How do I find an ACTUAL real estate investor mentor?

17 Replies

I am willing to work in trade for learning, but I need to work directly with an actual mentor...not a guru, not a coach, not someone who is going to drain my funds.



@Ned Carey  wrote an article about mentoring vs coaching

@Bryan Cal

Why should someone spend time with you? 

What is in it for the Mentor to work with Bryan Cal?

Is time not money?

Where are you strong?

Where are you weak?

What are you willing to do to get a "mentor"?  Work for free in his-her business instead of "drain your funds"?

What have you accomplished in real estate investing?

What do you want to learn?

Where do you want to be in 12 months?  24 months?  36 months?  60 months?  120 months?

Sorry Bryan, but the attitude (I might be reading this wrong so forgive me) I hear is some "entitlement" attitude, but I might be mistaken.

What are you willing to GIVE UP to be financially independent, to work in your PJs til noon, to travel whenever you want, without asking permission?

I have had this on my BP blog for over 7 years or so, it is the CREDO of a Real Estate Investor.

Hope you enjoy it!


Our Credo as Real Estate Investors:

I am a Real Estate Investor.

Of all of the occupations I have tried, researched, pondered, and read about over the years, there is none which compares to mine. My work is fun. I take ugly houses and make them beautiful. I help people out of difficult situations.

I am a Real Estate Investor. I am my own boss. I often work in my pajamas from the comfort of my home. I have no employees to baby sit, no perishable inventory to move, no franchise fees to pay, and no store to maintain. Still, I am in the top 5% of all income earners.

I am a Real Estate Investor. I now enjoy freedoms I’ve never had before. I am the master of my day. I choose who to work with. I choose my hours, and I decide if I will work 20 hours or 40 hours this week. I can also choose to take the day off, without obtaining anyone’s permission. I can take a month-long vacation. I can sleep in, or take a power nap after lunch if I want. I can review my notes and return my calls while lounging in my jacuzzi. I no longer have to commute during rush hour.

I have the freedom to spend lots of time with my wife and children. I do not have the stress and pressure of needing to close my next deal by the end of the week, by the end of this month, or even by the end of this year.

I live in one of the nicest neighborhoods, in one of the most beautiful states, in the best country that has ever existed on this Earth.

I am a Real Estate Investor. There are many who ‘want’ to be like me; many who are ‘studying’ to be like me; and many more who would be like me, but are just waiting for ‘this opportunity to appear’ or ‘that circumstance to change’… At the end of the day, very few actually are like me.

I have been very fortunate and blessed. I am finally living my dream. I love doing what I do, and I would not trade places with anyone, nor trade my life experiences for anyone else’s.

I am driven by the belief that life is short, and we need to ‘make a difference’ in the short time that we’re here, because after all is said and done, it’s really not about ‘us.’

I am a Real Estate Investor.

I completely understand I would try to got to a local REIA meeting you will meet a lot of interesting people and possible mentor.

Good Luck,


Find a local REIA in your area.

what is it you want to learn? 

BP is like one big mentor. If you ask a question, you have some of the best and brightest that will answer questions and help out. everything from beginner questions, analysis of your deals, technical questions, etc... 

If you are looking to shadow someone, attend a REIA as mentioned above. you will then be able to see who fits your personality and maybe able to shadow or work with them more.

Good luck.

The most important thing anyone can pay for is their education.  What I'm always surprised at is how people are more than willing to pay $100's of thousands of dollars for impractical book learning, that many never use, but are unwilling to spend anything on the actual working knowledge that can only come from experience.

Before anyone gets offended that spent a lifetime in school. I have more than a few degrees hanging on my wall.  All have had value, but none can measure up to what I've learned after I graduated...and I'm still learning.

You get what you pay for, but you should also expect to pay for what you get.

Thank you all, I appreciate your responses and they have been noted! I guess I've gotta hit REIA meetings. Who is going to want to mentor a 44 year old man, though? More self doubt and frustration creeping in...sorry! Thanks again.

@Mr. Gibbons,

My question came from a place of frustration, not entitlement, Sir. I have been trying to launch a full time REI business for several years now, but I feel everyone is just out to get my money - from far, far away places - and with their "staff" instead of with THEM.

Did you have a mentor when you began?

What did you do to add value for the mentor?

