I believe birddogging is my only option given my situation (I have a large school debt and no job I can get will be adequate enough to pay my debt, survive, AND save for investment). I've quit my $10/hr night job to become an investor/wholesaler full-time (because even making 3 deals a month would be making me more money than I could make with my last employer), but I am not sure how to actually present information (or narrow down buyer criteria) as a birddog. All the buyers I've contacted thus far give me vague information about what they want - so instead of working on and looking for good, workable properties, I'm left with providing a bunch of Maybe's and still not sure how to present it to my buyers.
This is where I've come to ask if it would be totally naive or rude to ask for a mentor (who'd like to invest in/around Pittsburgh, PA) who could guide me, at the least temporarily, on how they would like properties submitted to them and what they consider a "good find". Naturally I would offer my first 5-10 successful deals free of any charge (or at the minimum a dollar). Would I/could I expect to be taken advantage of?
I've had a few classes, and read a few books. I'm not completely clueless about REI and the many, many branches of investing within it. I suppose its the details that I lack.
Am I stepping out of line asking for this sort of apprenticeship?
@Nastassja S. Hi! Welcome to BP!
I'm definitely not qualified to give you a "what you should do" answer since there are many real experienced pros on the site, but...
You could always try a digital mentor:
1. Check out the forums on the topics you'd like to become an expert in.
2. See who is frequently posting content that ends up answering questions you have.
3. Add those people as colleagues
4. Follow their posts and engage with them with specific questions relating to issues you're currently having
5. Apply the knowledge and report back and see if there's more that can be done.
Hope that helps and best of luck!
Well, it certainly is rude to ask, it can be naïve if you pick up just anyone with an offer, just like many other things, and as to too hopeful, understand you can ask questions here in the forums, but that drops back to that naïve aspect again if you listen to just anyone.
Contact @Steve Babiak
he's up there somewhere and wiser than any wholesaler I know of offering mentorships, no offense to others, he's just sharper and I really doubt you'd go wrong, heck, he might buy one from you! He's not a wholesaler, he's beyond that in skills I'm sure.
As to quitting a night job.....many in RE try to get night jobs! You don't do much RE at night or at least not late night. Any job is better than no job.
I'd also suggest you begin with the basics of RE, at least know what agents know, I think Steve would agree and he knows more than most. Good luck :)
Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com
@Nastassja S. I'm not trying to be your buzzkill, but you need to keep a steady income before you take a leap into the unknown. I understand what you said about the job you had not being what you wanted, but it's better than nothing. Sometimes it takes times to get things going and you are now offering to give away your first few deals, when you really can't afford that. 3 deals a month is a lot easier said than done.
I think you will do well to try to get a job in a RE related trade/profession (paid assistant to an investor or agent, title company, mortgage broker, lighting supply co, Lowe's or HD, etc, etc.) that will put you around people in the business and allow you to make some steady income while you get established. Then, as you start to develop a steady deal flow, you can plan to be a full time REI. I'm not saying that you have to wait until everything is perfect to leave a 9 to 5, but some patience is required to make a good decision that won't lead to financial disaster.
I think when you know enough to be a full time investor, you will know a good deal when you see one and investors will gladly buy them from you when you present a real wholesale deal to them. Do more communicating with your buyers to drill down on what their criteria is to buy.
As far as mentors go, it's very different when you ask to be "spoon fed" everything from the basics or when you ask for someone to help you fill in the blanks or help you understand some particular aspect of REI. Experienced investors get lots of requests from people looking for mentors, but a lot of those who want to be investors, have no staying power and you see them once or twice and never hear from them again. If time is our most precious resource, do you think it is worth while to spend a lot of it trying to serve such whimsical impulses?
Out of line? No. Premature? Yes
Several things mentioned in your post caught my attention. The most glaring being your focus on building a buyers list. As a wholesaler, my first priorities would be learning what makes a good deal, learning how to evaluate rehab costs, learning how to market (advertise) for off-market properties, etc... What good is a buyers list w/out properties to assign? And what good are those properties if not properly evaluated? All of this info is here on BP. From there, a mentor will be able assist and provide direction on deepening your understanding of the various intricacies involved in your strategy/niche.
Step 1 - Get a job, any job (or get your old job back). How are you going to market for properties, not to mention pay your bills, without money?
Step 2 - Learn the RE basics.
Step 3 - Become a student of your strategy/niche (see paragraph above)
Step 4 - Reach out to potential mentors
Remember-- a mentoring relationship is a reciprocal relationship of mutual trade for mutual profit b/t both parties.
I'll leave you with a quote:
"There is no conflict of interests among men who do not desire the unearned, who do not make sacrifices nor accept them, who deal with one another as traders, giving value for value."
I absolute appreciate all your feedback @Nick Williamson ,@Robert Leonard ,@Bill Gulley . I could certainly find a new job - luckily there's an ACE being built nearby. Sorry Bill, that night job was an overnight job. Just undoable right now.
I guess I just needed to hear someone say sit down, shut up, and learn. I keep hearing the extremely motivated part of my mind say "Go for it! Time is of the essence!" so, I suppose, I push to rush everything. Thank you for all the advice and constructive criticism. I'll sit back in my chair and keep reading up on things.
@Nastassja S. I was going through a similar situation 2 years ago. I wanted to get into RE as it was/is my passion but didn't know how. That's how I found about BP. Honestly, what if you found someone to work for. Possibly a rehabber or even an active (over booked) broker. My thought was that if I was doing RE 100% of the time, it would be better than doing it part time. Being able to pick up a paycheck no matter how small, is better than no paycheck. Of course this is just my opinion. I Found a job through either monster.com or career builder as an acquisition analyst and it changed my life. Obviously seem to be echoing what @Robert Leonard said.
As for Pittsburgh check out Pittsburgh ACRE. Not the flashiest website but seems to be a good organization, they meet once a month I believe and you can attend your first one free.
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