How to FIND THE RIGHT MENTOR for you.

12 Replies

Earlier this week I unexpectedly found that I had some free time in the evening so I looked on meetup.com to see if there were any real estate meetups happening around me. I found one in Phoenix so I drove over to check it out and see if I could do some networking. It turned out to be an advertisement for a real estate education program. 

Truthfully, I am not against education programs and I am willing to spend money on education - especially when it improves me as a person or it can provide knowledge to increase my profitability. What they were selling was a tiered program for 2K, 4K, or 10k to work with their team and their system and if you didn’t earn back your tuition money that you invested in the first year then they would refund the cost of the program. Depending on the program you buy they will show you how to wholesale, fix and flip, buy and hold, short term rentals, etc. it seemed pretty legit.

I compare this program to another program in the valley that is ran by a buddy of mine.  He shows people how to buy prefoclosures. He goes through the whole process of finding and contacting and negotiating with distressed sellers. His program is about 15k and he walks you through several of your own deals (for a split of course).

Then there are individual investors who are out there doing deals where one can bring them money and partner with them and either get a portion of the profits or act as a private money lender and get a return on their money but also get to participate in the process. There may not be a cost for program (other than they money invested into the deal) but it may also not provide as wide of an education as the other programs.

Then there are experienced investors who have time and they just like to share their knowledge and experience and are willing to take newer investors under their wings and just teach them the ropes for free. They do it because of the good feeling they get as they impart their knowledge to someone eager to learn. Personally, I have found that these types of mentors are harder to find.

This question is for semi-experienced to experience investors: Which kinds of mentors helped you along your journey? I would love to see if @Jay Hinrichs , @Steve Vaughan , @Mike Dymski , @Russell Brazil , @JD Martin , @James Wise , @Omar Khan and @Ben Leybovich wouldn’t mind chiming in. 

for me it was getting my real estate license at 18 and hanging around seasoned brokers and agents.. plus my dad.

Originally posted by @Shiloh Lundahl :

Earlier this week I unexpectedly found that I had some free time in the evening so I looked on meetup.com to see if there were any real estate meetups happening around me. I found one in Phoenix so I drove over to check it out and see if I could do some networking. It turned out to be an advertisement for a real estate education program. 

Truthfully, I am not against education programs and I am willing to spend money on education - especially when it improves me as a person or it can provide knowledge to increase my profitability. What they were selling was a tiered program for 2K, 4K, or 10k to work with their team and their system and if you didn’t earn back your tuition money that you invested in the first year then they would refund the cost of the program. Depending on the program you buy they will show you how to wholesale, fix and flip, buy and hold, short term rentals, etc. it seemed pretty legit.

I compare this program to another program in the valley that is ran by a buddy of mine.  He shows people how to buy prefoclosures. He goes through the whole process of finding and contacting and negotiating with distressed sellers. His program is about 15k and he walks you through several of your own deals (for a split of course).

Then there are individual investors who are out there doing deals where one can bring them money and partner with them and either get a portion of the profits or act as a private money lender and get a return on their money but also get to participate in the process. There may not be a cost for program (other than they money invested into the deal) but it may also not provide as wide of an education as the other programs.

Then there are experienced investors who have time and they just like to share their knowledge and experience and are willing to take newer investors under their wings and just teach them the ropes for free. They do it because of the good feeling they get as they impart their knowledge to someone eager to learn. Personally, I have found that these types of mentors are harder to find.

This question is for semi-experienced to experience investors: Which kinds of mentors helped you along your journey? I would love to see if @Jay Hinrichs , @Steve Vaughan , @Mike Dymski , @Russell Brazil , @JD Martin , @James Wise, @Omar Khan and @Ben Leybovich wouldn’t mind chiming in. 

 Never had or saw the need for a mentor. I am mostly self taught. However I do observe others who've walked similar paths to the one I am on. I take what I like from some, toss what I don't like & forge my own version of the path.

Originally posted by @James Wise :
Originally posted by @Shiloh Lundahl:

Earlier this week I unexpectedly found that I had some free time in the evening so I looked on meetup.com to see if there were any real estate meetups happening around me. I found one in Phoenix so I drove over to check it out and see if I could do some networking. It turned out to be an advertisement for a real estate education program. 

Truthfully, I am not against education programs and I am willing to spend money on education - especially when it improves me as a person or it can provide knowledge to increase my profitability. What they were selling was a tiered program for 2K, 4K, or 10k to work with their team and their system and if you didn’t earn back your tuition money that you invested in the first year then they would refund the cost of the program. Depending on the program you buy they will show you how to wholesale, fix and flip, buy and hold, short term rentals, etc. it seemed pretty legit.

