Psychotherapist to real estate- network

20 Replies

Hello everyone,

I'm a full time psychotherapist in Chicago and entering the world of real estate. My world at the moment revolves around therapy and mental health, which I love and enjoy. I am however finding it difficult to connect with others in the real estate world. I've joined facebook groups and will be attending an investor meet up this month. Any tips on how to continue to connect with others, CPAs, lenders, lawyers, agents, what to look for and of course staying safe financially? 

Appreciate the feedback! 

My partner & I were just in a discussion about hiring a therapist for our real estate clients and some of our tenants. Maybe even using one for ourselves. With regards to connecting with others, I think you already know how to do that. The last part of your question- How to stay safe financially.....  Here's what we do.

1. We establish a minimum Return on Investment for our business. Every deal is evaluated against that ROI minimum

2. We update our ROI requirements quarterly. We use the Stock Market as a barometer for our ROI requirement.

3. Analysis, Analysis, Analysis- Make your decisions based on data, not hunches (unless you have some kind of inside information). 95% of the time you will be able to find market data to support or not support an investment. This is a data driven business. Once you've established your criteria for investment then use the data to support your analysis of every deal presented to you.

4. Have Fun- otherwise you'll end up sitting in a therapist chair yourself

@Lisett Tito - BP Events page lists a few meet-ups, and we have a list of a lot of the meet-ups in Chicago - I will forward to you. 

Define what you want to do and then reach out to others who have done what you are looking to do. Success leaves clues and many folks are happy to share referrals from their network. 


Sounds like you are off to a great start.  

Networking, letting people know you are serious about investing, and meeting other serious investors has been the backbone of building our business.

When you are in the Facebook groups, are you interacting with the people you seek?  Ask them for some time to talk and share coffee over the phone.  Ask other investors in the group who they use or won't use, other people's experience is a great way to learn what not to do.  

Go to all in person real estate network events and ask questions. Meet someone you are interested in learning more about and set up a one on one meeting. 

For agents, go to Trulia, Zillow, redfin,  and look for top producers.  Give them a call and let them know you are interested in meeting them (or good people on their team).

@Lisett Tito - at the top of the page is a network tab and under that is an agent search.  Many BP members have written reviews for agents they have worked with so you can contact them and see if they fit what you are looking for.  I wouldn't do random searches on zillow, trulia, or redfin as 95% of agents have zero experience with investing and won't be able to help you.

The agent can recommend others they have worked with and why they work with them.  

@Lisett Tito - Welcome to BP and congrats for getting out into the real estate space!

Definitely just keep doing what you are doing and reach out & ask questions.  There are a ton of great resources here on bp and even better people - especially the Chicago group.

You should definitely connect with @Michael J Scanlon  @Eudith Vacio or @Tony Freeman from the agent side (they all work with investors and that's what you need) and then link up with @Michael Facchini or @Zack Karp , who both work on the lending side with a ton of investors.

Thank you for the mention @Jonathan Klemm and welcome to the forums - i'm glad that you found this site and hope you find it useful for interacting with others in the Chicagoland area. 

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I started off as an investor and honestly, found myself in your same situation until I started attending networking events. And even then it was sometimes hard to connect with others but BiggerPockets makes it a bit easier to ask questions that you may have regarding real estate! 

@Lisett Tito I did the exact same thing you are doing. I retired as a Physical Therapist this past December because after 20 years in the medical field because I was done with the ridiculousness. It's great that you love what you do, and you can totally be an Investor in your spare time! 

You are doing the right thing by starting to learn. I took a class from Robert Kiyosaki in 2013 (before YouTube, BP, etc) and it was immensely helpful to start to understand the mindset and basic tools and understanding that goes into RE Investing. Start going to live REIA/Investor Clubs and just be around other investors. Just do your thing whether you're an Introvert/Extrovert, but start to see who's who in your area. Go to your state's REIA conference, attend some weekend seminars (but, beware of the $30,000 "systems" that are out there).

Do you plan on investing around Chicago? If so, I would say the first thing to do is find an INVESTOR Realtor who you mesh well with. They can then give you contacts for Lenders to get pre-approved, attorneys, CAPs, etc. Then those contacts can give you other contacts, so on and so forth. 

If you are going to invest in more affordable areas, definitely pick up David Greene's book Long Distance Real Estate Investing: That's the blueprint on how to get your Core 4 going from afar. 

Good luck!!!

I'd recommend finding an investor friendly agent. For the others you mentioned, I'd recommend having someone that actually invests themselves (can be applied to RE agent but not an absolute must). 

@Lisett Tito Congrats, you'll likely make more money in real estate. With a background as a psychotherapist, you will probably be well positioned to avoid misery by screening tenants and recognizing problems behaviors and getting them out quickly. We have 59 units and (mostly untreated) mental illness and personality disorders have (likely) been the underlying causes behind the aberrant behaviors that have prompted every single non-renewal and eviction that we've had in the last 5 years (expect for the drug dealers- who we also non-renew but they are easier to work with). Good luck!

Many landlords here could use a psychotherapist after dealing with eviction moratoriums, government overreach and crazy tenants, haha. 

All kidding aside, welcome to BP. I suggest connecting with all the Chicago people responding here. Attend local meet ups and get to know fellow investors, who can help you. BiggerPockets is absolutely one of the best places to connect with real active investors.

Going to real estate events in your area and networking with people is your best option. You will find great value in learning from vets, and they would be able to connect you with the right people. Good luck!

@Dave Poeppelmeier

Hi Dave,

Thank you for the input. I'll be attending a meet up this weekend. I'm trying to be aware of different systems out there and play it safe. Any input on playing it safe or what to look for? 

Yes, I plan to continue to invest in Chicago mainly with multifamily units. 

Thanks again

@Joe Splitrock

HI Joe, definitely agree with you! I've been in that boat (managing tenants), trying to remind myself that my mental health matters and doing what helps me is so important and so important for everyone to do the same. Appreciate the input, will definitely reach out as more questions come up. 

"I'm a full time psychotherapist in Chicago and entering the world of real estate."

Sorry, but I have to say it: You need to get your head examined. Chicago (and Illinois) is no place for a rookie. Team up with an experienced investor and play the money (wo)man for some of his deals. Pick his brains as to why he accepted/passed on deals and on tenants. Then, after a few years, you find a few deals, explain why you selected them and ask him to vet them for you. After that, start flying solo.

It's not important to get big fast or anything like that. It is only important to start.

Northwest Indiana is a much better place to start when you finally go solo.

@Lisett Tito If you're looking for MF in Chicago, that's going to be pretty competitive. I agree with @John Clark , meet some people to partner up with, or if you're going to invest on your own, get someone to run all the numbers with to make sure it's a good deal. It's tough to "play it safe" right now in that market. 

@Lisett Tito welcome to the forums! You have already heard from a lot of the heavy hitters on here. I personally have received an incredible amount of value from in person meetups. I am involved in a few Facebook groups and other online groups, but I have never had the same level of experience as an in person group. You meet amazing people and you will build a team very, very quickly. 

What areas of the city/suburbs are you looking to invest in? 

Tons of great advise here @Lisett Tito !  I would agree with nearly all of it...If possible go to live events and meet people who are doing what you want to do in the market that you want to do it in.   The advice that I would add is that once you figure out what you think you want to do tell 10 active experienced investors what your plan is and ask them for their opinion.  If 9 of them tell you it's a bad idea please don't move forward with your plan.  I know that sounds like common sense but it's amazing how many people i've seen go against this advice over the years.  Best of luck and keep us posted with your progress!

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you