Happy New Year, everybody! I recently re-read my post from the end of 2015, 5 things I learned from the blog in 2014 and 5 goals for 2015. It feels like just yesterday that I wrote that post, but when I look back, I’m amazed by how much I got done this past year.
2015 was an exciting year. Here are a few of the highlights:
- I completed a site redesign which has completely changed the course of the blog, and enables me to provide a more tailored experience for readers.
- I wrote 36 posts, with the following topic break-down:
- Start a Career in CRE – 10
- Start a CRE Company – 14
- Invest Passively in CRE – 7
- Technology/Innovation – 5
- I sent out 8 email Newsletters.
- I added 943 subscribers to the email list.
- I created 2 lead magnets:
- ASotREG’s 10 Part Guide to a Free Master’s in Real Estate
- What 20 Real Estate Operator’s Wish They Knew When Starting Their Firm
- There was over 80,000 unique visitors and 250,000 pageviews.
I’m thankful so many people gave me their attention in 2015 and my goal in 2016 is to provide you with nothing but great content to help you grow your CRE career, get more deals done, or invest passively in real estate.
5 Things I Learned in 2015
1. Blogging is just learning out loud At the end of 2014 I wrote that I’m not a real estate expert and that I certainly don’t know it all. That hasn’t changed, but the best description for what I do on this blog is simply learn out loud. I’m constantly learning like all of you, I’m just doing it publicly and enabling others to learn with me.
2. Doing your own deals is really hard. While this is something I’ve always known, this year it became more evident just how hard it is to do your own deals. I watched a lot of good friends, who are smart real estate professionals with good contacts, attempt to do their own deals and fail. I think their failure was combination of challenging timing and the fact that maybe they’re not cut out to be entrepreneurs.
3. Real estate crowdfunding is on the brink of blowing up (in a bad way).I’ve followed the real estate crowdfunding space closely and what I’ve seen is scary. Crowdfunding platforms are doing as many deals as possible, feeling pressure from their VC investors, with little diligence and oversight. High net-worth investors searching for yield are pouring money into deals accepting sponsors underwriting as fact. With all the lousy deals and poor sponsors getting funding and the market being over-heated, I think the industry is primed for a blow up.
4. I have no idea “what inning” we’re in.Market pundits spend a lot of time talking about what inning we’re in and whether or not we’re in a bubble. Personally, I have no clue what inning we’re in and to be honest, it doesn’t matter much. Ultimately the cycle will not define us; our strategy, ability to identify value and risk, and execution will.
5. Physical and Mental health is key to professional success. Every successful person I listen to sites mental health such as meditation and physical health including eating well and exercising as keys to their success. Here are a few products I’ve used to transform my physical and mental well-being:
- I’ve implemented journaling into my daily routine using the Five Minute Journal. Shifting your focus to the positive first thing in the morning and before bed has greatly improved my happiness.
- Soylent is a food replacement I’ve been drinking for breakfast and snacks throughout the day. It taste great and has the perfect mix of vitamins and nutrients needed for health and top performance.
- Nootrobox is a series of compounds with cognitive enhancing properties. I’ve been using them to replace my daily cups of coffee and optimize performance and have found them effective thus far.
- I recently purchased a TOPO standing desk mat which should greatly improve my posture when using my standing desk.
5 Goals for 2016
1. Segment the email lists and create custom email follow up sequences. Now that I’ve segmented the content into 3 distinct buckets, I’m working to move email subscribers into the correct bucket and create a custom email follow-up series that’s tailored specifically for you. This will enable me to deliver exactly the content you’re looking for directly to your inbox.
2. Let the analytics drive the content creation.To date, the content on the blog has been driven almost entirely by what I was working on and thinking about at the time. While I’ll continue to write about what interests me, I’ll let the data drive a lot of the content creation. For example, the 3 most popular posts of the year were:
- What it’s Really like Working in Real Estate Private Equity
- Top 100 Commercial Real Estate Company Websites
- Making Career Moves in Real Estate: The Things I’ve Learned
Visitors are looking for specific real estate career advice as well as actionable ‘how-to’ posts. In 2016, I’m going to write more posts that show you, step-by-step, how certain things are done.
3. Get serious about affiliate marketing. Okay, this was a goal in 2015 as well, and while I made some progress, 2016 is going to be the year I get serious about growing my affiliate partnerships and monetizing the blog. As always, I promise that it’ll be clear if it’s an affiliate link and I’ll only promote products that I’ve used and love.
4. Begin planning a course/product. While the online education space is exploding, real estate is completely undeserved. Through the blog I’ve learned the various niches that are in high demand such as how to prepare for an interview in real estate private equity and how to raise capital for your first deal. While the products may not launch in 2016, I’m going to begin creating the content for a standalone course.
5. Continue to have fun. I initially created the blog to become part of the conversation and engage with the real estate community. I don’t want it to feel like another task on my to-do list. In order to do that I’m going to continue featuring interesting guests, connecting with ambitious real estate professionals, and writing content that interests/inspires me. By doing that, I’ll create the best content and ensure a great experience for all readers.
2015 was a great year for the blog, as well as an exciting year personally. I got married on New Year’s in South Florida and as of this posting, I’m off on my honeymoon in Costa Rica. Thanks for making 2015 an unforgettable year and I look forward to connecting with you all in 2016!
What would you like to see from the blog in 2016?