An Experienced Investor Answers: Is a BiggerPockets Pro Membership Worth It For Newbies?

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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.


The Calcs

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?”

Related: Introducing: The BiggerPockets Wholesaling Calculator (and Cash Buyer Reports!)

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..?!

Related: How to Better Utilize BiggerPockets to Reach Your Real Estate Goals



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 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.

Become a Pro Member today!

Respectfully yours,

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.

About Author

Ben Leybovich

Ben Leybovich has been investing in multifamily real estate since 2006. His area of expertise is creative finance. Ben works extensively with private as well as institutional financing. Ben the author of the Cash Flow Freedom University and creator of a cash flow analysis software CFFU Cash Flow Analyzer.


    • Ben Leybovich

      Give and you shall receive – that’s biblical!

      Especially BP – this site is run by people of character indeed. Josh is the crem de la crem in this space – you won’t find a more fair and committed guy. And Brandon…what can I say…he is my BFF (we text like high school girls 🙂

      Thanks, Tim.

    • Ben Leybovich

      Thanks so much, Larry!

      Someday is now. Be part of someone’s support group. Help someone believe that dreams are possible and come through. Help does not necessarily come in the shades of REI expertise.

      This is what I mean. I think BP stands for more than that and looks deeper than that. I’ve made life-long friendships here!

      Someday is today 🙂

  1. Brandon Holley

    Great post Ben… Coming from a Newbie… I feel like I owe Josh more $$ than the pro-membership expenses so far. The real world / real time education is unmatched… I switched from spending countless hours listening to old books and jumped into the here and now via forums / podcasts!

  2. Ronald Perich

    Great stuff, Ben! Completely agree with you on this one. While I like the tools and think they are good, I really don’t find I use them very often. I like the ability to see previous webinars if desired.

    I became a Pro as a way of monetarily paying back BiggerPockets for what they have given me. Like I mentioned on a forum post, this place is like a 24x7x365 day a year REIA meeting. You can ask questions and get answers anytime you like. The podcasts and webinars are great ways to learn from the experts. And you don’t meet once a month, you can meet every day if you like!

    Here’s an analogy I think fits. In my town, we have a public pool and we also have a private pool club. For me, the public pool is enough and we don’t think we’d gain any real value from going to the private one and paying the extra fees.

    But I can guarantee you this, if we did pay the fees we would have visited the pool a lot more over the summer. When you pay for something, you are making yourself commit to something. It’s a mental trigger that say’s “OK, I am really serious about this thing.”

    Don’t neglect the power of trigger events on your mind. When you commit your money to a cause, you are committing your mind to action! Take that action today! Commit to yourself!

  3. Ben Leybovich

    “…I can guarantee you this, if we did pay the fees we would have visited the pool a lot more over the summer. When you pay for something, you are making yourself commit to something. It’s a mental trigger that say’s “OK, I am really serious about this thing..”

    Agreed! But, I focus more on “what’s right” aspect. If someone is enriching my life in some way, I can’t help but feel a need to give back…

    Thanks so much, Ron!

  4. Angel Rosado

    Senor Big Daddy….thanks for the kicker in the tuckus, I don’t think I needed it I know I needed it. I have yet to do my first deal BUT I know that I have attained a lot from the BP Community specifically through networking and learning what a “guru” would probably charge me at least 2000 for and I know this because I have already had a sales pitch done to me.
    Im always wondering what can i do in order to take action and get closer to my goal and as Ronald mentioned becoming a pro member is one easy action that I can take to force myself to move closer to my goals and a great way of giving back to the community.

    • Ben Leybovich

      Hahah – my course is only $295. But, I guess this is why Josh coined me a “Mini-Guru” 🙂

      Do it today – become a BP Pro Member. I really hope to have woken people up to how little that truly is relative to the immense value you guys are receiving. Truly!

      Thanks so much for reading, Angel 🙂

      Do it

  5. Christian Bors

    I agree with this post. Not too long ago I responded to a poster suggesting to get a pro memebership for the same exact reason.It’s $300, so what. I would happily donate that amount to bp without the Cals or file cabinet. This place is an incredible resource that’s worth so much more.

  6. Roy N.

    Tissue, please That was b-wee-autiful, Ben

    I’m not use to seeing this side of you … Big Daddy 😉

    … it’s a little scary.

