud based so you can access the information regardless of where you are. In this way, any time you need to confirm your thought process you won’t need to weed through the massive amount of stored articles or bookmarks but simply go to the tab or document that houses the information you need. If you would rather not rely on technology, you can create a binder with tabs and a step-by-step process so you feel more confident with the process and don’t miss a step due to nerves or the excitement of the moment. I know this is a little old school but technology is wonderful when it works and a major frustration when it doesn’t.

    I hope this helps!

    Kimberly

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