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Getting the Most Out of BiggerPockets.com: A Tutorial

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A guide to using the most popular features on BiggerPockets.com, the premier real estate investing social network -- home of 97,000+ members and 350,000 monthly unique visitors. …

A guide to using the most popular features on BiggerPockets.com, the premier real estate investing social network -- home of 97,000+ members and 350,000 monthly unique visitors.

Learn how to set up a profile, blog, connect on the forums, and much more via this guide.

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  • 1. Ge#ng  the  Most  Out  of   BiggerPockets A  Quick  Guide  to  Help  You   Maximize  Your  ConnecDons  and  Knowledge  By:  Joshua  Dorkin  &  Arthur  Garciawww.biggerpockets.com Copyright  ©  2012  BiggerPockets,  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved.
  • 2. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comHello  and  welcome  to  BiggerPockets!The  goal  of  our  website  is  to  help  YOU  achieve  your  real  estate  goals.    Over  the  past  seven  years,  we’ve  culDvated  an  opDmal  online  environment  for  learning,  networking,  making  deals,  and  markeDng.    My  hope  is  that  you  will  take  advantage  of  the  robust  resources  available  on  this  site  by  jumping  in  and  become  an  ACTIVE  member.    To  make  sure  you  get  the  most  out  of  your  Dme  spent  on  BiggerPockets,  we’ve  created  this  quick  guide  to  help  get  you  up  and  running.  Thanks    again  for  joining  the  community.  Joshua  DorkinFounder  of  BiggerPockets.com Copyright  ©  2012  BiggerPockets,  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved.
  • 3. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comCreaDng  a  Profile:  The  BasicsOnce  you  sign  up  for  an  account,  you  will  then  be  sent  to  the  dashboard.    From  this  screen,  you  can  edit  your  profile.       Tabs:  Click  on  the  tabs  to  fill  out  each  secDon  of  the  profile.EdiGng  your  profile:    You  can  edit  and  update  your  profile  at  any  Dme  by  clicking  on  the  profile  tab  in  the  leZ  margin. STANDARD  SIGNATURE   Forum  Signature:    This  informaDon  will   appear  at  the  bo[om  of  your  forum  posts.   As  you  navigate  the  forums,  youll  noDce  that  some  people  have  a  fancier  signature  than  others,  including  a   PRO  SIGNATURE   company  logo.  All  members  can  create  a  basic  forum  signature,  but  to  get  the  signature  with  your  companys  logo,  youll  need   to  upgrade  to  a  Pro  account.    To  find  out  more  details   click  HERE -­‐-­‐  3  -­‐-­‐
  • 4. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.com CreaDng  a  Memorable  Profile  Tip  #1:    Change  the  default  avatar  photo Note   BiggerPockets  profiles  have  been   from   designed  to  give  you  the  opportunity  to   Josh:   share  informaGon  about  yourself  and   There’s  nothing  that   your  business  with  the  rest  of  the   says  “I  don’t  care”  or   community. “I’m  not  willing  to   put  in  the  effort”     than  someone  who     A  few  advantages  for  filling  out  a  complete       sDcks  with  the   and  accurate  profile  are: default  generic   avatar. Search  engine  opDmized   *  Uploading  a  clear  headshot  will   Take  a  minute  and   (profiles  can  be  found  on  all  major   differenDate  you  as  well  as  make  you   change  this  upload           search  engines,  unless  set  as  private) instantly  recognizable  to  other  users   to  something  that   Connect  with  like-­‐minded  people browsing  the  site. represents  who  you   are. Highlights  your  experience,  goals,  needs, wants,  and  acDvity  on  BiggerPockets People  like  to   connect  with  other   people.    Uploading  To  help  you  get  the  maximum  exposure  and   a  photo  of  yourself  reach,  we’ve  compiled  a  list  of  the  best  Dps   makes  you  and  your   profile  more  on  how  to  complete  an  EFFECTIVE   approachable.BiggerPockets  profile  -­‐  one  that  people  will  look  at  and  prompt  interacDon. -­‐-­‐  4  -­‐-­‐
