Keys to Finding Your Local Mentor
When starting out there is a question you ask yourself, how do I get started, or where do I start? Many people answer this questions by saying "you need to find a mentor", and you think well that’s easy enough mentors are everywhere (sarcasm). The answer to that question is “yes” mentors are everywhere, but you have to position yourself as a new investor to be found. Many experienced real estate investors have seen many wannabes (newbies) come and many go, hoping to use their experiences to become an investor, as if there is some great methodology to working in real estate. Here are some key things that a great mentee must do to help investors build their real estate business.
Visualize Your End—There is nothing more frustrating than someone ask you how did I get started in real estate and they do not know why they want to be in real estate. My first question to them is where do you want real estate to take you? By asking this questions quickly tells me if this person is looking for the get rich quick scheme or they have a passion for real estate. A person that has a passion for this field will be able to overcome the many obstacles they will face. First step is to begin with the end in mind—this is what any successful real estate investor must do. If you know where you want to go only then will you be able to outline how you will get there. By being able to answer this question will save you a lot of time. I encourage people starting out by making sure you look for the right mentor and not just any mentor. If your end is to build a portfolio of apartment complexes you do not want to have your mentor solely experienced in mobile home parks. You want to make sure that you will be able to provide value to the mentor and you will receive valuable lessons as the mentee.
Provide Value—It is difficult for a mentor to continuously take time out of their day to work with someone, especially if they are not providing value back to them. A great approach is to always inform your prospective mentor what you can do for them. The key to investors’ longevity is their ability to find deals, provide another resource for them to find deals. You can start with a mailing list and let them know you are in the midst of a mailing campaign to tired landlords and/or recent probates or estates and you are still learning how to evaluate deals and you will send them possible leads from your mailing campaign. Another approach is; find out what area they like to work and find out what their investment criteria is, then drive for dollars exclusively in their sweet spots. Finally, ask if they need help with demo, or picking up supplies, trash, permits anything, it may not be what you want to do but the little things do make a difference. You need to be eager and persistent but humble enough to start at the bottom.
Positioning—I said earlier that mentors are everywhere, and this statement is very true. How do I find a mentor “Easy”! The first thing you need to do is begin working. No, I do not mean just doing research in the comforts of your home but begin to hit the pavement. Find the areas where investors frequent for example: rei meetings (I know you have heard this before, and tried this before; and yes you have but not with the 2 principles above outlined), visit areas where there is a lot of rehab activity going on, go home and study the area and know why investors are in the area. Once you have that figured out then approach a team that is working at a site. True enough the investor may not be there but the project manager or the general contract may be on site, and ask to help out. They may be skeptical at first but if you are consistent and work hard you will begin to build the relationships you are looking for. Go to the guru sells pitch classes, you have probably been there already but the next time you go look around. The people that are helping the guru are usually local investors. What’s the harm in taking in a free class and possibly finding someone you can help grow their real estate business.