Having Trouble Finding Way to start and finding a mentor

14 Replies

I am new to real estate investing. I have joined a local REI group and I am still trying to understand where to start. I have been told to just pick an area and jump in ( mulit fam, fix and flip, buy and hold,etc) I know there are things you will have to learn on your feet but I am having trouble just jumping in. I know it also comes in time with finding a mentor but every where I turn I feel like its some kind of school or class. I know that nothing is free but it seems like there isn't a person who could use some help in a flip even if its just carrying supplies or helping where ever I can. I am looking for some kind of guidance.

Thanks, I know that this a long question.

My advice?  Do NOT just jump in and do not pay for a class.  Personally, I recommend going PRO here.  You can watch the old webinars and get a lot of knowledge.  But even if you don't do that, just watch the future ones.  Also, read the blogs and forums.  You can't tell by my numbers that I joined less than a week ago.  I'm VERY involved.  I comment on other people's comments and vote for posts I think are great.  I've already gotten like 15 Colleagues in 3 days (it took a couple of days for me to jump in and start interacting) and some of them just wanted to be my Colleague because I voted for their post.  lol 

Once you've got some posts and received some votes (I plan to wait until I have like 250 posts and 50 votes so I don't look like I'm trying to use them), you can start searching for folks in your area.  Read through their profiles and see who is flipping.  Request to be their Colleague (and include a note about how you're interested in it too and would love to pick their brain or help out on a project some time).  Socialize with them a little (like occasionally for a few weeks at least) before asking to help so you don't look too desperate.  And do NOT use the word "mentor" on here.  I don't know why, but folks don't seem to like it.  In fact, one guy on a webinar posted a request that the webinar person be his mentor and he got called out for using that word.

Anyway, read forums and blogs, watch webinars, listen to podcasts, and interact!  The info is here.  You just have to look for it.  :-)  Good luck!

Nick, I empathize. I was in your shoes 3 years ago. I was ready to jump in but completely overwhelmed not knowing how/where to start. Here's what I did, and I'd offer this approach as a simple, manageable way for you to think about also getting started.

I found a couple people locally who were doing what I wanted to do. For me it was single family rentals. Could have been flipping or wholesaling. Just pick something you're interested in and find someone locally who does it. Not a high roller either, someone who is smaller scale but successful - at a place you could realistically be in a year or so. Meet with them a few times to learn how they are doing it. Take notes, learn the pattern and system, who's all involved (realtor, banker, CPA, etc). Keep it small and simple. Call them or meet with them when you have questions. That will allow you to ease in, learn to swim, then go deeper as your experience and confidence grows.

Yes you can listen to podcasts and be active on BP if you want, reading and posting, etc. But too much might be information overload. Keep it low key and focused on topics related to what specifically you want to do. But really, finding someone local to just talk to will be huge for you.

Best of luck, we're rooting for you!

I got distracted from my main point earlier.  lol  Don't just jump into buying something as it seems you were originally advised!  One webinar I watched today said to do at least 3 analyses a day, with a few extra sometimes so you do 100 in a month.  Out of those 100, you will hopefully find 10 you want to put in an offer on and maybe 1 will be accepted.  That's a lot more work than just jumping in.  

And if you don't use the calculator, don't forget to include things like vacancies and repairs and CapEx if you're doing rentals, and of course, there is insurance and taxes, not to mention the closing costs you paid. For flips, some people estimate the cost, then add 50% to that for overruns. Deciding if I deal is good isn't as simple as making sure you're getting more money than your mortgage. After factoring in all of the above expenses (and maybe more), most folks shoot for AT LEAST $200 per door, plus AT LEAST 12% cash on cash ROI (for rentals).

Good luck!

@Nick Iadicicco I have been helped by several people with no strings attached in the past.  I have always felt the importance of giving back to others as well.  If I can be of help to you, I will.  My first recommendation would be to figure out what you want to do.  There are many options as you mentioned.  Several things to ask yourself include: How much money do you have to invest?  How much time to you have to commit?  Do you have a special knowledge or skill as it relates to real estate?  What are you good at?  What do you suck at?  These are just a few.  I started my investing journey on 'buy and holds' then moved to note investing.   I currently buy non performing, residential first liens.  If you find yourself moving in either direction, I can help answer some questions.  If I don't have the answers, I can guide you to someone who does.  

