Real Estate Investing Basics

4 Practical Steps to Find Your Perfect Real Estate Mentor Match

Expertise: Business Management, Personal Development, Real Estate Wholesaling
59 Articles Written

Hey, guys! I have written a lot of posts that touch on the subject of finding a real estate mentor and the importance of it, but I've never fully discussed the how.

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As always, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this ,and it’s my goal today to show you, step-by-step, the practical way to successfully find a real estate mentor.

Why Do You Need A Real Estate Mentor in the First Place?

Well, because I have met very few successful, long-term real estate investors who have made it without one.

Having a seasoned investor to bounce comps with, ask advice, and grow with is something that I believe is the most crucial step in becoming a real estate investor.

If you do it alone, you’ll make a lot more mistakes and struggle a lot more than if you had taken the time to seek the influence and insight of a mentor.

Should You Pay for a Real Estate Mentor?

You know, my answer may surprise you, but if under the right circumstances, I think it is possible to benefit from a paid mentorship. In essence, it should function like hiring a business coach who specializes in real estate investing.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Incredible Mentors

If you pursue that route, however, I would caution that you need to be 100 percent sure that they’re not going to promise you the world and ultimately not deliver.

There are a lot of real estate gurus out there who would love to take your money and leave you in the dust. Don’t get caught in their trap!

Though I think a paid mentorship under the right circumstances could work, my preferred route is through partnership.

I’d rather go in on a deal that a newbie brought me in exchange for some coaching rather than get paid an hourly rate.

I just like it better because, for me, it’s cleaner and creates a better “win-win,” but again, that’s just a personal preference.


Step #1: Find A Seasoned Real Estate Investor

Sometimes people have difficulty finding a seasoned investor in their area. My suggestion would be to start with the BiggerPockets keyword alerts and reaching out to local investors that way.

If that doesn't work, if you have MLS access, you can do a search for cash-buyers who have bought in your area over the last six months and then reach out to them that way.

Beyond that, is also another way to get connected to other investors in your market.

Once your potential mentor is found, invite them out for coffee or for lunch.

Step #2: Don’t Ask to Be Mentored

Though I have a had a few people who started off this way with me turn out OK, the vast majority of people who ask me to mentor them within the first time of meeting typically were a waste of my time.

Asking a real estate investor to mentor you the first time you meet is similar to going to a bar and asking the first woman you meet to marry you.

Doesn’t usually turn out so hot!

My first suggestion would be to take it slow. You need to make sure that the both of you fit well together and mutually benefit from the relationship.

In your first meeting, I would ask them questions like:

  • What are your core values?
  • What are some things you’re passionate about in life?
  • What kind of investing do you do, and how do you do it?
  • What would be your suggestions for me, as a complete beginner?
  • Do you partner on deals on a case-by-case basis?

Listen far more than you speak in this first meeting.

Step #3: Discover Their Needs in a Non-Arrogant Way

Next, I’d seek out to discover what their business is lacking. Maybe your potential real estate mentor is a one-man operation, and taking all the motivated seller calls is weighing on him (or her).

Maybe they’re overwhelmed by having to view too many properties and are in need of some extra help there.

Or maybe they’re terrible at utilizing online marketing and are missing out on that huge opportunity.

Whatever it is for their specific situation, once you've found it through asking strategic questions, offer ways that you may be able to step in and help.

Related: Getting Started with Real Estate Investing: An Interview with My Real Estate Mentor

Here’s a big key, though: DO NOT tell them how to run their business or come across as a know-it-all!

You’ve got to take the humble route, my friend. You have never done a deal (or have done very little) compared to this investor, and you are in no place to preach to them.

Your communication needs to come across as simply wanting to help and learn.

Suggest running social media for them, helping out with some motivated seller calls, or cleaning their office even!

Then once they make a suggestion of something you can do, go far above their expectations.

Under-promise but over-deliver, meaning wow them with your responsiveness and work ethic. If they ask you do 5-10 hours, give them 15-20 or even full time without asking to be compensated for it.

Genuinely show interest, and let your work speak for itself.

If you do this, the more value you bring (if they’re a decent person and a worthy mentor), the more your mentor will help you out.


Step #4: Bring Them Deals

As you help them in their business, on the side, be aggressive at finding deals.

You will most likely get a lot of duds, but that’s OK! You’re now in a position where you can call on the advice of a seasoned investor, and you’re learning, so it’s all good.

Run your own analysis of the deal, come up with your own numbers, and ask your potential mentor to check them for you.

If they say your numbers look good, ask them if they’d like to partner with you on this particular deal. You can say, “What would you suggest I do? Would you like to go in on this one with me? You can take 50 percent if you finance it and walk me through all the steps involved.”

If the investor agrees, boom — you just found yourself a real estate mentor.

Then all you have to do is rinse and repeat. Continue to serve their company and needs, and in the meantime, bring them deals that you two can potentially partner on.

It’s really that simple, but it’s definitely not that common!

Most people approach this with the wrong perspective. They go in to take a lot more than they’re willing to give, and those are the people who don’t last in this business.

Without money and expertise, serving and adding value is really the only leverage you have starting out, so use it wisely!

If you already have a real estate mentor, how did you find them, and what tips would you add to this article? If you’re looking for a mentor, how are you going about finding one?

Leave your comments below!

