Why do investors choose to mentor newbies?

43 Replies

I hear a lot about newbies wanting to be mentored and I myself stumbled across an investor who is interested in mentoring me, but my question is why? Besides the goodness of their hearts, why do investors (who must be very very busy) decide to mentor newbies in REI? Is there something in it for them?

Hi Chris

I am not that busy, every person on the planet should read "The 4 Hour Workweek"

A couple in different friends in different fields are doing this so i thought. Wait a minute I can do this! I will do this. Now i can say I am doing this.

Best of luck

Many of these mentors are getting paid.  Either directly or in the form of some cut of a deal.

OTOH, like many of us here, people do help other people without expecting something in return.  Answering someone's questions and walking them through the process of buying rentals or doing fix and flips ultimately doesn't require a lot of time.

Some people just like helping people out

"The rising tide lifts all boats"

Some people like the infectious nature of someone excited about learning.

Some people look at it like a partnership...I teach you, you help me.

Some people say, "I teach you, you sign up for my expensive seminar, I teach a little more, you sign up for more seminars..."

Interesting.  Thanks for the info everyone. 

I think the better question would be, "what can I do as a new investor to bring value and be worthy of the time and knowledge of someone who is more experienced?" I just started my account and already notice there is a wealth of knowledge here.

There's a lot of people out there making money on RE just because they got good advices from mentors and there's no way to payback, so what most real life mentors believe is that you don't payback, you pay forward.  


Life is about giving. People feel good when they can afford to give. Some people are more than happy to give without expecting anything in return. I've been fortunate enough to be part of this giving and receiving cycle and understand how it feels. 

I've found a mentor on line during this down turn. Using what I learned from him, I made over $300k. Fortunately, I was able to return the favor when he needed it most. He was able to make a lot of money using my niche too.

A 30 year old kid found me on BP last summer and asked me to mentor him. I said sure. Coincidentally, he has the same last name. I always kid with my family that he's a brother from a different mother. He flipped 5 houses in the last year and cleared $350k. He now has 4 rental properties. On his last deal, he was able to get seller financing. I helped to walk him through the process and negotiation. 

Ironically, it doesn't have much to do with me. It has everything to do with him. This kid wants to be successful and here he is. Maybe he will share his success story here one of these day. My wife always ask me if this kid is real. A couple of months ago, he sent me a thank you letter and a $50 Starbucks gift card. I showed them to my wife. She smiled and said cool. 

My family is going up to Portland Oregon next month for a wedding. Guess what, this kid will drive from Washington to meet my family face to face. Finally, I will get a chance to meet my brother from a different mother and father. Now, I just have to make a trip to SoCal one of these days to meet my mentor and put a name to a face.  We all have achieved some success without paying any coach a nickel for mentoring. 

Remember that the top 10% of the people own 70% of the wealth. It's because the top 10% are willing to work for it. It's hard to make it to the top. Once you have made it, the view is in incredible. Are you willing to make the short term sacrifice for long term gain? Find someone local to shadow. Ned Carey is a successful investor from your neck of the woods. He's also on BP. Hit him up. 

Good luck Chris. 

The idea of seeking out a local mentor has entered my mind daily since I joined BP. Unfortunately I just don't know how in the world I would fit REI into my own schedule let alone be flexible enough to accomodate the schedule of someone so generous to open his/hers to me.

Great post @Minh L. I have been lucky to learn from a number of mentors throughout my life. First, from a few professors in college and grad school who invested in real estate on the side. The first one - an accounting professor broke it down to me with numbers - that is when I learned about the amazing advantages of leverage and depreciation. He introduced me to methods of evaluating deals: cap rate, GRM, etc. I thought it was a big secret at the time. He said he wanted to educate young people about real estate because it made such a big difference in his life and everyone discouraged him from investing in real estate when he was young. I always remember, he said the hardest thing about being successful real estate investor was coming up with enough money for a down payment

 Later I met a real estate developer who was the father of a friend of a friend.  He was eager to tell stories, evaluate my deals, and share his experience and knowledge.  He never asked for anything in return - he even insisted on picking up the tab at lunch.  The first property I bought, I was in touch with him every step of the way, asking about making an offer, negotiating the price, dealing with repairs, selecting tenants.  We still keep in touch but not as much anymore - I just don't think I need to bother him every time a lightbulb goes out.

