What To Do Before Taking An Investor To Lunch


Have you been thinking about taking a successful, local investor to lunch? If not, you should be.

Just getting started flipping houses? Learned a lot through the BiggerPockets.com forums and real estate blog and ready to get out there and try your hand at your first flip? Concerned about happening upon situations that you might not know how to handle?

That’s normal. Situations can and will arise that you are not going to be prepared to handle. That’s just how life is and what happens when you get out of your comfort zone and try something new. The challenges shouldn’t make you shut down and give up and go back to the same old, same old. The challenges should be exciting and add spice to your life. Ok, maybe they won’t be all that exciting, but you should be able to face them as a test of how much fight you have in you and as a chance to show what you are made of.

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There Are Things You Don’t Know That Could Hurt You

Some of these challenges can cause you some serious problems if you don’t have the experience, or the ability to contact someone that does, to handle them correctly. This is why it is of the utmost important to network and build relationships with other investors in your area. Believe it or not, some really will be willing to help you…as long as you provide value to them as well. Don’t worry, we will get to how to do that in a bit.

Here are some examples of situations that you might encounter where it would be nice to have someone to help you. This is just the tip of the iceberg mind you.

What if you came across an incredible deal but the seller needs to stay in the house for several weeks to a month after closing? How should you handle that?

What if a house you were looking at only had one bathroom? Is it worth it to add one somewhere? Is it possible to add one without extensive plumbing changes?

How about if you come across what appears to be a fantastic deal but can’t find any real comparable sales to give you an idea of what it might be worth. How much could you offer if you don’t have a solid idea of what it is worth?

I’m full of questions, but the world is even more full of different situations that you might encounter.

It would be nice to have someone to help you through some of them.

Not Having an Experienced, Local Investor To Help You Really Sucks

Regardless of whether you have relationships with people that can help you make important decisions, you will have to be the type of person that is decisive. Don’t expect someone else to make all of your decisions for you.

But, it really sucks when you don’t have someone that can help at least steer you in the right direction.

So let’s talk about building those relationships so that you will have someone to go to…and hopefully even end up with a mentor.

Take An Investor To Lunch

Wait! Hold on. Before you do, let’s go over some things that you should do first. These things will help you to make a good impression and have a much higher chance of having them want to befriend you and help you out.

Do your homework

Please don’t waste other people’s time with questions that can easily be answered with minimal research. You really want to make sure that you’ve spent the time educating yourself on the basics enough to have good questions to need answers to. Usually these questions won’t come up until you are taking some action and find yourself in a situation you haven’t read about.

Hopefully you have a burning desire to be a real estate investor because that determination will likely make this education period easy and fun. It’s not uncommon for those of us that have a passion for it to stay up late devouring all of the information we can get our eyeballs on.

Have a plan

Don’t just tell them you are willing to help them with whatever they want. You might not want to or be able to do something they might want you to do. The bigger issue though is that you are requiring them to work at figuring out what you could do for them. I don’t like to have to do that.

Come up with some suggestions. What strengths do you have? Do you have a background in something that could be useful for them? It’s up to you to know what you can offer them.

Sometimes just the act of offering up something of value to them is enough to get them to want to help you because you are showing that you are willing to give in order to receive.

Bring them a lead

If you are taking action, taking those baby steps in the right direction, you will likely start encountering potential deals. The leads will start to appear. With enough of a desire and determination, you will attract leads.

A lead is an awesome thing to have to discuss with an experienced investor. It gives a specific example to kick around. It’s even more exciting when there is a lot of potential for a deal to be had. If they know that this lead could end up being a deal that they could work with or without you, they will be more than willing to spend the time with you.

Every serious investor likes to have additional sources of leads and deals.

Bring them a deal

If a lead you’ve found looks to be a deal, based on your analysis and not just wishful thinking, why not share it with someone that you would like to build a relationship with that can help you through it. When you have someone that can help keep you from making a huge financial mistake, you will have a lot more confidence in moving forward with a deal.

I think that confidence is really what most people need from relationships with other investors or mentors that are willing to help them out.

Action items

It’s awesome that you are taking action and starting your new adventure in flipping houses. When things come up that you don’t know how to handle, you have a perfect place to find those answers in the BiggerPockets Forums.

In addition to this resource, you should be developing relationships with experienced, local investors. These investors can become mentors and can help you through the tough start that we all experience. Increase your odds of succeeding by taking advantage of the help of others. But, always remember, you need to provide something of value to them in return. Give in order to receive. Don’t expect people to want to help out their eventual ‘competition’ for nothing.

Photo: BasBoerman

About Author

Danny Johnson (G+) is a real estate investor in San Antonio, TX. Visit his blog: Flipping Junkie - A House Flipping Blog to follow along with him as he shows, in detail, the marketing he is doing, the leads being generated, the lead and deal analysis, the rehabs and really, just about everything. He also provides real estate investor websites at LeadPropeller.com.


  1. As always a great article! I work in Los Angeles Mon-Wed (3 hours from home), and I miss all my local meetings which seem to be on Wednesday. I’m thinking I should just go to the LA meetings?

  2. Great points Danny. Folks have to find a way to provide value for their mentors.

    I’m sure you get a ton of people like I do that just want you to give them the “3 page short version of everything they need to know to make a million dollars in 3 months”. I even had one tell me she just didn’t have time to do all the reading and studying. Just send her everything she needed including screenshots.


  3. Michael Dorovich on

    Hi Danny, great article, and very timely for me.

    I have been working with an investor who buys properties out of state who has been super helpful to me. He has been answering my questions as they arise through text messaging, sometimes a few a day. He said he would buy deals from me (wholesaling) that fit his criteria.

    We have been corresponding via text or email for 3 months. There has definitely been progress, have had a few properties under contract, but not yet closed a deal that makes him a profit.

    How can I make sure I am making it worth it for him until we can close a deal?


    • I don’t think there is anything you need to do differently. You are still working hard at finding a good deal and that should be enough for him to keep helping you. Once you find a deal, he knows the next will follow more quickly afterward.

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