Mentorship - How Much is One's Time Worth?

11 Replies

Hello and HAPPY SUNDAY BP!!

My partner and I went to an awesome meetup in Philly. The speaker was a multifamily investor and has been in the business for a number of years. He offered so much content in the two hours he was there so we walked away even more excited for our investing futures! He offered himself up as a mentor to those who are serious about getting into multifamily. We scheduled a call and talked for about 45 minutes. We let him know that we were game for him mentoring us and that we understood his time is a valuable commodity. He didn't give us a fee, but said send me something as a good faith payment to let me know you're serious 😳 We dont want to offend him. My question is, what fee did you give your mentor?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Hi @Cassandra Sifford ! I think it's vital to be precise with the language here. Someone offering up their expertise and skills in exchange for money is a coach, not a mentor. Coaching is a profession and seeking the services of one should be done explicitly. You should no more worry about "offending" your coach than you would your plumber: This is a business transaction!

By contrast, mentors are experienced advisors who take a personal interest in you and your success. No money changes hands, but the value received is often priceless.

Coaches and mentor each have an important role to play. But you should never confuse the two, nor let anyone pretend to be your mentor while charging you a fee.

This speaker should be honest and upfront about costs and deliverables, just like any other contractor. You are paying for a service!

@Cassandra Sifford


Go to a local coin shop or Ebay and buy something like a 1930s-era wheat penny for fifty cents. Send it to this guy with a letter. Tell him in the letter that it was your father's and before that your grandfather's lucky penny, and you think so highly of him that you've decided to offer it to him for his continuing success and to show your sincere appreciation.

You might go with an old watch and a story about Vietnam, too.

Originally posted by @Jim K. :

@Cassandra Sifford


Go to a local coin shop or Ebay and buy something like a 1930s-era wheat penny for fifty cents. Send it to this guy with a letter. Tell him in the letter that it was your father's and before that your grandfather's lucky penny, and you think so highly of him that you've decided to offer it to him for his continuing success and to show your sincere appreciation.

You might go with an old watch and a story about Vietnam, too.

this is very odd.. what you send him 500.00 and he say you offended me and keeps it.. or you send him 5k and he would have been happy with 2k.. Very strange way to go about it. 

 

Originally posted by @Mitch Messer :

Hi @Cassandra Sifford ! I think it's vital to be precise with the language here. Someone offering up their expertise and skills in exchange for money is a coach, not a mentor. Coaching is a profession and seeking the services of one should be done explicitly. You should no more worry about "offending" your coach than you would your plumber: This is a business transaction!

By contrast, mentors are experienced advisors who take a personal interest in you and your success. No money changes hands, but the value received is often priceless.

Coaches and mentor each have an important role to play. But you should never confuse the two, nor let anyone pretend to be your mentor while charging you a fee.

This speaker should be honest and upfront about costs and deliverables, just like any other contractor. You are paying for a service!

Very good Post Mitch..  Since i started our charity aheroshome.org.. I will do consulting for BP folks and 100% of what I take in goes to charity and depending on what the person wants of me I will ask for donations that seems to work.. 

 

Originally posted by @Cassandra Sifford :

Hello and HAPPY SUNDAY BP!!

My partner and I went to an awesome meetup in Philly. The speaker was a multifamily investor and has been in the business for a number of years. He offered so much content in the two hours he was there so we walked away even more excited for our investing futures! He offered himself up as a mentor to those who are serious about getting into multifamily. We scheduled a call and talked for about 45 minutes. We let him know that we were game for him mentoring us and that we understood his time is a valuable commodity. He didn't give us a fee, but said send me something as a good faith payment to let me know you're serious 😳 We dont want to offend him. My question is, what fee did you give your mentor?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

During the course of meeting him, did he mention any of his hobbies? Anyone who talks to me for even 10 mins know how much I love baseball, so I would much appreciate a ticket to Nats game even of a lesser dollar value than cold hard cash.  It sends a message that the person cares about what I deeply care about. If you really feel like you owe him something, send him a gift certificate or something like that.  The other side of that is you can get away with shelling less out of your own pocket !!!  LOL 

Also, going forward its best to have an upfront understanding of the fee for his service. 