  • 5. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comCreaDng  a  Memorable  ProfileTip  #  2:    Be  Truthful Tip  #  4:    Be  Detailed   Include  the  following  key  elements  in  your  profile:  background,   It’s  okay  to  omit  personal  informaDon  you   experience,  goals,  a[ributes  and  desired  connecDons.    Be  sure  to  include   don’t  feel  comfortable  with  sharing,  but  by   keywords  that  indicate  your  various  interests  /  areas  of  experDse  (e.g.   lying,  you  start  all  of  your  new   buy  and  hold,  flipping,  wholesaling,  etc.). relaDonships  off  on  the  wrong  foot.   You  will  have  ZERO  credibility  if     people  find  out  that  you’re  just   another  person  pretending  to  be   something  that  you  are  not.Tip  #  3:    Be  Professional Remember,  first  impressions  go  a  long   way.    If  your  profile  is  muddled  with   grammaDcal  errors,  slang,  profanity   or  other  offenses  (such  as  using  ALL  CAPS),   people  are  going  to  take  that  into   consideraDon  when  deciding  whether   or  not  to  connect  with  you.     What  are  you  waiGng  for?  Get  back  on  BiggerPockets  and  make  sure  your  profile  makes  the  grade! -­‐-­‐  5  -­‐-­‐
  • 6. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comThe  BiggerPockets  Dashboard:  Your  Network The  BiggerPockets  Dashboard  will  change  the  way  you  connect  and  communicate  via  our  network.  The   dashboard  is  a  place  where  you  can  privately  connect  directly  with  your  colleagues  and  followers.    Whether   you  want  to  post  updates,  share  links,  or  market  to  your  network,  the  dashboard  is  perfect  for  that  personal   interacDon. “It  is  your  own  closed  social  network  right  on  BiggerPockets!” @MenGon  your  Colleagues Share  a  post   with  your   Add  links  or  Images network. Note  From  Josh: A  great  way  to  loop  your   colleagues  in  a  thread,  blog    post  or  a  forum  discussion  is  to  uDlize  the   @men%on  tool. To  use  the  @men%on  tool,  simply  type  “@”   into  a  forum  post,  blog  comment  or  a  status   message  and  then  enter  the  first  le[ers  of   Respond  to  statuses,   the  user’s  first  or  last  name  and  select  from   the  drop-­‐down  menu.       arGcles  and  images  by   leaving  a  comment. QUICK  TIP:  You  can   access  the  Dashboard  from  any   part  of  BP  simply  by  clicking  on   the  BiggerPockets  logo  in  the   top  leZ  corner. -­‐-­‐  6  -­‐-­‐
  • 7. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comNetworking:  Colleagues  &  Followers Colleagues:  Colleagues  are  your  direct  personal  connecDons  on  BiggerPockets.    You  can  communicate   with  them  on  your  dashboard  as  well  as  send  one  another  private  messages.    In  addiDon,  if  you  set  your  profile  to   private,  your  colleagues  will  be  able  to  see  the  details  you  post  there,  whereas  followers  and  others  will  not. There  are  three  ways  to  add  colleagues  to  your  network:1. 2. Click  on  the   Send   3. You  can  add   Colleague   colleagues  by   Request  or   clicking  on  the   the  Follow   Connect  link   link  from  the  BP   • Do  a  ”people  search”  for   below  their  forum   Member’s   someone photo. profile  page. • In  the  search  results  click   the  Follow  link  next  to  the   person  you  want  to  add When  sending  a  Colleague  Request,  be   NOTE   sure  to  send  a  note  with  your  request.      To   FROM   increase  the  odds  that  your  request  will  be   JOSH: accepted,  explain  why  you’re  hoping  to   connect  with  them. Followers:    When  you  follow  another  user,  it  gives  you  the  ability  to  view  their  acDons  in  your  Dashboards  Ac%vity  Feed.  This  will  enable   you  to  see  whenever  they  post  a  blog  entry,  write  an  arDcle,  post  a  property,  update  their  status,  add  a  follower/  colleague,  make  a  comment,  etc.   The  main  difference  between  followers  and  colleagues  is  that  colleagues  have  the  exclusive  ability  to  send  private  messages  to  one  another.   AddiGonally,  if  a  person  has  their  profile  set  to  private,  followers  won’t  be  able  to  see  their  informaGon,  whereas  colleagues  would. QUICK  TIP:  Think  of  colleagues  as  a  mutual,  2-­‐way  relaDonship,  whereas  followers  are  merely  a  1-­‐way  relaDonship. -­‐-­‐  7  -­‐-­‐
