6 Replies

(Reading Time: 2 Minuts. Topic: Be Specific On Your Requests Of Random People's Time)

Now that I have your attention.

We all want things in life for free. For instance, I want a free sandwich, but unfortunately unless the magic sandwich fairy is going to make one materialize out of thin air, it aint happening (And no @Brandon Turner  I'm not going to imagine food like in Hook, that doesn't work..unless you're on bath salts, but then you might be eating someone's face.)

Such as mentor requests. So many people post on these forums asking for mentors. 

First of all, do you know what a mentorship is? A mentorship is a commitment of time, a finite resource which is 1000X more valuable than any other virtually infinite resource on earth. People that don't have direction in life are awash with time or sadly people who don't know what they are doing are fighting so many fires they are wasting time, while RE pros (which I definitely am not and I'm a RE hobbyist) are so busy running their businesses, prioritizing their families, and trying to find some time for their rest and relaxation they don't have time to waste by committing to mentoring a random person. Think of it this way, before they decide to reply to you, they have to think to themselves "Is this worth taking away from my family time or XYZ to help this random person?" OR "Is this worth committing too knowing that I will have to spend less time with people I love and respect?"

So does one go about landing a mentorship? First of all the noobie commits to educating themselves on XYZ topic to the point where they KNOW what they don't know (Circa Donald Rumsfeld). So they can ask pointed questions to professionals who can lend them advice. If you ask, "How do you make money in RE?" it shows that. A, You don't actually take the time to read anything on this site. B. You're lazy.

Lets look at some examples:

Bad Request:

Hi REpro,

I've seen you post on BP for a while and I really like what you're doing. You don't know me, but I would like to speak to you for an undefined amount of time about me not really knowing anything about what I want, what I want to do, and how I'm going to get there. To be honest, I'm just lazy.

I hope to talk to you soon.


Your time is worth nothing.

Good Request:

Hi REpro,

I've seen you posted on BP. I have a question. What was one book that helped you get started in RE?


Your time is worth everything

Now folks, please let me know, which post will get the first response?

Now lets say I'm trying to contact an elite REpro at BP. They probably receive 100s of these requests a month. Now if the REpro has precious time to devote to random questions, who do you think she will reply to first or if she could reply to one, which one would she commit to? The unspecific time hog? Or the in and out specific question?

Bingo the latter (The second one >.>). 

Now of course, nothing is fool proof in life, but I promise you will be much more successful in your requests of people's time if you are SPECIFIC in what you're looking for. Once you build a relationship with the person and you show them that you aren't a waste of time and that you ADD value, not take it away. This person will be more than willing to answer your questions.

Now if the person answers your question, go back to the market and actually PRACTICE WHAT THEY HAVE PREACHED. Once you have done that for a while, come back with another pointed question to show that you actually listened to the person, tried XYZ, and here are your results, adding some resources that maybe of value to this person with a follow up pointed question. That's how you build a relationship, and maybe, if you add value to this relationship, you might be able to turn this into a true relationship.

As always,

Happy Hunting

Thanks for the helpful tips! This article really gave me a different perspective on building relationships with people. It was also my first read on the site -- extremenly insightful, need I say.

Thanks man! FYI: I should have proof read my rant. 

I just wish they wouldn't make a phone call without first having become colleagues and sending PM about best times and days for a phone conversation. I answer the phone because it could be an important-to-me call like a seller, but instead they are just important-to-caller calls. And when they come at a bad time they are almost unwelcome. 

I'm mad at myself for taking the time to read and reply to this thread. Do people really not know this stuff? Wow.

This is excellent @Jordan Thibodeau  you'd be shocked. I probably get 5 a day from folks looking for my time. I mean, I love to help, but Jordan is spot on here. So few people do it "right." I try to communicate this on the Podcast as well but not sure it comes across!

As for Hook, Jordan, "Hey, Rufio, if I'm a maggot burger, why don't you just EAT ME!? You two-toned, zebra headed, slime-coated, pimple-farming, paramecium brain, munching-on-your-own-mucus, suffering from PETER PAN ENVY!!!"

Wow... Peter Pan was kind of a jerk. 

But this was good. I shall tweet this. 

"Can I pick your brain from time to time?" usually equals "Can I ask as many questions of you whenever I want about any real estate topic I want and get really fast responses?"

I like to help people too, but people have to understand that I have things I have to get done every day.  My to-do list every week is a page long and every week is a new to-do list.

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