I like that list of questions @Eric Hyde proposed.  For the part about what you suck at, also consider work arounds.  For example, I'm entirely too nice and too disorganized to be a property manager, so I hire that out.  I love owning rentals, but if I had to do it myself, well, let's just say I wouldn't.  lol  For the work around, is it something you're okay with?  Some people refuse to hire out something they could do themselves, but if you also think you'd be bad at it, then rentals aren't for you.  :-)

Most kind of have an inkling about what they want to do.  Hold for long-term wealth or flip/wholesale for quick money.  Figure that out first.

Then focus on your 'niche'.  Ignore everything that isn't related to that.  BP is a fire hydrant.  You need small drinks of water.  Get a book on your strategy and turn off all devices.

Will add more when we hear back from you @Nick Iadicicco .  Folks are trying to help you.  At least acknowledge them.

Thanks guy!!! I am sorry i didnt get back to everyone. I have strange work hours right now which is one reason i would loke to get into rela estate. I have been looking more into buy and hold. Thanks again everyone for answering this really helpped alot i was so lost.

Hey Nick, I love this thread as it is so hard for most of us to get started, I know from experience, haha.  @Jody Schnurrenberger is 100% right, don't just jump in and make a bad move, they will happen, but don't rush towards a bad investment just for the sake of 'doing a deal' and getting your feet wet.  I also like the questions that @Eric Hyde mentioned, knowing what you can work with is essential in the beginning.

One thing I didn't read, and I might be a little biased, is find a good real estate agent that either has investments of their own or does most of their business with investors.  

I mention this because they have a vested interest in helping you out so they can hopefully turn you into a client that buys multiple houses from them and if you would like, handle your property management.  Now with that being said you need to qualify this person or any person that's helping you to make sure they know what they're doing and are not pushing bad deals your way.

I love this community because if you ever need help to see what questions you should be asking or help analyzing a deal then just post it here and others are always glad to jump in and help.

It really is nice knowing everyone will help out. this is my first post on a site like this and everyone chipped in and made me feel good about taking the small steps. Thats a good idea about the agent. i will have to start planning out what to ask them so I can get an idea.

@Nick Iadicicco the short answer is "add value". The longer answer? The people who you would WANT to have mentor you are probably very busy because...they're successful at what they do! Listen to Podcast #203 with @Matt Faircloth and @Elizabeth Faircloth where they do a good job of explaining what it's like for successful investors getting requests from newer investors seeking mentorship. Another great podcast to consider is Podcast #245 with Ryan Holiday. 

Adding value is the idea that no matter how new you are, there's something you can probably offer. Take @Eric Hyde for example. He's attacking real estate with an urgency and passion that's difficult to go unnoticed and along the way has helped many people learn a thing or two about note investing. Meanwhile, he was kind enough to answer some questions I had about his experiences that will hopefully potentially lead me to some of my own deals. I likely would not hesitate to invest alongside him in the future (don't tell him I said that).

I've never met or heard from @Jody Schnurrenberger prior to reading through this post but you can be assured I intend on sending her a colleague request. She added value for you. People notice. Add value and you'll find what you seek.

Hey Nick, in the same boat here. Just moved to the Philadelphia area, and figured I'm at a good point with financial freedom to start getting involved and learning about real estate. But its so broad its hard to figure out where to dive in and focus on! Let me know if you have any tips also!

Jumping in is the hardest part. I was in your shoes 5 months ago. Then I jumped in, and right as I closed (think signing closing documents) an agent I had been talking to calls me and tells me he’s got something like what I was looking for. Long story short, I bought that one too and put it under contract two days after I closed on the first one.

I find asking yourself instead of “can I invest?” Ask yourself “can I afford not to invest?”

@Odie Ayaga thanks for the info! Sorry it took so long to get back but you would think the app would notify you if someone answered. I am still learning to focus on what  I want. Bigger Pockets has been great so far I really appreciate all the feed back!

Right there with you Nick and I was so excited seeing Norwood as we are in Norwood too but Norwood Ontario.  We are wanting to do a combination of buy and flip and buy rentals for longer term investments. I am struggling with getting any finances to move forward. Banks are not helpful, neither is the broker we have used in the past for our homes.      I agree with following any inkling you may have to start to consolidate ideas.  There is a wealth of information out there and information overload happens very fast and leaves you in a spinning mess.  Try and write out a plan too, something to follow step by step. 
   Best of luck! 

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