I compare this program to another program in the valley that is ran by a buddy of mine.  He shows people how to buy prefoclosures. He goes through the whole process of finding and contacting and negotiating with distressed sellers. His program is about 15k and he walks you through several of your own deals (for a split of course).

Then there are individual investors who are out there doing deals where one can bring them money and partner with them and either get a portion of the profits or act as a private money lender and get a return on their money but also get to participate in the process. There may not be a cost for program (other than they money invested into the deal) but it may also not provide as wide of an education as the other programs.

Then there are experienced investors who have time and they just like to share their knowledge and experience and are willing to take newer investors under their wings and just teach them the ropes for free. They do it because of the good feeling they get as they impart their knowledge to someone eager to learn. Personally, I have found that these types of mentors are harder to find.

This question is for semi-experienced to experience investors: Which kinds of mentors helped you along your journey? I would love to see if @Jay Hinrichs, @Steve Vaughan , @Mike Dymski , @Russell Brazil , @JD Martin , @James Wise, @Omar Khan and @Ben Leybovich wouldn’t mind chiming in. 

 Never had or saw the need for a mentor. I am mostly self taught. However I do observe others who've walked similar paths to the one I am on. I take what I like from some, toss what I don't like & forge my own version of the path.

unless you have been there most dont' understand the dynamics of a sales meeting with agents.. in my day and that day was in the late 70s half the meeting was on sales techniques.. and how did we talk to this buyer or seller how did we close .. what pitch did you use..

real estate does not just happen there are script that need to be followed that are tried and true.. just one line phrases in your delivery can make the difference of me blowing out of real estate at 18 or making 50k my first year in 1975 which was over the top in those days.

And this is where I see so many just flame out here in this business either they try to wholesale with only 1/10th of the skills needed and blow what little money they have on all the wrong things..  but it boils down to sales techniques if your going to do transactional real estate. 

I invested in a couple educational courses (most was $169) early on, but not paid coaching.  

The best one I bought isn't around anymore unfortunately. He (Robert Lawry) had the best content but not the marketing machine needed to survive.  I think it was called the quadrant success system. There were 4 parts to getting ready and finding deals was last.  It's exactly what I did. Lined up my contacts and contracts and neighborhood/market  knowledge, then went looking.  

As far as 'mentors' go (a mentor to me is a seasoned individual that helps you, not a paid coach) one kind of developed for me. He was a longtime investor and business owner I bought a 7plex from years back with seller financing.   Over time we stayed in contact and he sold me another couple places , lent me private money and accepted my call when I had a high level question a time or 2.  He is my Rich Dad and is now 80 years old.

Other than those couple things, I have been solo. I'm surprised and humbled when my frumpy, beater-driving self is offered lunch or a resume 'just to be around it' but try to help if I can.

Thank you for inviting me to your thread, Shiloh.

My first experience was at 19 and with Carlton Sheets.  My parents were so far from the real estate spectrum (One was an arborist and the other a nurse), that all I had to go on was the commercial he put out.  I saved my money working with my dad and spent a lot of time around real estate agents.  I befriended and watched and learned the jargon, and the S.O.P.  of the real estate business.  All of this happened in the Mid-West (Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas)  Then I moved to Florida to care for an ailing family member.  I got licensed in less than 6 months and after 3 months as an Agent, I hated to have to keep asking for money.  That's when I realized I wanted to be the Lender and an Investor.  

I connected with a Small Lender in Melbourne Florida and they taught me the ropes.  In the beginning, I put in long days 12 to 16 hours each day.  Eventually, my work caught up with me and I had more work than I could handle and it has kept coming ever since then.  My secret was the first lesson my Mentor "David" told me to never forget.  That is, " Honesty, Integrity, Reputation and My Hard dedicated Work" are the 4 pillars needed to be a successful member of this community.  

20+ Years later I see no change in the secret to becoming a successful investor and member of our community.  As a matter of fact, I am mentoring someone very, VERY close to my heart... currently.  I found a HUGE benefit in a program called, "VestorPro" and it is doing wonders for her and they are teaching this old dog some new tricks of the trade.  It makes my mentoring so much more successful.

