When I learned about creative real estate in 2010, I took that whole year to study and learn everything. I joined sites like BiggerPockets and would Google top 10 real estate investing books. I also spent a lot of time at bookstores (6 years ago bookstores still existed). And normally, they had a real estate section.
Fast forward a few years, and not too many bookstores were still around. I would also listen to real estate investing podcasts, but there were less than 10 at the time — and only about 4 were active. The rest were put out of business during the crash. Today, there are literally hundreds of real estate investing podcasts. I think the BiggerPockets Podcast is easily one of the best, if not the best. Be sure to check out my podcast interview on episode 116. I also joined my local real estate club. I then found out about meetup.com and went to all the real estate meetings my schedule allowed.
How I Found My Mentor
One day, as I was working the business calling Craigslist ads, I called one particular ad. I told him my name. Being that I have an unusual name, he remembered me immediately. He then said, “You’re always at the meetings.” He asked me what I was trying to accomplish. I told him and explained my goals. He advised me that he was a mentor and asked to talk more in person. He then invited me out to a real estate meeting that I knew nothing about. I did not know at the time, but not only did he become my mentor, but the host of that meeting did, too.
When seeking mentorship or coaching with no upfront fees, in my personal opinion, the internet is not the best place to go about it. I get a lot of emails and private messages from people asking me to mentor or coach them. Some of them know they would have to pay. (Disclaimer: I am not doing any coaching or mentoring.) Many of them want to do deal splits with no upfront money (so basically free, in other words). I don’t think this is the best way to approach anyone. The majority of the time, these newbies are disappointed with the answers they get.
Be Appealing to Potential Mentors
For me personally, I am working my own business. In the event I can’t make rent or my business overhead, I can’t look at my schedule and see I gave a newbie 15 hours of my time that week and do a backlog charging him for the hours I spoke with him. My main priorities are my faith, family, business, and community. Therefore, people asking me for deal splits or just sucking up my time are not appealing. A lot of the time, the crowd who does not pay for your coaching will not do anything. Now, there are some GREAT people on BiggerPockets who offer free coaching and mentoring. I strongly recommend you find those people and don’t waste their time.
Work Real Life Connections
I think the best way is to work your connections in real life. That means get off the internet, turn off the TV, and head to your local real estate meeting. Check BiggerPockets to see if you have local meetings in your area and go on meetup.com. The experienced investors like to help people who are helping themselves and not making excuses. I was once the youngest guy in my real estate club meetings. I actually won awards for being the youngest guy in the room. A lot of people were willing to help me because they saw me helping myself. In the meetings, I would ask questions, as well as show up before and stay after the meeting to talk to people. I was new, so I needed to know who could I learn from.
In conclusion, this is not an overnight process and is a lot harder than sending a PM asking for free coaching. The most important step is what you do in the real world. We know the world can be a cruel place at times; however, there are still good people who want to help you. You just have to be willing to help yourself. In some cases, it might just start out as getting an experienced investor’s phone number in your local market. Then, from there, turn it into a mentorship. I was consistently attending meetings for a year before I got offered coaching. I hope this helps you in your journey.
How did you find your mentor? Or if you’re still looking, what steps are you taking?
Let me know with a comment!