Updated: Oct 23, 2020
The real estate space is one of the biggest industries on Earth, with numerous segments and specialities.
Most real estate brands focus on one area of the industry and try to become the go-to name in that space, solving a really specific problem at a high level.
Other brands, like Connected Investors, try to do everything at once.
In this review, we’ll break down what Connected Investors is, what it offers, and whether it’s worth the cost.
Let’s get started.
What Is Connected Investors?
Connected Investors is a company that claims to connect real estate investors to private funding, off-market deals, and other serious real estate investors.
The company was founded in 2005 by real estate investor Ross Hamilton, who remains the CEO today.
Ross was 23 years old when he founded the company. After having some initial success in real estate investing, he realized that a lot of real estate success came from knowing the right people, and so he set out to create an online hub where serious professionals from all over the country could connect and work out deals together.
Ross envisioned an online platform, complete with website and app, that would facilitate this connection and allow people from all over the country to access each other, learn new tricks and techniques, and partner together on deals.
Connected Investors started originally as an online forum, where beginners could learn from the pros and the pros could connect with each other. The forum tended to revolve around the following topics:
Not sure how to start getting/increasing leads
Who to talk to
What to learn
Who to learn it from
What courses to purchase
Which communities to join
Who to trust
What software to use
Today, Connected Investors claims to be the “biggest social network for realtors”, a bold claim given their competition:
Ross claims that the real estate industry is the largest industry to not have a technological revolution. He hints that since so many levels of professionals profit tremendously off of the old school style of real estate transactions, there is no motivation for the industry to improve and become more efficient.
Naturally, Connected Investors is his proposed solution to this problem:
“We are here to streamline transactions, provide transparency, and remove unnecessary costs associated with finding, figuring, funding, and flipping real estate.
At Connected Investors, we believe buying and selling investment properties should be as fluid as investing in stocks. Everything we do is designed to streamline real estate transactions, drive down costs, and increase the overall liquidity in the market."
What Does Connected Investors Offer?
While the original goal seemed to be about connecting the right people, the advertising for Connected Investors has evolved in a number of directions since the brand was launched.
The first and biggest offer is still their community. The pitch is that you can access tons of private, non-bank lenders to help you finance your deals, find people offering off-MLS properties, and connect with cash buyers looking to purchase deals. In other words, you should be able to just login and find, arrange, and close deals within their community with barely any additional work. After all, finding good properties, sourcing funding, and finding buyers is pretty much 95% of real estate investing.
And since that is such an obvious value, they make the platform similar to old dating apps, where you can’t actually message people unless you become a premium member. You can only see profiles as a free member, and you’ll need to pay to engage with people.
Additionally, there is also a technology component, as Ross mentioned in the above quote.
It’s suggested that Connected Investors members can streamline the process for finding and closing real estate deals through the site’s technology.
This takes place via the website and forum, and then there is an app as well for both Android and Apple. On the Google Play Store, the average score is 4.3 out of 5, with over 50K downloads. On the App Store, out of 237 reviews, they have a score of 4.2 out of 5.
Outside of the simple website + app platform, there are two main technology offerings:
We’ll talk about these more in the next section.
The brand has also started focusing on the education side of things, offering free courses as part of their membership, as well as a YouTube show called “The Exactly How” podcast, promising actionable steps for each method shown on each episode they feature on the channel.
The show features things like underground Real Estate investing secrets, famous mentors (like Ron LeGrand), improving mental and financial health, and more.
So to sum it up, Connected Investors is a premium membership that lets you connect with other members, access real estate training, and have the option of purchasing additional real estate technology.
Let’s talk about that extra tech.
Connected Investors’ Two “Big” Tech Products
Outside of the premium membership, Connected Investors has two main products: Deal Dog and PiN.
Let’s first talk about the cheaper product out of these two.
So, imagine this huge digital map of the USA on your screen, with all the states clearly divided. You can either use your mouse to click on a certain state and see the deals, or you can type your desired destination in the top search bar.
The Deal Dog map is powered by Google maps, which is very powerful, easy, and intuitive to use. You can zoom in & out, drag, reset, and refresh data.
Below each area you look at or click on, a list will appear. This list is ideally a relevant, updated list with existing and newest deals in the area.
Probably the coolest feature of Deal Dog is the Alert tab. It lets you “follow” certain specific areas you choose and get notified to an email address you provide the program with.This lets you set emails to be sent to you daily, or each and every time a new property has been found on Deal Dogs.
Under the Dashboard tab, you can find all the active deals that exist in the areas or states you chose to follow.
The less appealing fact is that Dog Deal gathers the deals from different sites.
For example, on the list of active deals on your Dashboard tab, you can see many properties that are published on Craigslist.
If you see a property you like on the Dashboard tab, you can click SAVE and type a little note to yourself, about why you saved it, or how you want to approach this prospect.
For these deals you like, you have another tab, the Saved tab. This tab gives you a consolidated view of all the deals you are currently working on or interested in. It narrows down the distractions and helps you focus.
Deal Dog costs $97 per month, and it promises:
24/7 Premium Supports (customer services)
Lifetime Updates. You will be upgraded automatically with each new version that comes out.