    But, I agree, for a few quid which is a business expense anyway, support the Pocket.

  7. John Hamilton

    I spend $300 at 1 poker tournament event. Seems like a drop in the bucket to potential profits from real estate. Even though I have been a member for 5 years (2010), I do see now that it greatly behooves me to be a pro member.The rewards certainly outweigh the costs. I will become a pro by next Monday.

    Also, I like that you mention giving back. If you are only a taker, you will not last long, in fact very short order. People tend to identify and stay away. Reputation is the only thing of value we can promote. Well, wisdom is another, but you know what I mean. Folks can give back by helping others. Logging in, reading through posts, commenting, posting yourself, connecting with other like-minded investors (newbie or not), adding blogs and vlogs are all good ways to “helping” the community.

    Who knows. If I had paid the $300 5 years ago, I might be more active in REI and not have to work for someone else today.

  8. Jonna Weber

    Well said! Some of the newer investors I meet with claim that they “can’t” afford to invest in something like this, but they still buy their $5 starbucks drinks everyday. I find myself biting my tongue, but fortunately others like you tell it like it is in posts like this. I agree with what was said above – investing in something spurs action!

  9. Justin Fernandez

    This site definitely made my Real Estate focus very concise and I have not felt like I was flapping in the wind (well at least most days) trying to figure out stuff that already had an answer. This place is a gold mine! I am on 9 out of 20-30 books I’ve seen recommended here instead of just buying random stuff of amazon. I definitely attribute 98% of my success from Bigger Pockets knowledge, webinars, files and posts that have opened up a whole world of possibility.

    Being a Pro is just a small contribution to BP after knowing what I can do today, back to what I could do in June. I know I will be successful, because I have 300K+ peers to tell me what I did wrong and how to fix it or at least do better the next time around, and if I want a smaller scope, I can always ask Pro’s only. It’s an even deeper goldmine in there. One can only go up from there!

  10. Ann Howell

    I am a newbie who became a Pro member a few months ago for many of the reasons you mentioned. I felt like I had received so much benefit and education that I wanted to contribute back. It was money well spent!

    I need to take some more time and really dig in to what the Pro membership offers. I have not used the calculators (I had already built my own spreadsheets). I would like to figure out some features like the member blogs and how they work.

  11. Bart H.


    That was a good article and I agree with you. I’m a newbie and I started out just looking through BP. It has a lot of good information, but I was stuck analyzing a potential deal. Because I decided that RE investing is my next career (I’m studying Mitch Stephens’ info), I had to upgrade to Pro. I’m glad I did. With access to the analysis tools, I made an offer on a SFH which the owner has accepted. Thanks BP for all you do.

  12. Jordan B.

    I couldn’t agree more with the first part of your article. People want help, resources, and information without any work or payment of one form or another. (Monetary, sharing knowledge, referring contacts) Being a newbie myself I hate to comment too much but it seems to me that someone who is unwilling to give for the needed resources at the beginning stages doesn’t stand a chance in the latter game. Thanks Ben for the thought provoking article.

  13. Bayard P.

    Totally agree with everything said. I was willing to pay hundreds of dollars on some online real estate investing workshops/material I found online from one of the many so called “real estate gurus”, but then I stumbled upon Bigger Pockets through a random google search. I went from near zero real estate knowledge to closing on 2 multifamily properties, all from reading through the forums and direct connections I made through BP.

    The way I look at it is, I pay about 70 dollars a year to a web host to register and host my website. Paying BP a few hundred a year to host my current and future success in real estate investing is a value that I know will pay in compounded interest. In conclusion “Support BP not Gurus.”

  14. Dori Rutledge

    From a newbie –
    Shortly after joining BP I became a Pro member, partly because I was serious about real estate investing and partly because I was excited about the promise BP held for me: more information and help than I can receive anywhere else.

    I can (and have) post a question on BP and receive help from multiple investors across the nation with different perspectives in less than a day. It’s an amazing place!

  15. Zack Clark

    The articles alone are worth so much $$$! I just went pro as a newbie and feel like I got a steal at the price paid. Amazing content and knowledge given away in this site. As a an owner of multiple businesses myself…I know how much goes into it and how little you get back early on. Excited to learn more and feel like I’ve already received the amount unpaid back in multiples just in BLOG posts. Cheers to all that make this site happen.

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