I've never called anyone a mentor to their face and I have certainly never had anyone say the same to me, but I have definitely talked to a lot of friends and friends of friends who are interested in real estate.  I try to do the same as was done for me: share everything i can to help them succeed: tell about my mistakes, what I have learned and what I did right, too.

I know like @Jon Holdman  says, a lot of people want to charge to "mentor" - I have no experience with that, so I cannot comment intelligently. All I can say is that I have been able to get all the information I need for free - or maybe for the cost of a cup of coffee, and I am happy to pass it on for the same price. It feels good to help people, and to be frank, it also makes me feel good about myself.

I think everyone should help everyone but if the new comer profits from it; they should pay the person that helps them.

Joe Gore

I have mentored another investor who ended up buying four rentals and is happy with the profits.  In fact, we JUST spoke and are heading to lunch together in a few minutes.  I expect no compensation from him.

Helping someone is great, and gives a lot of emotional satisfaction, but also: who doesn't like to be looked up to as the "authority"? I'm not dissing the helping aspect, just pointing out a psychological fact :) 

It's nice to have your views and understanding of a subject appreciated by someone else. A lot of investors have friends (and sometimes family) that have no interest in what they do. So the chance to expound on what you've learned to an interested party can be very gratifying.

I agree with @Jean Bolger  .

There is definitely a boost to one's self when someone else looks up to them. Also, there are many people who completely glaze over if I start talking about RE, so it's nice to actually have someone interested in the subject to talk to.

Originally posted by @Jean Bolger: A lot of investors have friends (and sometimes family) that have no interest in what they do.

 Wow, you just described, like, my entire life!  And, not to hijack the thread, but it's not easy to be interested in something that you can't talk about because no one else cares.  My mother, of course, is the exception, but there's only so far a conversation can go before she's just listening because she's my mother.


There are a lot of potential reasons people will mentor. Some of course charge a fee or get kickbacks some other way, so that one is obvious. But more than that, and I'd say more the case than not, there is a huge reason (in my opinion) to pay it forward. I got so much 'free' mentoring along my way, I'd be a selfish a** if I didn't pay that forward and help others. There's also the factor of, it's just fun (I love teaching). More of a hidden thing a lot don't realize too though is, you'd be surprised how much you can learn by mentoring/teaching someone. I know my mentor, who has been with me for 3 years, tells me fairly often how much he learns from working with me. Maybe not necessarily because I teach him something, but as he teaches me it also triggers more ideas in his head that he can go implement. Same happens for me, I'm always figuring more out when I'm explaining it to others. Lastly, I think this is an industry that benefits hugely from collaboration. Just because someone is less experienced than you doesn't mean they will be the 'mentee' forever. At some point you will be more on equal footing and you might learn a lot from that person. There is no such thing as too much networking in REI and mentoring and paying it forward is just part of that circle. Plus, for those who believe in karma, mentoring someone never hurts.

Hi all, anyone want to mentor a Vet? I'm somewhat new and need to play catch up in life and support my family a whole lot better! Thanks again.

I have to agree with the pay it forward mindset here. I have helped people along the way because if it wasn't for my mentors when I first started, who knows where I would be. 

Now here we are 7 years later and I just got done giving an interview to the Orlando Sentinel on my business. 

I haven't mentored anyone in real estate but I have mentored and been mentored in other areas. In my experience, I learn so much more when I teach others, and I also really enjoy talking to people about things that I'm interested in. So for me personally it comes down to that. Building or strengthening friendships on the common ground of...insert your mentoring topic here...and the ability to learn more and grow myself.

"What goes around comes back around."

I am a newbie and seeking a mentor. Personally, I learn better from human teachings than textbook teaching. The book can only do so much but a mentor can take you through scenarios in case you encounter them later.

Everyone in this business has to start from somewhere and sometimes you feel as though you should pay it forward. I think almost all of us can think of one or two people that have helped us through a tough deal or situation. If we did not feel that way we would not be on this site giving advice or asking questions.


I find that working with others helps to refine myself.  I have to think through what I have done and how I did it before I can pass it on.  The process helps me evaluate how I've been doing and how it may work for someone else.  

Also, according to Mark Mackenzie (Marketopoly) "In order to affect property values we need property owners, which is where investors come into play.  The demand that plays the most significant role in driving home prices up is the demand for real estate investments." Pg. 71.  So, if we train up more investors, our values will go up!

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