Posted over 7 years ago

It Isn’t All About You.

     You’ve seen the posts: inexperienced investor seeking mentor. Does not want to spend anything for the training. I have seen them go as far as specifying that they are only available on certain days of the week, at certain times, so they expect the mentor to conform to their schedule. The mentor must be very experienced.

     Sometimes the investor will have a little experience. They don’t really know if a mentor will make a difference but they would like to try one, just in case, as long as it doesn’t cost them anything.

     Other posts ask for funding for 100% of the purchase price plus the rehab costs because the “investor” doesn’t have any funds. They don’t want to pay the high (unreasonable) interest costs that hard money lenders charge. The poster calls themselves an investor though they haven’t invested in anything yet. Sometimes they haven’t even made an offer on anything yet.

     Sometimes the poster is asking for a copy of a contract, sometimes for someone to run comps, sometimes lists of local suppliers, sometimes this, sometimes that. Rarely, do they offer anything in return.

     Before you post something like this take a moment to see what it looks like from the other side of the screen.

     Help me. Help me. Help me. Me, me, me, me, me.

     It isn’t all about you. Your post may make an impression and it may be remembered—is that the impression you want to make?

     You are asking an experienced and, supposedly, successful investor to take some of their valuable time and share it with you but you are offering nothing in return. You are showing that you will gladly take the advice but don’t really value it so you may not use it. You may not even pay attention in the unlikely event that someone responds. Why would an experienced investor be interested in such a relationship?

     Most of the time a mentor isn’t necessary to enter real estate. There are instances where it might be helpful for some people but just having a network where you can ask open questions of and share experiences with people doing what you’d like to do can accomplish much of what having a mentor does.

     How do you attract the mentor (if you want one) or develop the network?

      Include an offer with your request. Show that you are ready to help now. Even if you are new to real estate you can offer something. (Here’s a secret: oftentimes your offer won’t be accepted. The experienced investor probably doesn’t need your help but the fact that you offered it sets you apart from most people and gets the right kind of attention.) If you can’t think of anything you can offer, at least show how much you appreciate the help given. Thank those who helped you. You don’t have to fawn over them but a genuine thank you goes a long way. Acknowledge the people who helped you when you go to meetings. Write testimonials if the help was valuable and you are comfortable doing so. Vote on their posts. Like their website. Do what you can.

     When you begin to get some experience offer your help as readily as help was offered to you. Now your help may be more valuable. When you find a lead or a deal that might be a good fit for those who helped you early on run it by them, give them a chance to participate. The people who helped you early may end up being partners, lenders, etc., when they see your progress and see that you are as willing to help them as they were willing to help you.

     Real estate investing can be much more enjoyable, easy and profitable as a team sport. It isn’t all about you.

Comments (4)

  1. Jeff

    I read this and all I can say is "Amen". 

    You nailed it


    1. @Michael Zuber, I appreciate your comment.

  2. This is great, Jeff.  We learned this very early on and wouldn't be where we are today without the help of our mentor.  He has become for us so much more than just someone who offers us advice; he has ended up becoming the one who funds our deals and even helps us find end buyers.  Granted, we split everything 50/50 but I'll gladly take 50% versus 0%.  

    Thanks for the reminder that giving something back is so much more important than just taking!

    1. @Christy Barton, thank you for stopping by. I agree that real estate can be much easier when we work with others. We are able to do more deals with reliable partners.