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This past week, I put 2 properties under contract. Combined, they equal $90k gross profit. Not bad for two deals — and probably 20 total hours of work over the next 3-4 months.

One is with a new partner (insert internet fist bump), and one is in my own LLC. One is a flip that will gross nearly $50k; the other is a rental that I could sell as a flip, but also has such strong cash flow that I will hold it for 12-24 months, not pay short term capital gains, and then I will sell it, making more than 100% cash on cash on that deal. The rental will also cash flow more than $350 monthly after all expenses — not bad for a property in a B-class neighborhood at an acquisition price just over $40k.

I’ve been pondering this for a while, the question of course: WHAT is it that makes BiggerPockets so great, and how can YOU tap into the unlimited potential that this site has to offer?

I want to give you some simple, actionable steps to check off as you look at what you are doing while spending time on the site, and how to maximize your time.

First, I’ve spent some serious time looking at peoples profiles. Looking at their deals, their websites, their information, trying to really have an understanding of who they are, what their business is, and what they are all about.

That’s what BiggerPockets is really about, right?

It’s about opportunity, learning and community. Not necessarily in that order. In order to take advantage of those things, YOU have to understand what you are on the website for. Here to learn, here to find business deals, or maybe to connect with more people (who may in turn teach you, learn from you, or become opportunities for you).

I believe all three of these are interconnected, but you must know which of these three buckets you are in: first, second or third. And one is not better than the other.

It’s just a matter of understanding where you are, what you need, and then figuring out what you have to offer.

Within that context, this season now for me is about connecting with more like-minded people through joint ventures, growing the property management side of my business, and learning about topics that I haven’t spent a lot of time on, such as creative financing or property management company structure. I am also laser focused on my goals for 2015: 4-6 buy and hold properties and 6-8 flips.

Related: How Tyler Made $100,000 Through the BiggerPockets Forums (Video Included!)

The community at BiggerPockets is amazing… and I’m not just saying that. And, just so it’s clear, I am not out here taking money for every click this post receives (although maybe I should message Josh and Brandon about that, huh!?). Ok, maybe not.

But seriously, nearly every time I read anything posted by others or post a question myself in the forums, there are people who take their time to respond and to help, and they are kind, helpful — and genuinely doing whatever they can to help.

And speaking some truth here, we all have (believe me… I’ve had MANY) moments we needed help within our real estate business and only wished we had a site like BiggerPockets to go to. But we also have to understand how to ask questions on here, how to connect with others in a meaningful way, and how to really, honestly, get the full benefits of using BiggerPockets for what we are looking for.

So, let me do my best here to lay it out for you.

How to Get the Most Out of Your BiggerPockets Experience
Your Profile

Your profile is the way others will see you.

For instance, you post something in a forum, and I go and read your question, I am most likely going to go look at your profile, see what your experience is, and try to understand where you are coming from. Believe me, if you don’t have a picture, you are a lot less likely to get comments back on your posts. Have a picture and fill out your information — even if you don’t know anything and haven’t done anything; heck, even if you’re eating potato chips on your mom’s couch, living for free…

However, I think in this situation… your first action step is GET OFF YOUR MOM’S COUCH. #justsayin

The Forums

There are many BiggerPockets Forums out there, and they allow you to do three distinct things.

One, they allow you to go back and look at conversations that have already happened. If you do a search on a certain topic, you get a nicely laid out search result telling you who has talked about it, conversations, profile pages, etc., all within that topic. So it might in fact save you from having to post a question; instead, you might be able to learn the information right there — or post a question onto that same thread of posts since they are already having that conversation. #mindblown

Second, the forums allow you to post questions. This is so awesome. Post a question, get a response. Sometimes a lot of them. I am not a big fan of people posting things just to “stir the pot” — and that does happen sometimes, but for the most part, there is a lot of value in what is posted and in the responses people give.

Third, BiggerPockets Forums allow you to take advantage of the intelligence of a passionate community; having this like-minded mass of people who are fired up, simply doing, living and breathing real estate, is so freakin’ awesome. There is a value in the opportunity for many people to share what they have learned, and to maximize the benefits of the Forums, there are several avenues you should consider:

Developing (Useful) Relationships

In a short period of time, I have connected with quite a few different people — and really made some …read more