Why You Should Be Cautious of Online Real Estate Forums

education getting started horror story wholesaling Jun 11, 2024

Online forums can be a great place to learn and network, but you must approach these with CAUTION! Sites like BiggerPockets attract investors from all over the world, each with different experiences, backgrounds, financial situations, and laws relevant to their investing careers.


One issue I’ve found is that when someone gives advice online, they often present it as if their answer is the only possible solution.  Additionally, these sites often own your posts, making it difficult to remove them if needed. I'll share a story about this below.


First, let's address reading advice online. At one point, I had a headache from reading contradicting advice on the same website. I finally realized that all these people giving advice could be right, but how when it's so different? They can all be right because they have different circumstances, such as state laws, assets, liabilities, and goals. Their advice was true for THEM, but not necessarily for ME.


When I was a young investor, before carving my niche as a mobile home investor, I tried my hand at wholesaling. My online profiles indicated I was a wholesaler, and I posted properties for sale. One particular property was an 8-unit building that did not fit my buying criteria, so I decided to sell the contract. I posted it on various websites, hoping to attract a buyer. I failed to assign the contract, canceled my agreement with the seller, and thought it was over.


A few weeks later, I received a letter from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) stating I was acting as a realtor without a license. 😱  This is not a fun letter to receive, true or not. Fortunately, I had been following my friend Jeff Watson's advice on this topic, so I wasn't too worried. The documentation provided to the DBPR included screenshots of my online profiles showing this 8-unit property for sale and my status as a wholesaler. To get the DBPR off my back, it was suggested I remove these postings and change my status. BiggerPockets gave me a hard time removing this information, but once they did, they stated they wouldn’t do it again.


Yes, I was innocent and I "won," but was it worth the time and stress? I don't believe so. This experience taught me to be careful about what you post and read online.


When I teach, I ask many questions and share from my experience, not necessarily telling you what to do, but what has worked for me. Some situations require a one-on-one conversation to help find the best solution for your unique situation. If this is something you need, click HERE to schedule a private call with me.

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