I don’t know what it is, but I feel like every forum posting I’ve read the past few days has been about mentors and gurus. Either people asking, “Should I pay for the advanced training course that includes personal mentoring?” or simply, “Is it worth it to pay for a local mentor?”
By no means are these bad questions. In fact, they’re very important questions that need to be asked and contemplated. I’m not a huge fan of the color “gray” when it comes to arguing/debating, so I’m going to lay out my opinion as black and white as possible.
Do I believe a real estate investor should have a mentor? Yes.
Do I believe a real estate investor should pay for a mentor and/or advanced program? Yes.*
Please take note of the asterisk (*) I placed next to my second “Yes”. The asterisk is what the whole article is going to be about.
How to Purchase Real Estate With No (or Low) Money!
One of the biggest struggles that many new investors have is in coming up with the money to purchase their first real estate properties. Well, BiggerPockets can help with that too. The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down can give you the tools you need to get started in real estate, even if you don’t have tons of cash lying around.
Real Estate Investing Mentors Are Unavoidable
When you get out into the real estate world and start working deals, you are going to be in touch with all sorts of people in the industry. Real estate agents, mortgage bankers, accountants, lawyers, wholesalers, flippers, landlords, etc. If you are coming into contact with any of these people, it is because you are out there working on a deal.
Just because someone does not have “mentor” written on their shirt, or is not asking you for a chunk of money doesn’t mean they can’t be a mentor. In all actuality, the people NOT advertising they are mentors are the probably the best ones. Why? Because they are out there actually “doing stuff”, and “stuff” is not defined as trying to sell you their mentor-ship program.
There is no way you can do a real estate deal (no matter the type) all by yourself. It is an inevitable conclusion that you will need to utilize the services of other people in the industry. Think about it. Whether you are selling a property, piece of land, or piece of paper (note), there needs to be a buyer. Unless you have split personalities and are selling to yourself, then there will ALWAYS be at least one other person in the equation. Because of this, the opportunity at mentor-ship is unavoidable.
The Cost Efficient Strategy of Paying for a Real Estate Investing Mentor
What if I told you it is possible to spend $1 on two things at once, and therefore, double the purchasing power of a single dollar bill? (I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to complain about a 100% gain in purchasing power!). That’s what this strategy is all about.
There are two phrases I slipped into the above section because they are the two pillars of this strategy…
- “start working deals”
- “utilize the services”
Let’s talk about how these two work together. I first want to start out with a little scenario…
Billy has $20,000 and he is wondering whether or not he should spend it on an advanced guru course that includes “personal mentorship”. There are two outcomes here…
- Billy pays $20,000. This leaves him with $0.00 to “start working deals”. Hmmmmm…
- Billy takes that $20,000 and decides to take action and use it to “start working deals”… Hey! Now we’re getting somewhere.
Due to the fact that mentors are unavoidable when you are out “working deals”, and because you have $20,000 to “utilize the services” of whomever you are dealing with, you just gave these people a reason to help you out.
By choosing option #2, Billy not only gets started in earning money for himself in real estate (opposed to earning money for someone else by giving it away), but also picks up mentor-ship along the way. That sounds like he has turned $20,000 into $40,000 of purchasing power.
This Strategy Applied to My Real Life Real Estate Investing
I totally understand and agree with the fact that just because someone makes a claim, it doesn’t always translate smoothly into the real world. With that being said, this is how the strategy works for me (Note: I say “works” because I’m still doing it! You can never stop learning!).
If you listened to my BiggerPockets podcast, you know I met one mentor on Facebook. I will use his and my relationship for this example. This mentor does quite a bit of things in real estate, but his one great specialty is wholesaling.
By purchasing a wholesale property from him (“taking action”), I need to meet up with him to sign papers and such. This gets me and him together, and since I am “utilizing his services” by purchasing the property, I am adding value to him. With this value being added, he is more than willing to sit back and take time answering questions for me or just kicking around ideas (mentor-ship).
When it comes time to sell the property, this is also another specialty of his due to his marketing geared towards those wanting to use seller financing. Once again, when the property is sold and I come in to sign the papers, this gets him and I together. By paying him a selling commission I am “utilizing his services” and adding value to him. In doing so, he is more than willing to give me guidance and whatever else I am in need of.
I hope you get the point. When you are adding value to someone else’s operation, they will want to keep your business, and therefore, will gladly take time out of their day to talk with you. This is where you can take advantage of mentoring, so don’t be shy, ask away!
It is hard to add value to someone’s operations though if you no longer have any money because you just spent it on a guru mentoring course. Ya know?
Bottom line, take $1 and turn it into $2 by spending it on “taking action” which will lead into mentor-ship training with those people you begin to do business with.
Photo: Rob Gallop