What did you accomplish in real estate investing when you were first starting?

Where are you weak?  Perhaps I can help you! :)

This knowledge is not inherent in people, and I agree, you either have it or you don't.  I have it, I just don't know how to truly begin.  Keep in mind that I am currently a landlord and have been for several years now, but on a small scale.

Also, please know that I have worked incredibly hard in my life, as you have (or maybe not according to the credo?), and have things to show for it. I have character, pride, integrity, honor, ability, talent, passion, creativity, intelligence, wisdom, code, and as a 44 year old man and father of two young children, I still have some energy and tricks up my sleeve.  (However, it is being decimated on a daily basis because I am not fulfilled at what I do.)

You ask what am I willing to do? Anything it takes, but I want to work directly with a mentor, not the mentor's "staff."  And a true mentor is not going to charge someone to help them, are they?  That sounds like more of a life coach than a mentor.  A mentor invests in his or her mentees (is that a word?) knowing that one day the student will become the teacher and will also pay it forward.  Not to mention that the student will also bring the mentor revenue at some point.  Or perhaps I am mistaking on how this business works?

How about you be my mentor?  I realize you are in CA and I am in CO, but I am willing to go the distance of traveling back and forth as needed to learn directly from you, but of course, I am willing to work for free and help in anyway I can.  Or do you know someone in Denver who would be willing? Seriously? I have nothing to lose by asking, right!

I have an action plan that makes sense in my head, but do lack the "know-how" and connections to make it happen in the proper fashion - without going bankrupt and living on the street with my two sons.

I want to live by your credo!  I want to work in my pajamas 'til noon and make money!
(that credo is the greatest thing I have ever read!  haha)

Best Regards,

Google Score small business. It's a government run program that provides free mentorship.

But no one can help you unless you know what you want.

Bryan Calton I'm 59 years old, I'm still learning.  It's never too late in reality...only in your mind.  I'm starting up with a new student across the country in a week.  She's 50.

That's terrific, Joe, thank you for sharing that.  Are you charging your student?  Thanks, Bryan

@Bryan Cal  a mentor is great but you can learn a ton here. Think of BP as one giant virtual mentor.  Always keep your eye out for someone to mentor you. But don't wait for a mentor to start moving forward. In fact moving forward and getting out into the marketplace is the way to find that mentor. 

@Brian Gibbons   thanks for shout out and the blog mention.

Bryan, I have just recently come on into the world of REI (this Dec/Jan). I have listened to 100+ hours of REI podcasts and other materials online (BP is by far the best I've come across so far). I decided to become serious about this and have mentioned this to friends and family. In one of those conversations, a family member told me of someone else that has been doing real estate investing for years now. It so happens that my family is close friends with said real estate investor. We ran into each other at a party (gotta love Mardi Gras) and I casually mentioned that I am wanting to venture into the world of REI. His eyes lit up and we must have talked about 30-45 minutes. This led to a lunch a couple weeks later (which I was happy to pay for) and I now have a mentor. Spread the word among your friends and family and see if anything comes up. Good luck to you!

Bryan Calton Yes, but I provide a guarantee that you will get in cash return at least the amount you paid for the program within a year of completion.  I've never not delivered, in fact most have had this delivered before the program was completed.  I don't just tell you what to do, or show you what you should do...I make you do it...kicking and screaming if needed (that hasn't happened yet...LOL).

I teach, and provide for, the same way I invest...with the goal of getting my money back from action in a short period if my program might just as well follow what I preach.

Now, there are a number of people out there, many on this forum, that can do the same thing.  I will add this little tale that I think is what separates the successful from the whiners (I'm not calling you a whiner, LOL) in the unsuccessful.

100 would be investors go into a seminar on REI. After 2 hours they come out, and are greeted with an exit poll....specifically asking if they plan on doing what was presented. The first 99 that come out give various versions of why not, from "it can't be done", I tried and couldn't do it", my brother in law...", and my favorite of them all, "everyone knows...".

Now I don't know who this "everyone" person is, never met them, glad for their sake I didn't.  They are the killer of dreams.

The last person comes out and is asked the same question, who replies with an emphatic "yes".  I already did it, made $1M at it, and I'm here to find out of there is anything new.