“Level 2 upgrade” - A level 2 account on Connected Investors have the ability to direct message investors. It also gives you access to view new deals 3 days before others can see them.
Connected Investors also offers another, more expensive product.
It works as a program on your PC and runs what is essentially a better version of Deal Dog that lets you see properties in a much cleaner way, with a smoother presentation, and a cleaner UI.
When you zoom in on an area with PiN, you get the properties in the area shown on the right-hand side with their most updated picture on Google Maps. In addition to that, you get to see immediately how many bedrooms & bathrooms they contain.
The list (with the pictures) on the right-hand side is called “Property Cards” and once clicked on one of those pictures (cards) you will get some real in-depth info, such as:
The price of the property
The After Repair Value of the property
Size (in acres)
Date of last purchase
Price of that purchase
Equity in the property
Last date updated
Contact info of the seller (email, phone).
Get Funded Button (connects you with verified lenders)
In addition to that, you have at the bottom a list, just like in Deal Dog. The list is a summary of the Deals you are seeing available on the map itself.
However, on PiN, you have these special toggles. They act as a filter system. For example, you can toggle off deals from Craigslist, or set to show only deals from buyers only.
Scrolling further down, you will get to the Ci Institute section of the PiN program. It acts as a library for audiobooks, videos, classes, updates, boot camps, and tools to download, such as:
Working with seller scripts
There are individual PDFs to download for each script, and separate videos explaining how to use each and every tool. Deal Dog is included as one of the tools if you decide to go ahead and get PiN.
PiN light costs $814 or the Pro version costs $1997.
Connected Investors Review: Is It Worth Your Time & Money?
In our opinion, the premise behind each of Connected Investors offers is solid.
Meeting the right people IS a huge part succeeding in real estate.
There ARE numerous opportunities to streamline the real estate investing process using technology.
Education IS a big hurdle for new investors.
Finding deals IS the #1 challenge for pretty much all real estate investors.
The problem, however, is that rather than investing in providing an amazing solution to one of these problems, Connected Investors has done a thoroughly mediocre job at trying to solve all of them at once.
Let’s start with the community.
The value of a community is based on the average quality of the participants.
Accordingly, if you want a great, high quality community, you need to filter in the right participants.
Instead, Connected Investors has focused on driving hundreds of thousands of people into the free membership, resulting in a hodgepodge of mostly beginners and wannabes looking for people to hand them free deals on a silver platter.
There’s no reason for the experienced members to stick around unless they are trying to sell a product to the beginners, so as a result, they’ve all left outside of a few spammers.
You aren’t going to find legitimate private lenders here. You aren’t going to find secret pre-MLS deals. You aren’t going to find big investors who can purchase tons of deals from you.
You are going to find a ton of beginners. And you are going to find this:
One of the biggest complaints with Connected Investors is that just like dating apps, it’s chock full of scammers and spammers.
This is a recurring theme on review threads about the company, and it’s not really a surprise, given their volume-based membership approach.
So while it’s theoretically possible to meet legitimate, serious investors on the platform, at this point, it seems highly unlikely that will be your experience.
Now let’s discuss the technology.
When we look at software like Deal Dog and PiN, we find the same theme: great idea, mediocre execution.
This seems to be the common review of Deal Dog:
And this is typical review for PiN:
I want to clarify here that the vision for these tools isn’t the issue. For serious investors, $100 per month or $2,000 up front isn’t a major expense.
If that helps you land even one additional deal per year, it’s worth it.
That’s obviously a super low bar, and it explains why some people have had success with Connected Investors.
The problems, however, include:
Wildly overhyped marketing
Excessive spammers and scammers
Very underdeveloped technology
Poor customer service
One Connected Investors member did a great job of summing up the most positive possible take on the company:
“Ross Hamilton's effort to take real estate investing into the technological age is at it's pioneering stage at best. I can understand why there would be a lot of unanswered glitches moving forward. Connected Investors truly is one of the most important movements of this new "Share Economy age we are moving into. So I would not throw the baby out with the bath water. The baby, being Connected Investor's vision is pure and innocent. The baby I give 2 stars for it's innovation and playing a part of disruption of the current real estate paradigm. There are enough people in CI who are having great success.The bathwater is the non-forthcoming, non-forthright way in which the handle their customers - they just won't respond. And once your money is in their coffers, past the legal refund period, they don't have to. And the fact that their webinars paint a picture of their apps to be a state of the arts diesel engine train, but turns out to be a one horse stage coach...”
Our conclusion here is that if even their “happy” customers are saying, “This is a 2-star product at this stage,” there’s no reason for you to be purchasing it.
Especially considering there are much better options available.
Is There A Better Way To Do Real Estate Investing?
Connected Investors attempts to help you leverage technology to find deals. In practice, all they really do is aggregate listings from multiple sites.
Ironically, while Connected Investors goal is to lead the way with technology, their tools aren’t even using the most modern methods for filling your deals pipeline.
You can do better, and we want to help. That’s why we’ve put together a case study on how we became the #3 wholesaler in the US, bringing in 50-80 deals every single month.
If you want to learn the best possible way to fill your deals pipeline, you don’t want to miss this.