  • 8. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comThe  Dashboard:  Exploring  the  Grey  Nav  Menu The  dashboard  centralizes  all  the  most  important   funcGons  you’ll  need  to  uGlize  BiggerPockets. For  ease  of  use,  we  are  going  to  focus  on  the  three   most  uGlized  secGons  of  the  panel. PROFILE:  Clicking  on  this   will  allow  users  to  access   addiGonal  opGons  regarding   their  profile.   NETWORKING:  This    allows  users   FORUM:    Using  the  forum  panel  is  a   great  way  to  stay  on  top  of  latest  posts   to  manage  their  current  connecGons   as  well  as  follow  the  topics  you  are   on  BP. most  interested  in.   Perhaps  the  most  useful  opGon  from   this  menu  is  the  “men%ons”  link.    This   page  shows  members  where  on  BP   someone  has  menGoned  them    (e.g.   forums  post,  blog  comment,  status   thread,  etc.). -­‐-­‐  8  -­‐-­‐
  • 9. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comExploring  the  Blue  NavigaDon  MenuTo  get  you  up-­‐and-­‐running  as  quickly  as  possible,  we  are  going  to  focus  on  the  most  uGlized  features  of  the  blue  toolbar. You  can  access  the  Forums  and   Member  Blogs  just  by  clicking   on  the  Discuss  link. From  the  Learn  menu,  you  can   access  the  BiggerPockets  Blog   and  News  &  Headlines. Manage  your  BP   account  from  the   The  No%fica%ons  tab  advises   Account  tab. you  when  someone  has     requested  to  follow  you  or  to  be   your  Colleague,  as  well  as  when   you  have  menDons. Access  your  inbox  and  write   new  private  messages  from  the   Inbox  tab. -­‐-­‐  9  -­‐-­‐
  • 10. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comManaging  Your  BiggerPockets  Account ConnecGons:    Clicking  this  opDon  will  allow   users  to  sync  their  BP  account  to  Facebook.    Doing  this   Edit  Profile:     will  enable  members  to  do  the  following: Access  your  profile                                    *  Login  instantly   se#ngs  via  the  Edit                                    *  Verify  your  idenDty  to  the  BP  community                                  *  Share  your  BP  acDvity  with  your  Facebook Profile  tab.                                        friends Upgrade  to  PRO:  Click   on  this  tab  to  review  the   various  membership  opDons   and  to  upgrade  your   membership. -­‐-­‐  10  -­‐-­‐
  • 11. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comManaging  Your  BiggerPockets  Account Seengs  and  Privacy:    Allows  users  to  manage  their   noDficaDons  and  set  parameters  on  what  other   BiggerPockets  members  can  view  of  their  profile.Control  email  no%fica%ons Set  privacy  parameters Upgrade  to  a  PRO   Membership You  can  also  update  your   password  via  your  seengs  menu.   -­‐-­‐  11  -­‐-­‐
  • 12. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comGe#ng  to  Know  the  Forums:  The  BasicsWith  hundreds  of  thousands  of  discussion  posts  and  over  60,000  topics,  the  BiggerPockets  Forums  are  the  most  uDlized  resource  on  the  site.      Here  are  a  few  Dps  to  help  you  maximize  your  experience.   Accessing  the  Forums:    You  can  access  the  forums   Viewing  OpGons:    Once  you  are  on  the  forum  homepage,  you  will  have  several  opDons   from  any  part  of  the  website  by  hovering  your  cursor   for  navigaDng  through  the  content.    If  you  want  to  see  ALL  FORUM  CATEGORIES  just  click   over  the  Discuss  opDon  on  the  blue  toolbar  or  from   the  View  All  link  near  our  forum  category  navigator the  forum  acDvity  tab  on  the  dashboard.Recent  Discussion  Tab:    Allows  users  to  view  the  latest  forum  posts  on  BP. My  Watched  Topics  Tab:    Allows  users   Unanswered  Tab:    Allows   to  follow  a  topic  or  forum  thread.   users    to  view  which  forum   My  Discussion  Tab:    Allows   posts  have  not  yet  been   To  “watch”  a  new  topic,  click  the  Monitor   users  to  view  the  forum  posts   commented  on.     Topic  box  located  at  the  top  of  each  thread.     they  have  previously   commented  on. -­‐-­‐  12  -­‐-­‐