So, long story short...  Mentoring is a win, win if the 4 pillars of a successful collaboration are in place.  " Honesty, Integrity, Reputation and Hard dedicated Work"

Granted I’m still early on in my career for investing so I would consider myself experienced but I think the whole idea of paying anymore that a couple grand for any type of coaching is mostly a waste of money.

I provide value to people and they provide value to me, hence that’s how you get mentors. I’ve had mentors in my non REI life and may eventually find one for REI.

Eventually I will mentor one or two people myself as I would really enjoy it.

My mentor was the school of hard knocks.

Information is more readily available now and my current mentors are in books, on podcasts, blogs, two friends that I mastermind with, and the executive team and board that I work with.

Originally posted by @Shiloh Lundahl :

Earlier this week I unexpectedly found that I had some free time in the evening so I looked on meetup.com to see if there were any real estate meetups happening around me. I found one in Phoenix so I drove over to check it out and see if I could do some networking. It turned out to be an advertisement for a real estate education program. 

Truthfully, I am not against education programs and I am willing to spend money on education - especially when it improves me as a person or it can provide knowledge to increase my profitability. What they were selling was a tiered program for 2K, 4K, or 10k to work with their team and their system and if you didn’t earn back your tuition money that you invested in the first year then they would refund the cost of the program. Depending on the program you buy they will show you how to wholesale, fix and flip, buy and hold, short term rentals, etc. it seemed pretty legit.

I compare this program to another program in the valley that is ran by a buddy of mine.  He shows people how to buy prefoclosures. He goes through the whole process of finding and contacting and negotiating with distressed sellers. His program is about 15k and he walks you through several of your own deals (for a split of course).

Then there are individual investors who are out there doing deals where one can bring them money and partner with them and either get a portion of the profits or act as a private money lender and get a return on their money but also get to participate in the process. There may not be a cost for program (other than they money invested into the deal) but it may also not provide as wide of an education as the other programs.

Then there are experienced investors who have time and they just like to share their knowledge and experience and are willing to take newer investors under their wings and just teach them the ropes for free. They do it because of the good feeling they get as they impart their knowledge to someone eager to learn. Personally, I have found that these types of mentors are harder to find.

This question is for semi-experienced to experience investors: Which kinds of mentors helped you along your journey? I would love to see if @Jay Hinrichs , @Steve Vaughan , @Mike Dymski , @Russell Brazil , @JD Martin , @James Wise , @Omar Khan and @Ben Leybovich wouldn’t mind chiming in. 

Thanks for inviting me on the post. 

Not opposed to education. My parents spent a fortune educating me... lol. 

I graduated from a global top 20 school (Uni. of Toronto). The academic life was good but it did not prepare me adequately for the real life grind of 80-100 hour weeks slaving away at top-tier banks. 

What helped was having the right network - personal, professional and social. Most of these were mentors who provided specific, actionable advice. Not generic BS advice being peddled by the average paid mentorship program - "develop a thought leadership platform" (yes, but how?), "invest in the future" (in what? how?), "think and grow rich/think like rich dad, not like a poor dad" (no successful person I know believes in this dumb quackery).

But I have also learnt from hard experience that the quality of answers is directly proportional the quality of questions. No mentor can help if you don't know what you're looking for. 

I am very pro-mentor - paid or unpaid. Having the right people watching out for you is a godsend. But even the best mentors can only open a door, you still have to walk through it. 

P.S. Jay raised a great point about saying the right things at the right time. I've observed that first hand (often after I've made mistakes). You only know about these inside tricks if you have good mentors.

@Omar Khan   I was first introduced to rich dad poor dad from a small group of investors.. I read a little of it and threw it away I could not believe anyone fell for that .. but that's me... when your trained by grizzled salesmen and women rich dad is a little meek for me.

And here I was bailing them out they had followed those principals and got them selves in a mess of trouble. 

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :

@Omar Khan  I was first introduced to rich dad poor dad from a small group of investors.. I read a little of it and threw it away I could not believe anyone fell for that .. but that's me... when your trained by grizzled salesmen and women rich dad is a little meek for me.

And here I was bailing them out they had followed those principals and got them selves in a mess of trouble. 

Thank you! You're the first person on these forums who's said this publicly. Not surprised your sales training by actual top performers blew out the Rich Dad fan boys.

I think Rich Dad is a great book for motivational purposes (if that's the kind of stuff someone's into). It's a train wreck if you're looking to do anything above the elementary level OR if your professional circle comprises people who have been successful in the real world for more a few months.

