At the beginning of May Grupeer was thrilled to host such an influential blogger in P2P investment space and also a great person -Lars Wrobbel. Lars is an owner and author of Passives Einkommen mit P2P blog. Usually, Lars is writing reviews and blog posts about p2p platforms, but we decided to have some fun and switched places. Now, Lars is the hero of a blog article. Find out the story about Lars and his journey as a blogger! #LarsVisits
Lars in Riga
Lars has been stunned by the friendly atmosphere in Grupeer office, he mentioned that German workplaces are usually more reserved. He has been a frequent guest in the P2P investment companies’ offices and it is the second time he visited us. After Grupeer has answered all questions that are of interest to P2P investor community, we couldn’t resist to ask some questions to Lars and find out how did he come to where he is now.
Lars got inspired to start his own blog in 2015, after watching YouTube video of another influential German blogger in investment field- Kolja Barghoorn. In this video, Kolja was talking about German P2P investment platform and Lars thought that this is a great way to earn passive income. After discovering more higher yielding Baltic P2P platforms, and even being among the first investors there, the fascination with P2P investing has started. The blog was a way to document his own experience and to gain more knowledge in P2P investing space.
What surprised him, when his blog started, that he had many unique monthly visitors and was able to build a loyal audience. Today his community is the biggest one in the German-speaking countries. His opinion became respected and listened to in a P2P investors’ community. What was the key to his success? Well, many say that Lars, unlike some other bloggers doesn’t take money to write a good review about the platform he doesn’t trust. If the company is shady, he is not afraid to leave the negative review. The primary reasons for that are his own values- he wants to be honest with his readers and also the income from the blog is not his primary source. So, in this sense, being financially independent is helpful. On the other hand, even if you are relying on the income from the blog, you will earn once your audience grows and readers’ network expands when they feel that you are honest with them.
The blog Passives Einkommen mit P2P is still just a hobby for Lars, however, the investors in P2P loans are carefully following his insights and trust Lars with their own issues, asking advice and raise problems that they have experienced with some P2P loan providers.
Some advice for P2P platforms
Lars has visited many platforms while he pursuing his hobby as a blogger, and even made some friends among them, all because Lars is bringing incredible value to the industry as a whole. He is an investor with 21 platforms already, have written many independent reviews and a book, thus he can easily say what are the possible minuses that some platforms have.
The biggest drawback, he mentions, is the lack of transparency among some platforms. Faking it is even worse- never misstate your revenues and profit figures. From a technical point of view, Lars highlights the Auto-Invest function, which is vital for the success of a P2P platform. Many investors in P2P loans, just like Lars, are diversifying their investments among different P2P platforms and it is very time-consuming to manage their money manually. Some platforms are an exception, as it is important to familiarize yourself with the business case of the loan. But otherwise, he and other investors want their investments to be done mostly passively and automatically. For German investors, also, it is incredibly useful to have the detailed reporting- i.e. the interest received, breakdown by investments and repayments.
Giving and receiving
Lars is doing a lot for his followers and trying to bring a lot of value. However, he is incredibly grateful to his community, as they have encouraged him to look deeper into some issues and raise questions to the platforms that he didn’t think about before. Some platforms have 60+ loan originators and Lars wouldn’t have time to investigate each one of them. The readers with great attention to detail spot things that can be investigated, which helped Lars to improve his investigative skills.
The relationships with P2P platforms help too, to get inspirations. Many of them reaching out to Lars with interesting topics to write about. The “P2P Lifestyle project” (when Lars spends a week or two at the office of P2P platform), came from the P2P company itself, in an effort to increase their transparency. This video became so popular, that Lars decided to make a series out of it. So, hang on, there are more to come!
Taking part in industry formation
The P2P investment industry is booming right now, as more and more people are becoming aware of the high-interest rate that can be earned. However, it is a relatively new asset class and we are going to witness many changes as it matures. Lars feels that many things have been changed already since he became an investor. There are industry leaders, who have adopted many changes, while smaller companies are copying these changes, and this is a good thing. It is a very exciting time right now to be involved, as bloggers, companies and investors are taking part in shaping the whole new industry. There are common challenges and issues that are overcome better when P2P companies are sharing their expertise. This has happened thanks to bloggers like Lars, who are connecting the industry together. Besides that, Lars was one of the people, who inspired the creation of the first-ever P2P conferences, which will happen in Riga. (N.B. Grupeer will be Gold Partner at this conference, reach out to get our promo code; to read more about the conference, press here).
Networking and collaborating with industry players are very important, as it will help to eliminate the cheaters and unreliable market participants. Lars says that the creation of P2P association is an ultimate goal. Being part of the association would set the standard and become the association member the company would need to pass some basic screening criteria. The regulation will also evolve and it would be interesting to watch how different companies will adopt the changes.
We at Grupeer are only grateful for such bloggers who are not careless about the P2P industry and are contributing their time to help to shape it. We hope that collaboration with like-minded bloggers and P2P investment platforms will help to build and shape the strong industry.