  • 13. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comGe#ng  to  Know  the  Forums:  FAQ How  do  I  start  a  new  forum  topic? 2.,  Go  to  the  main  forum  page  and  click  the  Create   3.  Select  a  topic  from  the  drop  down  menu.  Fill  in  all   1.  Search  the  forums  to  make  sure  your   a  Topic  bu[on  and  youll  be  taken  to  the  new  post   required  fields.  Then  you’ll  be  able  to  preview  your   quesDon  hasnt  been  asked  before.   form  page. post.  Select  the  Post  Topic  bu[on  to  make  your  post   go  live.How  do  I  reply  to  a  forum  post? How  do  I  edit  my  forum  post? If  youre  logged  into  the  site,  just  go  to  a   AZer  adding  a  post  to  the  forums,  youll  have  10  minutes  to  edit  your  posts.  Youll  see   forum  discussion  that  you  want  to  reply  to   an  Edit  Post  link  for  that  10-­‐minute  period.    Clicking  that  link  will  let  you  edit  your   and  click  the  Quick  Reply  or  Advanced   post.    AZer  the  10-­‐minute  period  lapses,  you  will  only  be  allowed  to  Update  your  post.     Reply  bu[on. edit   update   To  find  out  more  FAQs,  visit  the BiggerPockets  Knowledgebase  by  clicking  HERE -­‐-­‐  13  -­‐-­‐
  • 14. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.com Private  Messaging  on  BiggerPockets Note  From  Josh: What  is  a  PM? When  you  send  a  Colleague   Request,  make  sure  to  include A  PM  is  a  private  message.    Using  this  feature  will  allow  members  to   addiDonal  informaDon  about  yourself.      This   send  messages  to  colleagues  and  followers.    PMing  your  colleagues  is  a   will  increase  the  chances  of  someone   great  way  to  stay  in  touch  with  your  network  on  BP. accepDng  your  request  and  will  also  provide   them  with  some  addiDonal  context  on  you. NOTE:  Users  can  PM  either  a  single  individual,  or  mulDple  contacts. How  do  I  send  a  PM? Composing  a  PM There  are  three  ways  to  send  PMs.     Once  you  click  on  the  Send  PM  link,  you’ll  be  redirected  to  the   You  can  send  one  directly  from  the   Compose  Message  page.    From  here,  type  in  the  first  few  le[ers  of   Forums  ,  the  user’s  Profile  page  and   your  desired  contact’s  name  and  click  one(s)  that  apply. from  the  Inbox  tab.Send  a  PM  from  a  Forum  post. Send  a  PM   from  a  user’s   profile  page. Send  a  PM   from  the  Inbox   tab. -­‐-­‐  14  -­‐-­‐
  • 15. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comCreaDng  Your  Own  Personal  BlogOne  of  the  greatest  aspects  of  becoming  a  member  of  BP  is  that  you  have  the  ability  to  contribute  to  our  wealth  of  content  by  sharing  your  experiences  and  knowledge  with  the  rest  of  the  community.We’ve  created  an  easy  way  for  you  to  contribute  to  the  community  with  our  member  blog  network! You  can  create  a  blog,   manage  your  posts  and   reply  to  comments  –  all   from  the  Blog  drop-­‐ down  menu. A  few  benefits  of  Blogging  on  the  BiggerPockets  Blog  Network 1.  Increased  Credibility:  Anyone  can  blog  on  BiggerPockets,  but  only  the  best  content  is  highlighted.  By  providing  top  content  to  your   peers  and  our  readers,  you  increase  the  odds  that  others  will  get  to  know  and  trust  you  and  your  business.  The  best  of  the  best  is  actually   highlighted  in  our  weekly  newsle[er  as  well! 2.  Its  FREE:    Other  prominent  real  estate  blogging  plavorms  charge  you  to  make  your  content  viewable  and  visible  to  non-­‐members.    Our  user   blogs  are  public  facing,  and  it  costs  you  nothing  to  begin! 3.  Large  Built  in  Audience  Means  TRAFFIC:    BiggerPockets  has  close  to  100,000  members  and  hundreds  of  thousands  of  unique   visitors  each  month.    That  means  that  you  don’t  have  to  work  hard  to  build  up  an  audience  /  readership. -­‐-­‐  15  -­‐-­‐