 

@Mitch Messer That was a great distinction mentoring and coaching. I have provided both. I mentored a 19-year-old friend of the family. And I provide some coaching to some investors that I work with for a fee (I call it affordable real estate coaching). I have also paid for coaching and I have found a few real estate mentors that I have learned a lot from about investing and about life.

This is what I have learned from by both receiving and providing coaching and mentorship.

Coaching is a service that is usually paid for. There is an expectation on both sides. It is usually structured and there is often a contract that outlines expectations and the extent of the services that will be provided. The coach has the responsibility to teach and the student may or may not complete the assignments.

Mentorship comes out of the relationship that is built between someone who is more experienced and someone who is less experienced. There is usually not a contract and it is usually not structured. Lessons are mostly learned through observations and conversations. The mentee carries the majority of the responsibility to learn.

The 19-year-old that I mentored was not ready to be mentored. I gave him complete access to me for 3 months and shared with him as much as I could about changing one’s mindset to a mindset of success. I tried to help him understand the difference between trading time for golden eggs and learning how to raise and breed geese that lay golden eggs. He had a hard time seeing the value of raising the geese and he just wanted the golden eggs and he didn’t have as good of an experience as I wanted him to have.

I have also coached people though acquiring single family properties for under market value and setting them up on lease options or as rentals. I have charged $5000 to $6000 to do that. The investors who have paid for coaching from me have all shown appreciation for being able to acquire properties under market value.

In my opinion, it is often harder to find a mentor than a coach. People who are willing to pay for coaching are usually ready to learn because they have put up money to learn there are many people who will teach you how to invest in real estate for a fee. Whereas with mentors, it is often harder to find someone who will take you under their wing and spend time with you to help you learn through the association over a long period of time without a specified end date.

@Mitch Messer   Thank you for breaking down the differences!  That made everything very clear.

@Jay Hinrichs My partner and I thought the same thing.  We didn't want to give too much and he would have accepted so much less.  

@Chinmay J.   During our initial chat, we all spoke about our personal lives, our why and where we want to go for the future.  

@Shiloh Lundahl   Thank you for your breakdown and lesson.  Your friend of the family was still in his younger days and had some growing to do before he could appreciate the knowledge you were trying to provide.  We all must crawl before we walk and I'm sure he sees the lesson 

UPDATE: I spoke to him again yesterday for another 25 minutes so I could know if this was a coaching or mentoring type of relationship.  He said he's available for whatever our needs are.  Our "good faith offering" could be something small and he said he would not be offended, but just wanted to make sure that we were serious.  I don't mind an offering to be mentored or dropping him some money or a gift from time to time for his help along the way.  He's already given us two assignments to work on before we connect again this week by phone.  When the possibility of coaching need arises, he said he'd be happy to help in any way and that he'd structure it for coaching and let us know what his fees are.  I don't feel that he's trying to take advantage of us.  We just needed some simple clarity.  Goodness knows in this business time is money and I would never waste anyone's time.  I'm passionate about my future and what real estate can do for me and my family.  With that said, I'm looking forward to working with him and seeing where things go 😊

Originally posted by @Cassandra Sifford :

@Mitch Messer   Thank you for breaking down the differences!  That made everything very clear.

@Jay Hinrichs My partner and I thought the same thing.  We didn't want to give too much and he would have accepted so much less.  

@Chinmay J.   During our initial chat, we all spoke about our personal lives, our why and where we want to go for the future.  

@Shiloh Lundahl   Thank you for your breakdown and lesson.  Your friend of the family was still in his younger days and had some growing to do before he could appreciate the knowledge you were trying to provide.  We all must crawl before we walk and I'm sure he sees the lesson 

UPDATE: I spoke to him again yesterday for another 25 minutes so I could know if this was a coaching or mentoring type of relationship.  He said he's available for whatever our needs are.  Our "good faith offering" could be something small and he said he would not be offended, but just wanted to make sure that we were serious.  I don't mind an offering to be mentored or dropping him some money or a gift from time to time for his help along the way.  He's already given us two assignments to work on before we connect again this week by phone.  When the possibility of coaching need arises, he said he'd be happy to help in any way and that he'd structure it for coaching and let us know what his fees are.  I don't feel that he's trying to take advantage of us.  We just needed some simple clarity.  Goodness knows in this business time is money and I would never waste anyone's time.  I'm passionate about my future and what real estate can do for me and my family.  With that said, I'm looking forward to working with him and seeing where things go 😊

report back once you have some history with this Mentor/Coach will be interesting to see how it unfolded  Positive or Negative