The question I have is this.  Why would anyone follow the unsuccessful, just because they are in the majority?  Maybe there's a reason they are made that majority.  I prefer to follow the successful...even if it's only one person.

First @Bryan Cal thanks for "fessing up"

I am going to tell you how I got started and then answer your questions.


“You must be the person you have never had the courage to be.
Gradually, you will discover that you are that person, but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent.”
? Paulo Coelho

Here is a personal story.

I was in a bar, and I just lost my job. I am 55 now, but at the time I was 25, fresh out of the US Marines. The year was 1983. Interest rates were high, over 10%.

At the bar was this smiling guy, and he said,
  "Who just died?"
I looked at him. He must have smelled the self-pity on my face.

Here is what just happened to me. I worked for a small firm in Constriction Engineering Products, Johnson Controls, that sold air and water control equipment to large apartment and commercial building contractors. My math and science background helped me.
But the "J O B" paid $400 a week and was an advance on future commissions. 

 I had over $10K in commissions due to me, and asked my boss for my commissions now. He laughed, and said I would get paid when he got paid.

I got in an argument with him and he fired me.

So this guy at the bar said to me,

"Tough break. What are you gonna do now?"
"Look for work I guess," I replied.

So he says, 

  "You like real estate?" 

  You like solving problems for people?"

I was taken aback by that comment. Was this guy trying to hire me or what?

I smiled, and asked him, "are you looking hire someone?"

He chuckled, and said, 

  "Well, I'm always looking for great salespeople that hustle."

Here's what happened. 

  The man's name was Glenn, and he owned a real estate investment company.
He never called it a real estate investment company, he called 

      " a place where we solve problems for people."

The thing that was amazing about Glenn as he knew a little bit about everything and I mean everything.
He knew about 


-legal issues, 

-tax issues, 




-networking, and 

most importantly he knew about people (psychology).

The first thing he did was tell me that 

you have two ears and one mouth, and y should listen more than I talk.

Second thing he did was have me read 

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.  It was written in the 1930's

Then he taught me how to set appointments was home sellers, go out to their home, and write up a letter of intent to purchase or lease.

He said to me, 

       "your job is to bring me potential home sellers will consider a creative offer."

I was very confused the first few months working there. 

I did know what a wraparound mortgage was, 

or a subject to, or 

subordinating notes, or 

lease option assignments.

So I stumbled along.

What allowed me succeed was Glenn had an awesome direct mail marketing machine, and even had an appointment setter just for me, so all I just needed to do was to get my car and go talk to 3 to 4 sellers everyday. 

That's every day, 7 days a week.

I'd use the same presentation with everyone. 

And I've get them all letter of intent to buy for cash or on terms.

One of the things Glenn told me was 

"some will, some won't, so what!"  That means do not care if they sign up right away, and FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP.  Call them or mail them a post card.  I like Lime Green Florescent post cards.  I handwrite on the cards different things to "push them along.  

Do you want to solve your house problem this week?  Just call me.  Brian xxx-xxx-xxxx

What that means is that some sellers will do what you want to them to do, and some will not. 

    The law of large numbers cures all problems.

What surprised me even more is that some sellers would call the office, in 3 to 6 to even 12 months later, because they appreciated my first meeting with them.

Especially some sellers that were very angry with me in the beginning, called me names, said things like "you just are trying to rip me off!!"

In my first six months I must have seen 20 people a week, 80 a people month, almost 500 people in that six months. I think we did three to five houses a month grossing between $5-$10,000 per house, and I didn't make that money, Glenn did.

The arrangement for pay for me was I would make $500 cash every week, that's cash. No benefits and no 401(k). 

Was it legal, I don't know. I didn't own the business. I was hired hand.

After a few months, Glen said 

    "You're do a good job keep it up. 

      "I'm going to give you a few more duties. I want to be able to travel so you can run the office while I'm gone."

I was scared at first, having never run a business. I was like the security of a paycheck.  A Job.

But I loved being able to make decisions, being the captain of my own ship.

I think what made me more pissed off than anything though was making $500 a week, and making bank deposits of 10,000, 20,000, even 30,000 a week.

So after making $500 a week cash for 30 months or so, and living frugally, I said the following to Glenn,

  "Glenn, I've learned so much here. 