@Shiloh Lundahl I was mentored by my dad. He worked me like a dog through my teens. I was paid $.50 an hour and worked 20-60 hours a week depending on my school schedule. Believe it or not, it adds up. He did take me out to lunch almost every day and teach me about investing, real estate, dealing with tenants, negotiating, ect. I usually talk to him 3+ times a day, usually not real estate related.

Over the years I have found different mentors. Some of them have been lenders, agents, other landlords, and family. I have a good buddy that manages probably 50 million in commercial assets for his family trust. He usually give some good advice. Another is a proud slumlord. Both my older brothers have MBA's and one has a law degree. They are good dudes that have some solid business/law experience. 

I am mixed on paying for real estate education. There is so much good information out there if you just talk with people. I think the paid education is too generic because they have to scale the system to every market. It may work other places but not where I am at. I think you find a landlord that is in the "settling" mode in life and has the time to teach. 

Originally posted by @Shiloh Lundahl :

Earlier this week I unexpectedly found that I had some free time in the evening so I looked on meetup.com to see if there were any real estate meetups happening around me. I found one in Phoenix so I drove over to check it out and see if I could do some networking. It turned out to be an advertisement for a real estate education program. 

Truthfully, I am not against education programs and I am willing to spend money on education - especially when it improves me as a person or it can provide knowledge to increase my profitability. What they were selling was a tiered program for 2K, 4K, or 10k to work with their team and their system and if you didn’t earn back your tuition money that you invested in the first year then they would refund the cost of the program. Depending on the program you buy they will show you how to wholesale, fix and flip, buy and hold, short term rentals, etc. it seemed pretty legit.

I compare this program to another program in the valley that is ran by a buddy of mine.  He shows people how to buy prefoclosures. He goes through the whole process of finding and contacting and negotiating with distressed sellers. His program is about 15k and he walks you through several of your own deals (for a split of course).

Then there are individual investors who are out there doing deals where one can bring them money and partner with them and either get a portion of the profits or act as a private money lender and get a return on their money but also get to participate in the process. There may not be a cost for program (other than they money invested into the deal) but it may also not provide as wide of an education as the other programs.

Then there are experienced investors who have time and they just like to share their knowledge and experience and are willing to take newer investors under their wings and just teach them the ropes for free. They do it because of the good feeling they get as they impart their knowledge to someone eager to learn. Personally, I have found that these types of mentors are harder to find.

This question is for semi-experienced to experience investors: Which kinds of mentors helped you along your journey? I would love to see if @Jay Hinrichs , @Steve Vaughan , @Mike Dymski , @Russell Brazil , @JD Martin, @James Wise , @Omar Khan and @Ben Leybovich wouldn’t mind chiming in. 

 Hi Shiloh, thanks for the shout-out - I'm in some heavy duty company there!

I tend to be a do-it-yourself or a seek-it-yourself guy. I learn a lot from books. I learned how to disassemble and rebuild everything on a car from books, to the point where I once bought a 67 Mustang convertible that a guy had stripped down to the frame and reassembled it on my own in the garage, and then drove it for several years before selling it (for a profit, of course!). In my area, finding anyone reasonable to talk to is very difficult - hence my steep learning curve on new construction where I lost a bundle of money. Back then there weren't any real estate meetups or anything of the sort, and the internet was fairly new and no Youtube so finding things that way wasn't so easy. That was an area where I ended up learning a whole lot on the ground, that wasn't in books, and it was an expensive way to learn. When I don't learn from books, I tend to learn by just going out and doing it. That can be a really expensive education.

That was why I started doing my little 'bizbrainstormers' thing - it's really my way of trying to help people hash things out in a way that I never had the opportunity to do, because no one in my family nor my friends knew anything about investing. I only started charging people a nominal amount because I found that the crush of tire kickers was too great to really spend any time talking to serious people about this kind of stuff; I figured a guy that wasn't willing to spend $50 of his own money probably wasn't ready to learn anything anyway. Not that I know everything about real estate or investing - far from it; I know what I know, and sometimes that changes as I learn new things or learn from other people. BP has been a type of 'mentor' for me, in a collective way, because I've been able to draw off the awesome level of experience of a lot of people on here to avoid a lot of screw-ups that I would have made without it.

This a great topic, btw. I know everyone learns in different ways, and some people really benefit from mentoring or even paid courses. I don't think there's anything wrong with paying to learn stuff - hell, I have a doctorate, and I spent well over $100k on my own education. Learning is learning, whether it comes with a fancy certificate or not. 

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