 

Take this for what it's worth, but I would not want a mentor that just offered themselves up for mentoring carte blanche to a group meeting. Most people I know that I would value the information they have are busy people, too busy to just out of the blue say "Sure, I'll mentor anyone, just send me something so I can see you're serious". I did coaching online for a couple of years and I did require a token payment so I knew people were serious, and I had to quit doing it because it just ate up way too much time. I only ever did it to try to "give back" (it never made any money, especially relative to the time involved) and what I found was that only a few people ever had the drive to do something with the discussions and information; with most people you were just wasting your time and theirs, and I didn't want to take money from someone that wasn't ready to or in any position to go forward or actually become successful. 

To me, finding a good mentor happens more organically than in that way. I would call what he is offering more coaching than anything else. A few of the people I coached I ended up having more of a mentoring relationship with; from the mentor point of view, you're really just interested in seeing people succeed rather than having a financial vested interest. 

@Shiloh Lundahl I could not have said it better myself. However you define the relationship or what name you give it, both parties should be up front about their role and make sure expectations are clear. I too am both a mentor and a coach. I know you understand this from our previous conversation. When a person chooses to be a mentor it is becasue we want to share our knowledge and we take great satisfaction in watching another person grow and succeed. I get just as excited watching a client succeed as I do my own. I often take on clients to teach them for a fee, but I have specific packages with set rates and those packages are defined to a specific time frame of support and sometimes a specific topic. However, Once we get going a client will display a certain need on a different topic that requires an adjustment in the curriculum to suit their needs, so I will often add time to allow for that new education they require while still teaching them the main topic that was agreed upon. I give specific assignments at each session and hold the client accountable for the completion of those assignments making sure they understand that the reason for the assignment is to help them learn and grow by applying the techniques or strategies being taught. Sometimes the assignment is simnply to teach them certain skills or to literally get them to step out of their commfort zone so they can make better progress. I have never cut a client off at the end of the allotted time stated in the package and I care very deeply about every person's success. 

@Mitch Messer I appreciate your definition of coach vs mentor, but I think the lines are not so rigidly defined. For most of my coaching and mentoring career, (20 years), my clients/students were assigned to me or given to me by the education companies who did touring seminars around the country to bring in clients. I have always done my best to teach them whether or not they were really ready. I always did an assessment of their skills and started by teaching them what they needed to know be successful, even if it was just time management or building their confidence so they coult take the necessary action steps to move forward. I coach the whole person, not just the investor in them. I knew that each student assigned to me was counting on me to help them, and in their minds they had paid me for their education even though they had actually paid the seminar company who was compensating me at a much lesser rate than the students had paid to them. It was never about the money, but money has to be part of the equasion. I had to be compensated for my time and the student had to feel the value of the education.  I communicate and explain things very clearly in simple layman's terms and make sure they understand what they are being taught before I move on the the next topic. I also hold them accountable for their own success becasue I know that I can't make a person get out of bed in the morning. It is up to them to put that education into practical use because I cannot do it for them. Nor have I ever partnered with a student on a deal, as much as they may have begged. I think that would be unethical for me to benefit from any deals that they did. I am and always have been a mentor, even if the relatioships have started as coaching. Still to this day I have former students contact me and I always help them even if their "coaching" ended 15 years ago. I love teaching and I am good at it, but it has never been just a job to me. Even when I am giving Free Sessions I deliver real content based on what they need becasue it isn't about me. I will always be grateful for those seminar companies even if I disagreed with their methods because I have met and stayed connected to so many wonderful people all over the country. I have my finger on the pulse of the real estate markets in every state becasue I work with people from every state. One of the seminar companies had me on their sales floor for a while back in 2004 and quickly pulled me out of sales and back into mentoring/coaching becasue I was still teaching on sales calls. I can't help it. LOL!

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