Hello there, Mr. Newbie.
My name is Ben Leybovich, and this one is for you. I hope you enjoy it, although a fair warning – I am going to be drilling into you a bit. Can you take it?
Your consolation is that this might be one of the most educational articles I’ve ever written for BiggerPockets, and I’d like to think that there’ve been some articles in the past that were pretty good. Unlike other articles, many of which focus on specifics, this article deals with “global” issues, and I hope you take it to heart.
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On The Forums This Week
I came across a typical thread on the Forums this week; a dude was asking for help analyzing a deal. I tend to comment on threads like this since they define the very purpose of BiggerPockets – to help newbies unearth information as it relates to all things real estate. While on a few occasions they can’t be helped, for most newbies there is hope, and I enjoy helping!
These posts are all the same in that they showcase the poster’s utter ignorance on the subject. That’s normal, and we can fix that. But the post in question was a bit different in that the poster prefaced with (I am paraphrasing) – I don’t have a Pro membership as of yet, but can you help me analyze…
Let me review all of the reasons why the poster (and you) should have a Pro membership on BiggerPockets.
Obviously, the reference in the post was not having access to the analysis tools, which is one of the benefits of the Pro Membership. So, in essence he was saying, “I am too cheap to spend around $300/year to gain access to the tools I obviously need, but would you good folks with lots of experience chew it up and put it in my mouth, please?”
Well, guys, I have to tell you: I take somewhat less than kindly to this kinda thing. Personally, I don’t need the Calcs, and access to them is not at all why I pay for the membership (more on that in a bit). But if you need them, which the poster obviously did, then pay the money and use the tool, if for no other reason than not looking like a schmuck asking a stupid question and being told that the deal will lose you $1,000,000…
Which brings me to my next point:
Be Taken Seriously
Understand that lots of BP users, myself included, get lots of help from folks who know more. But you have to ask yourself – why? What exactly compels one to offer help?
The answer is simple, at least in my mind. First, I want to see that the person is trying like hell – this makes me want to help. And secondly, I want to see that the person is engaged with the community, that they give back in some way to the community.
Now, I realize that as a newbie you can offer very little in terms of intellectual worth – that’s OK. There are other ways to engage, and one of them is to become a Pro member!
But if you do those two things, if you are trying, thinking, looking for answers in ways that are apparent to me, and if you are making an effort to be a part of the whole and support the effort, this makes me want to engage with you. Otherwise, you’re just a taker.
Mr. Newbie: Reality is not fact, but the perception of fact. It is your job — let me say this again — it is your job to control people’s perception of you, at least if you want to get anywhere in life. I may have passed judgment unfairly, or even wrongly, but so what? In the end, you lose! You’ve just lost your first negotiation.
BP is a microcosm of life. Take it or leave it…
Why I Am a Pro Member
There are some people and organizations that can be coined facilitators. A facilitator is an individual or organization that command reach within their network through which to facilitate achievement of goals on behalf of others.
Put bluntly, Josh Dorkin has created such an an organization. Josh and BiggerPockets are facilitators of a lot of people’s success, at least to some extent.
But before BP became what it is today, it was nothing more than a twinkle in Josh’s eye – that’s it. The guy slaved for years, with no pay, and then very minimal pay, not knowing if BP would live.
Starting small businesses is a passion of mine. I’ve never, ever had a job working for somebody. I respect and appreciate what Josh has been through, and this is why I am a Pro member of BiggerPockets.
You may not be aware, but lots of folks on BiggerPockets leverage relationships into lots of money; I am but one example. I’ve discovered that BP is the ultimate vetting machine, and once BP collectively decides that you are someone to be trusted and respected – you are someone to be trusted and respected. That is indeed a powerful thing, Mr. Newbie!
And Then There’s This…
I might be overstepping some boundary in saying this, but I believe that no knowledge that is worth anything should ever be free. Indeed, there’s a price to pay for everything and anything of value. I’ve been in this game for a decade, and I bet I’ve lost at least $50,000 due to poor decisions ($20,000 on my second deal alone) and have paid hundreds of thousands to gain access to folks who had the capacity to further my goals.
I am not sure where the notion comes from that a resource like BP should be completely free. Even if Josh tells you so, you should have enough sense to realize that the right thing to do in gratitude for having BP in your life is to throw a few bucks into the game..?!
Mr. Newbie, my name is Ben Leybovich. I have and continue to make money leveraging my relationships on BiggerPockets. I pay BiggerPockets back by giving lots of time to help others on BiggerPockets achieve.
I’ve made a few friends, and I mean real friends, on BiggerPockets, and I am sure I’ll make more as time goes. I’ve learned a huge amount from a few people, and I’ve been motivated to achieve…
I am a Pro Member because that’s a small (tiny) way in which I can support BiggerPockets, Josh Dorkin, and the 20 or so youngsters who work crazy hours to make sure the BiggerPockets.com is the best experience for you that it can possibly be.
I continue to give my time to BiggerPockets because that’s worth much, much more to BP than my $300. I’d like to think that I’ve saved people millions of dollars’ worth of mistakes over the years…
Mr. Newbie, please help me help you! Please, don’t be a taker. Please help me see you as a member of this community who recognizes that a platform like this doesn’t run itself for free and respect that. It’s just the right thing to do.
Big Daddy Ben
P.S. I am not on pay roll or commission at BiggerPockets, and I receive no financial gain from your membership. But you know I am right!
[Editor’s Note: If you want to learn more about what a BiggerPockets Pro membership provides, click here.]
What are your reasons for becoming a BiggerPockets Pro member?
Let’s discuss in the comments section below.