Just Starting - Looking for a Mentor

7 Replies


I'm 22 and just started a full time job in Chicago. I am looking to pursue real estate investing on the side and hopefully someday as my full time occupation. I am wondering what would be the best way to get started in the world of real estate investing and curious as to what would be the best route for finding a good mentor in my area. Thanks for any help!

Originally posted by @Nicholas Lisauskas :


I'm 22 and just started a full time job in Chicago. I am looking to pursue real estate investing on the side and hopefully someday as my full time occupation. I am wondering what would be the best way to get started in the world of real estate investing and curious as to what would be the best route for finding a good mentor in my area. Thanks for any help!


First off, you need to network with other real estate investors. There are many BP meetups all over Chicago. @Shelly F. is launching a BP Meetup for Northwest Chicagoland suburbs. You can also attend different real estate investors associations. A good one is in Lisle - CAREIA. The objective of networking is to meet as many real estate people as you can. Just by networking you will meet buyers, sellers, lenders, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, etc. And through networking offline and online, you will find your mentor.

Second, to find a good real estate mentor, you have to find out first if he is doing what you want to be doing. If you want to learn how to wholesale properties, you want to be mentored by someone who wholesales most of the properties that he gets and he does volume - he wholesales at least 1 house a week. Or if you want to learn rehabbing, don't go with a guy who rehabs 1-2 houses a year. Go with someone who rehabs 60 houses a year. If you want to learn landlording, go with someone with at least 100 rental units not someone with only 4 units. You get the point.

Lastly, provide value. Be willing to provide value to your mentor AND to the real estate community (whether offline or online - e.g., here on Biggerpockets). Don't be like the majority of BP members who will post several postings and all the postings are requests for help (but they don't post anything of value). When people perceive that you are in the business for the long term and you're not after your own self interest only, they will want to do business with you.

Let me just interject a few thoughts about mentors.

1. You want someone that is killing it in business, to slow down what they are doing so they can teach out out of the kindness of their heart? What would stop you from ditching them after learning some and basically becoming their competition?

2. Even every "FLIP" based show has them bringing in "interns" to teach them only to say it didn't work out, the intern bailed out, etc.

3. Do you go to a college and ask them to teach you to get a degree you can use in life and expect them just to say "OK"? 

I sat down and thought about what would be in it for someone to take time to teach me, and in the end it was money. We gladly play tens of thousands for a year of college education, and all you get is a piece of paper and a degree. Then you must take it and make a living from that. But we think people that will give us real life experience, not book smarts, should do it for free?

I don't content you should pay someone that you hear on the radio, on late night tv, etc. I suggest you find someone local that is doing what you want to do. Not what you think you should be doing based on "guru" advice, but what inspired you to get into Real Estate. find that person, then find out if they are willing to be PAID to mentor you. Not barter. 

I did this. I offered a local guy money. Now, I own 15 rental units with them. Best money I ever spent. The first one paid back my investment, now I have nothing but cashflow coming in.

I agree when you are talking about a mentor you are talking about a business person. You want to learn the business and also be able to earn money, have something you can use to build a career and your own business. That is something of value. What have you got of value to give in exchange. I really believe most newbie think there are people out there that will provide them knowledge and experience free, out of the goodness of their heart. 

When you think of a mentor think about joining a business, what do you bring to the table?

I agree with those that suggest to hook up with the best in the business, someone who is killing it as they say. Why would this person give you the time of day? Why would they care so much about you ?

Do you intend to build a relationship with this person or are you simply looking for someone to use?

Have you been reading all the posts on here or as many as you can. I would say there is already plenty of mentoring going on and its free. If you desire someone's personal time, time from or in their business how are you prepared to pay for it?

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people who want to pass on their knowledge and experience but how they go about it has to be good sense. 

You are already being mentored by getting advice to educate yourself, go to meet ups, meet people in the business, ask questions in person. Take notes. Practice evaluating properties and doing due diligence on properties even if they are not properties you can buy. You will be better prepared for when the time comes to truly buy a property. 

You mentioned you have a full time job. Where are you going to get the time to devote to a full and active mentoring program?

Prepare yourself, Save up money, start to establish your credit. When the right time comes you will be ready.

@Nicholas Lisauskas

Welcome to Bigger Pockets. BP is full of resources. You will find resources here from blogs to pod casts and forums. You can also send messages to members which is my favorite part of the website

The following is from page 19 of the Ultimate Beginner's guide to Real Estate Investing, available for free on this site. See the "Learn" tab above.

“Hi, my name is (so and so) and I'm looking for someone to invest a significant portion of their time and energy telling me how to get rich. I offer nothing to this relationship, but expect you to jump at the chance because you probably have nothing better to do. Most likely, I'll just disappear once I realize I can't get rich overnight, leaving you exhausted and irritated. So, who's first!?”

My advice
1. Never ask for something for nothing. 
2. Decide which aspect of real estate you're most interested in
3. Find someone who is making it using that strategy/approach. Network to get to know
   other investors in your area.  Find investors that share your philosophy. 
4. Offer that person something that will benefit them before asking them to help you. 
5. If you don't find someone that you're compatible with, try again

Thank you all for your responses because they opened my eyes to what a mentor is and should be. I always knew that I would need to provide some value to have someone be my mentor, but I never considered the idea of offering a successful person cash. I love that idea because I have no real industry skills or experience that I can add, but everyone is benefited by money. I will be sure to take advantage of the tips you have all given me.

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