The big 50% off sale at ReviewMe (aff) drew to a close last month, but not before John got bombarded with a whole whack of requests. He couldn’t turn them down because they came from readers, so he outsourced a few to me. Evil, I know, because most (if not all) of you come to John Chow dot Com to read the miscellaneous ramblings of that dot com mogul and not a lowly freelance writer like me. Oh well, that’s how the cookie crumbles!
This latest ReviewMe review is particularly fitting, though, considering that I did one on a realtor community and one that had to do with investing. Meshing these two together, we find ourselves looking at Bigger Pockets, a site dedicated to helping you invest in the real estate market. See, the universe is in balance.
Where Do I Begin?
The first impression I get when I visit the main page is that I have no idea where I should start. There’s text everywhere (content is a good thing), but it’s all organized sort of haphazardly, with key features of the site — like finding property values for free — appearing more like ads than actual components of the page.
At its core, Bigger Pockets is designed to be a one-stop solution for people looking to invest their money in the real estate market. They’ve got all sorts of tools and resources at your disposal, several of which are those cool new toys that web surfers seem to enjoy these days. There’s a blog to keep you up to the date in the world of real estate news, forums so that you can discuss your money laundering schemes with fellow investors, and a directory of people who offer various related services. They’ll hook you up with recommended accountants, attorneys, inspectors, locksmiths, and so on.
I Wanna Make Some Money!
We all want to make money, but most of us don’t know the best way to do it. In addition to the sense of community you’ll get from interacting with fellow investors through the forums, Bigger Pockets also has a good selection of useful How-To articles that’ll put you in the know. ‘Cause knowing stuff is a good thing. Here a few pieces that caught my eye.
- Finding Good Deals in Real Estate
- How I Went From Milking Goats To Real Estate Riches!
- What Are Condo Hotels or Condotels?
- Buying Properties in Pre-Foreclosure
- Five Critical Mistakes Private Mortgage Investors Make
- Complete Home Rehab in 10 Days
This last one is a pretty good read, because this is where you can make a good sum of money: taking what may appear to be a slum and transforming it into a livable (maybe even posh) pad that will have prospective buyers and/or renters crawling all over each other.
The blog is also a great resource for useful information. You’ll find tidbits like the response to whether you should sign a suspect renter or leave the property vacant.
Monetization Beyond Real Estate
More money making. When the owners of Bigger Pockets aren’t too busy wading their way through the real estate jungle, they’re busy collecting their cheques from Adsense and YPN. As most of the site is predominantly text and looks almost like one big ad itself, the contextual ads aren’t distracting at all. They really feel like a part of the site and not something that was tacked on. I still think that the website as a whole is far from being the prettiest pony in the stable, but this seamless blending is quite good.
With a pretty active discussion forum, a regularly updated blog, and a growing number of resource articles, Bigger Pockets can be a huge asset to the prospective real estate investor. This same information might also be helpful to people like me who are looking to buy their first home. Too bad nearly all the information is geared toward the US, so Canadians are a little out of luck.