  You taught me about sellers, buyers, legal, tax, marketing, there is no way I could have learned this in school.

  "I saved up some money and start my office. I won't compete with you. I'd like to give you four weeks notice."

Glenn leaned back in his swivel chair, smiled and said,

   "Brian, you're irreplaceable here. You came to me knowing nothing and now you know everything you need to know. You never asked for a raise or a partnership stake in the business.

    "I can honestly say that without you over the last two and half years I would not have made the kind of money that I have. I have two things to say to you before you go onto greener pastures."

  My God I was really nervous. 

  What was Glenn going on to say?

"The first I want to ask you is, what took you so long?"
Then he laughed.

"I expected you to hang in there for about six months and move on.
You're really smart and you should have started your own business long ago."

"The second thing I want to tell you is I'm going to give you a bonus, (he takes out his checkbook, and writes this check out) "and I don't want you to look at it until you sit down to car and drive away, deal?"

I said, "deal!"

I got to my car, exhale, and take the check out of my pocket.
It was for $15,000.
Back in 1985 that was a lot of money.
In the memo I remember what was written,
"for my good friend Brian."


With everything I learned over that 2 1/2 years, it didn't take me long to be profitable.
I got a modest office space, with neighbors that were white-collar professionals, and attorney and CPA.
I had a secretary part-time for 3 months, then full time.
And Glenn even took me to lunch every week, said he missed me.

That first business was very special to me.
I have had several businesses since then, but that first one was my favorite.

My wish for all that reads this is I hope you find your "Glenn" and you bust your tail working and reading. And learning.


Bryan, the take away I am getting from your questions is you want a "mentor" to work with you 1 on 1.  I coach 1 on 1, and teach

Wholesaling Ugly Houses

Retailing Ugly Houses

Owner Financing Pretty Houses

Lease Options w Pretty Houses

Joint Venture Partnering

Private IRA Lending


I give a guarantee that you will get your training fees returnedif you invest 12 months and 100 hours with me and i do not get results.  I charge alot of money.  But not as much as  Phil Pustejovsky, Fortune Builders or Rich Dad Poor Dad.

You will talk to me and focus on contacting expired listings that can not sell.  

Business Plan

-I like Lease Option Assignments, sub2 and wrap acquisitions on pretty houses.  

-I think being licensed in CO and doing lease option assignments is a great start.  See

- I like private money and giving long term interest to IRA holders and avoiding banks.

-I like JV'ing with home sellers that have "minor rehabs" as in Granny houses, updating kitchen and bathrooms, buying on terms, and quickly reselling for a JV fee, getting the home seller more money than the 65% of ARV less costs.

-I help you get a good attorney to get your agreements prepared.

The problem with seminar pitch men, everyone has a hand out.  And they do not teach you.  Their phone room has a "cubicle" coach, probably for $20 an hour.  

I have numerous examples of this, as one student of mine invested $29K with a coaching "elite" program and got a kid in a cubicle.

I have a BP blog here -

Lot of free stuff there.

Worst case scenario, I hope you get your license, learn CO regs, find a great RE broker that teaches (I like Keller Williams), and build a career in real estate.


Best wishes to you, Bryan.

Brian Gibbons

Thanks everyone for your feedback once again. I suppose the best place to start is REIA meetings...perhaps someone will take me under their wing!

@JoeVilleneuve, I agree with your finishing statement for sure.  Thank you for sharing that.

@BrianGibbons, Thank you for sharing your story with us here...that is a great one!

Best Wishes Everyone,

The easiest way to get a mentor is:

1.) Asking for advice

2.) Doing it -- questions are good, no excuses.

3.) Follow up with your results

Many people do step 1. 

99% of people never do step 2.

You can guess how many do step 3.

I mentor anyone that can pull step 2 off (to date, only 2 have)

Great story Mr. Brian Gibbons!  On this day I have been feeling so discouraged and unmotivated.  With so many responsibilities as a single mother, full time student, part time worker, business partner not pulling her weight, an agent not getting back to me about being his assistant and helping him find deals!!!!!  I know there are worst things and I will bounce back from the discouragement!!!  In the mean time I came on to BP to find a mentor and I found this wonderful story.  Thank you so much for sharing such a great story!!!  I now have a smile on my face and look forward to tomorrow and what it may bring=)

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