Brett Snodgrass is CEO of Simple Wholesaling and has been a full-time real estate investor for 10+ years. He specializes in wholesaling, wholetailin...
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    Curt Smith Rental Property Investor from Clarkston, GA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    A useful comment by Tai Lopez: if you’re 30 yr old hire mentors, coaches, etc to learn from others mistakes not your own so that you’ll be successful by 40, not the typical 70 if ever. 🙂 Taking coaching is call about accelerating success.
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Amen Curt! I 100% agree. Thanks for commenting.
    Douglas Skipworth Rental Property Investor from Memphis, TN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great post! It’s got me reflecting on how I could bring some more value to a few of my mentors. Thanks, Brett.
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    No problem Douglas! I’m glad to see it helped you get your wheels turning. Can I ask what types of things you’re thinking? If you’re up to sharing, it might be some good insight for newbies looking to find a mentor. Thanks!
    Sachin Acharya from Dubai , Dubai
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great post. May be we can call this teaching a man how to fish instead of giving him one. So thanks for teaching me how to fish. I love the clearly laid out steps. Thanks Sachin Acharya
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    No problem Sachin, I’m glad you found it helpful!
    Steve Vaughan Rental Property Investor from East Wenatchee, WA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks for sharing this, Brett. Good outline of steps to find a mentor and ideas of what to bring to the table. I flinched a little at one or two of the deep philosophical job interview questions suggested over coffee or lunch, but great suggestions overall!
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks for commenting Steve! Can I ask what made you flinch? Are you not one to go deep with people you do business with? Look forward to your insight.
    Steve Vaughan Rental Property Investor from East Wenatchee, WA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hi Brett. The first question suggested made me flinch. We are not yet decided if we are doing business or not. “What are your core values?” Recently a flooring guy and an appliance delivery guy on separate occasions offered to help work on one of my apt buildings for free just to be around. There are aspiring investors everywhere, it seems! I liked them both and we chatted so long the delivery driver had to clear his throat and point to his watch. If their first question was about my core values while we were working, I would think it a little sudden is all. Just my opinion. It may be fine for others!
    Zachary Sargent from Bloomington, Illinois
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I like this. A very insightful read. I have met someone for lunch in my town and he was really informative and he let me know if I find any deals to let him know about it (which I will do). He let my girlfriend and I talk to him for almost two hours and was totally cool with everything. I saw him at a REI meeting, recognized who he was and just started a conversation. My advice would be to just listen. Many investors seem to want to pay it forward.
    Lane Kawaoka Rental Property Investor from Honolulu, HAWAII (HI)
    Replied over 4 years ago
    RE has been such a powerful tool for me and empowered my financially that I feel my calling is to give back and teach those who are willing to step out of their comfort zones. I’m willing to give pro bono chats as I am trying to build a reputation as a passive investor and trying to improve my teaching style.
    Monique Dubois from Cotati, California
    Replied over 4 years ago
    The site when I click on you shows a charge of $5/minute. That’s not pro bono, right?
    Lane Kawaoka Rental Property Investor from Honolulu, HAWAII (HI)
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I never actually ended up using that thing since it only scheduled events if there was money exchanging hands. I found a new calendar integration tool thats free,
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Well that’s awesome Lane! Sounds like a good plan.
    Jeff Goedeker Rental Property Investor from Whiteland, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great article Brett. As someone who mentors others in my group (outside real estate), I always find that I always learn something myself from them or come away with a greater clarity than I had before for walking someone else through it. After all, helping and being kind to one another is what it’s all about.
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    YES! Jeff, this is so spot on! I 100% agree. I learn from my team and those I mentor every day!
    Rico Saldana from Daytona Beach, Florida
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Is it ok to reach out to investors through there listed address? ANd if so what should be said on a letter to them?
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hi Rico, I’m not sure you’re question is related to the article, but I’d love to help you and answer it. Yes, I think it’s totally fine to reach out to investors through their listed address, via mail (though I won’t show up in person). On a letter, it depends on what you’d like to talk to them about. If you’re looking to them for mentorship, I’d just say something to the effect of, “Hi [Insert Name], I’m an aspiring real estate investor, and I’ve noticed that you’ve purchased a lot of houses cash in the last couple of months. Could we sit down for coffee sometime? I’d love a chance to pick your brain and see if I can begin bringing you deals. My contact information is below.” Something like that!
    NAJEE JAMERSON Real Estate Investor from Las Vegas, Nevada
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great information I have a meeting with a potential mentor tomorrow morning I will definitely take this advice into my meeting.
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Awesome Najee! That’s great! I’m glad I could help better equip you. Let me know how it goes!
    Ayodeji Kuponiyi Investor from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Big take aways, thanks for sharing this!
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hi Ayodeji! Awesome and the pleasure is all mine 🙂
    Russell Gronsky Specialist from Baltimore, MD
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Appreciate this article. Glad I found it before I set out looking for a mentor. I had the basic idea on how to approach a potential mentor down but you have some great tips to make the whole interaction much smoother than mine would have gone otherwise. Thanks!
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Glad I could help Russell. People in your situation are why I write these articles, my friend! God bless you in your search!
    Diedrick Nagle Rental Property Investor from Golden, CO
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Loved the article, especially the sample questions, staying humble, and think “win-win” Great information, thank you.
    Brett Snodgrass Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks for the comment Diedrick! I’m glad to be able to give some insight into this crazy world of real estate investing!
    Michael Prakash Real Estate Investor from Castro Valley, California
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great post Brett. These steps really help in breaking into an industry centered on trust and formed through creating relationships. I definitely feel equipped to bring something to the table now.