  • 16. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.com Benefits  of  Becoming  a  PRO  MemberWe  created  the  BiggerPockets  PRO  account  to  give  members  the  ability  to  improve  markeDng  opportuniDes  on  the  site.    Here  are  a  few  of  the  key  features  that  come  with  a  PRO  membership: An  Enhanced  forum  Signature,  Including  Your  Companys  Logo While  regular  members  have  the  ability  to  include  a  line  of  informaDon  in  their  signature,  PRO  members  get  an   addiDonal  line  where  they  can  add  addiDonal  informaDon  (email,  phone  and  website  link  are  standard);  AND  the  best   feature  of  all  is  Pro  members  can  post  their  company  logo  at  the  bo[om  of  all  forum  posts. Easily  Find  New  Leads  Using  Your   BiggerPockets  Stats In  the  Dashboard  of  our  PRO  members,  there  is  a   secDon  under  the  Profile  tab  devoted  to  Stats.     This  opDon  allows  our  Pro  members  to  view  the   latest  visitors  to  their  profile,  blog,  and  each   property  lisDng  on  BiggerPockets!     This  informaDon  provides  our  members  with  a   powerful  tool  for  scouDng  new   leads.     -­‐-­‐  16  -­‐-­‐
  • 17. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comBenefits  of  Becoming  a  PRO  Member Contact  Made  Easier  as  a  PRO While  regular  members  are  restricted  to  send  a  PM  to   colleagues,  our  PRO  members  can  send  a  PM  to  any   BiggerPockets  member  (provided  they  are  not  blocked   by  that  member).   That  said,  we  have  a  zero  tolerance  policy  for  spam. Highlighted  Profile  on  Networking  Page Our  PRO  members  get  their  profiles  highlighted  at  the  top  of   the  Networking  page.     Not  only  will  people  see  your  locaDon  and  occupaDon,  but   they’ll  also  see  a  link  to  your  website. Not  PRO  member  yet?   Upgrade  to  a  BiggerPockets  PRO  HERE   -­‐-­‐  17  -­‐-­‐
  • 18. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.com Using  the  Networking  Page   The  Networking  Page  allows  users  to  search  for  other  users  within  a  certain  category.      Using  this  search  feature  will  enable     you  to  do  a  comprehensive  search  by  area  and  other  a[ributes  such  as:  OccupaDon,  CerDficaDon,  Deals  &  Holdings,  etc.     Accessing  the  Networking  page:   To  access  the  Networking  page,  click  on  the  Find  Members   opDon  under  the  Network  tab.     Finding  other  users:   From  the  Networking  page,  click  on  the  Search  Members   link  in  the  right  corner  and  filters  through  the  various  opDons  .     You  can  filter  the   results  by  using  the   drop-­‐down   categories. -­‐-­‐  18  -­‐-­‐
  • 19. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.com The  BiggerPockets  Blog The  BiggerPockets  Blog  (BP  Blog)  is  the  premier  online  Real  Estate  magazine.    The  blog  is  updated  daily  with  several  posts       from  writers  with  various  real  estate  backgrounds  who  share  their  experDse  and  insight  with  the  BP  community.     Accessing  the  BiggerPockets  Blog To  access  the  BP  blog,  hover  the  cursor  over  the  Learn  tab   and  click  on  the  BiggerPockets  Blog  opDon. Exploring  the  BiggerPockets  Blog To  read  previous  blog  entries,  click  on  the  Blog  Archives  opDon,  the  Explore  the  Blog  opDon,  or  use  the  Search  funcDon.   Blog  Archives:  Review  past  blog   Explore  the  Blog:    Read  a   Search:  Look  through  previous   arDcles  (sorted  by  month). randomly  generated  blog  post.   arDcles  by  typing  in  a  topic  of  your   choice. -­‐-­‐  19  -­‐-­‐
  • 20. Getting the Most out of BiggerPockets.comCommenDng  on  the  BiggerPockets  Blog To  comment  on  a  blog  arDcle,  scroll  to  the  bo[om  of  the  arDcle,  fill  in  the  gray  spaces  and  click  the  submit  bu[on.     NOTE:  To  make  sure  your  image  appears  with  your  comments,  be  sure  you’ve  got  an  account  with  Gravatar.com Why  comment  on  blog  arGcles? *  Feedback:  Leaving  your  thoughts  at  the  bo[om  of  a   post  helps  our  team  of  writers  conDnue  to  craZ  the   highest  quality  of  content *  Visibility:    Consistently  leaving  comments  is  a  great   way  to  increase  you  and  your  company’s  visibility *  Traffic:  If  you  leave  useful  comments,  or  add  addiDonal   insight  to  a  parDcular  post,  other  readers  will  likely  click   through  to  your  website.   If  you  have  any  addiDonal  user   quesDons  about  the  site,  you  can   always  click  the  HELP  link  located  at   the  bo[om  of  the  website.   On  behalf  of  BiggerPockets,  I  would  like  to  welcome   you  to  the  community.     Happy  InvesDng! Josh -­‐-­‐  20  -­‐-­‐

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