Mentorship Programs - value?

7 Replies

Does anyone have experience or know anyone who has used mentorship programs in the past?  Any specific ones people would recommend?

The more I learn about this stuff, the more questions I have, and the more research I do.  I worry about the universal headaches and challenges once I take the plunge and with a job that I currently clock in about 65hrs/wk, I wonder if a mentor would be valuable for general direction, advise, and saving time as these roadblocks pop up.

I guess part of the reason I ask is...I just don't understand the motivation behind these mentorship programs.  All of them say they love teaching, but are they using it as a way to find deals that they can partner in on?  If they hold 1 seminar a month for 15 people and each costs 1k, that's nearly 200k for them annually, not including the deals they find.  I'm totally fine with all parties benefiting from the partnership, and I understand everyone has an angle, BUT I worry that mentorships and seminars like these are meant to pad THEIR salaries as delineated above, rather than provide value to me.  I've seen several advertised and some of them look VERY gimmicky whereas others seem a bit more useful.

My current salary is quite high and allows me to invest about 20k/month; however, I believe this kind of income will last about 10 years. Therefore, my goal is to replace my current income after taxes by year 10 (current job is W2, so my tax burden is high). I initially thought about turnkey investments as it seems to have less work, good returns, but I'll need to buy 1 a month for 10 years and I imagine having over 100 SFR's will become a nuisance, whereas 1 apartment building a year for 10 years after taxes (and depreciation) may net me the income to replace my job comfortably.

@Barry Je You’ll get about 100 responses and it usually degenerates into three groups: 1.) people pseudo-selling coaching/training/education, 2.) people who hate it and say “learn for free on BP”, and 3.) the people who are currently liking their mentor but usually can’t talk through concrete returns on those education/mentorship investments.

If you have no time (and it sounds like you don’t) you can go the publicity traded REIT route. Even a syndication will involve time assessing the quality of the sponsor, the deal under consideration, etc. And even a quality mentor won’t do the work for you. They might give you some pitfalls to avoid, perspective, etc. but they’re not out there bird-dogging deals.

So if you have the time, spend 90 days learning yourself and see where you think your gaps are. If you don’t know your gaps, how will you be able to assess a mentors ability to fill those gaps? If you don’t have the time you’ll fall into that coaching group that the mentors say weren’t successful but they didn’t work hard enough, weren’t motivated, etc.

My personal advice: Find the individual investors that post here regularly, within a 30 miles radius of you, invite them to Rover’s, Canlis, Herbfarm, etc. and bring a list of questions and hear their story. Spend $1,000 on four dinners and see if you end up with a more defined direction and some good advice.

Hi @Barry Je , mentoring is good for some people and not for others. Some people join mentoring programs because they think the mentor will do all the work for them. Some join because they think it will mean instant success. Mentoring only works if you're willing to listen to your mentor and do what they teach you to do. 

You are correct. Some of the programs are gimmicky. Some are worth more than what's charged. You need to ask around about people that offer the mentoring you're looking for to get references and referrals. First off, what type of mentoring are you looking for? It appears from what you wrote above that you're still trying to decide between SFH's and Apartments??? Figure that out first, then ask around for recommendations on a mentor.

@Andrew Johnson is correct about #2 above. Many people will want to take the free route and learn what they can on BP. Why not, everyone loves 'free', don't they?? However, if you don't know what you're doing or where to start, how do you even know what questions to ask to get the answers for free on BP? Don't get me wrong. There's a lot of very good advice on BP. I've also seen some bad advice too. A good mentor will help you cut the learning curve dramatically and save you time. Saving time also saves you money. Yes, you can learn anything you want on BP when it comes to RE Investing. But how long will it take you to learn all of the things you need to learn to be successful when you haven't done anything or little at all. Where do you start? What steps do you take? What are the pitfalls you need to avoid? I know a lot of people on BP like to trash 'gurus' who sell courses. That's probably because there are a lot of scum bags in the industry that prey on people by charging a ton of money for their courses and give little to no content. "The really good stuff is in my next course!!!"  But, there are also some very good trainers out there too, that will educate and give a lot more value than the price paid. They'll also cut your learning curve tremendously by passing on their experiences to you. A good mentor will also tell you the good and bad about their niche. If someone only tries to tell you how great it is without sharing the pitfalls, RUN!

Step #1 - What niche do you want to learn?  Step #2 - Ask around for people in that field that have a good reputation. Step #3 - Take a class from the top 1-3 recommendations. There are a lot of good people out there teaching courses, but you may not mess with some of them, that's why I recommend you take multiple classes first. Plus, not ever guru or mentor knows everything. Step #4 - Ask yourself if this niche is really what you expected it to be. Step #5 - If it is the right niche for you, ask the instructor about their mentoring. If it's not the right niche for you, go back to Step #1.

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I have a problem with people calling certain arrangements "mentoring" when you are really hiring them as a consultant/trainer. If I have to pay you, I am actually hiring you.

Oh, I have to answer the main question. Mentoring has the potential to provide immense value.

@Barry Je @Andrew Johnson   I do agree with Andrew, however, I will speak from a perspective of someone who has had a mentor.  I don't sell mentoring, but have benefited greatly from it.  My mentor is a person whom I admire tremendously.  He has taught me many things specifically for my business, but more importantly how to approach all businesses.  He has a tremendous story of moving to the US when he was 16 with a few hundred dollars in his pocket.  Many years later he owns or is on the board of multiple fortune 500 companies.  By definition, he is an American success story.  He attributes his success to his mentor.  Have I paid him, yes.  Have I received more than I paid - 10 fold.  My payments were used for college scholarships.  Do I consider him a friend - absolutely.   I literally trust my kid with him, as they are now involved with him on a daily basis.

My recommendation would be:  due your research.  Know who you are getting involved with.  Understand them, and why they are doing the mentoring.  Does it have to be specifically about your business, no.  Learn how to apply their advice to your business.  As he once said to me, you typically get what you pay for.  If it is free, then what is the value of it.  There are three types of businesses - professional, expert, and authorities.  You pay a Pro (plumber, electrician, a technician).  An expert is the best of the Pros, but when you have a true problem you seek an authority.  If you have brain tumor - do you want a Pro, Expert or Authority on the matter?  

Can you get great advice on Bigger Pockets.  Absolutely.  This past weekend, I was blessed to have met some incredible people who are very knowledgeable at J Martin's Oakland event.  The real value of a mentor is being able to interpret the knowledge.  Anyone can find answers on Google.  That does not make them an Expert.  An Expert or Authority has the ability to interpret the answers or data.  That is the true benefit of a mentor.

@Barry Je I tend to agree that a mentor would be someone who isn't hired.  Some of my best mentors, in fact haven't ever met me.

Now, onto coaches. I have several. Coaches can be a great resource if you need help and accountability in a certain area.  I currently have 3.  As far as real estate I agree with what's been said here about vetting and background checking.

Best of luck!

@Barry Je I joined two mentorship groups and worked well for me being far away in kirkland in the NW. Just don't join one for flipping or wholesaling.

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