122 - Finding A Need in Real Estate and Filling It with Joshua Dorkin

podcast | Dec 03, 2017

Joshua Dorkin was a teacher who decided to be a real estate investor.  After discovering the market was full of people more about making money than actually helping, he decided to do something about it.

Using a little bit of web design experience from college, he launched BiggerPockets.com.  Over the years, the site slowly grew until it became a full-time income for Joshua.  He shares how he got it rolling, some of the struggles he has faced, and what has made this such a successful site over 10 years later.

How did you start to monetize this business idea going against the grain of the industry?  Joshua was working another job, so he was able to keep the business going in the beginning.  He then started to put ads up with Google AdSense and started to slowly make money.

Talk about the side hustle part of it, when did you decide to make the leap?  Joshua started substitute teaching and on his first job, the teacher he was working for quit.  He did it for four years while he was building BiggerPockets.  He was able to quit the job, and his wife worked while he continued to grow the business.

What was your tipping point when you went from exploring/hobby to a true business?  It was when he started to realize that this was a business that he could live off of, and was starting to become successful.  He had several successful people tell him to stop because they didn't feel it was a sustainable business model.  However, he kept going because he wanted to prove them wrong.

Another moment was when he was working 80-100 hours a week.  He realized he was ready to burn out.  It took him years to get to that point, but he found himself defined by his laptop.  He was doing his job of several people.

He brought in a consultant who helped him figure out how to scale the business.  He then hired his first non-technical employee within the first month.  That began the next stage from a lifestyle business to a true company.  He's now working on employee #20!

Talk a bit about your business model now.  They have a few partnerships (of products they have no interest in creating), and ads on their newsletter and podcast.  They also have a publishing company, and they have paid membership too.

One more question about membership sites.  Can you give a little insight about the work that it takes to build such a successful community:  It's a ton of hard work.  It takes a ton of blood, sweat, and tears to get the ball rolling.  Yes, it can pay off, but be prepared to do a lot of work to keep the members active.

More About Joshua:  Joshua Dorkin, an entrepreneur, web designer, real estate investor, and one-time realtor - founded and launched BiggerPockets after he was not satisfied by the online offerings of other real estate sites, and decided to build one himself. Josh's vision for BiggerPockets has propelled it into becoming the top real estate destinations online, and his vision for the site and its future has brought thousands financial freedom!

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