Hey, guys! I have written a lot of posts that touch on the subject of finding a real estate mentor and the importance of it, but I’ve never fully discussed the how.
As always, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this ,and it’s my goal today to show you, step-by-step, the practical way to successfully find a real estate mentor.
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.
Why Do You Need A Real Estate Mentor in the First Place?
Well, because I have met very few successful, long-term real estate investors who have made it without one.
Having a seasoned investor to bounce comps with, ask advice, and grow with is something that I believe is the most crucial step in becoming a real estate investor.
If you do it alone, you’ll make a lot more mistakes and struggle a lot more than if you had taken the time to seek the influence and insight of a mentor.
Should You Pay for a Real Estate Mentor?
You know, my answer may surprise you, but if under the right circumstances, I think it is possible to benefit from a paid mentorship. In essence, it should function like hiring a business coach who specializes in real estate investing.
If you pursue that route, however, I would caution that you need to be 100 percent sure that they’re not going to promise you the world and ultimately not deliver.
There are a lot of real estate gurus out there who would love to take your money and leave you in the dust. Don’t get caught in their trap!
Though I think a paid mentorship under the right circumstances could work, my preferred route is through partnership.
I’d rather go in on a deal that a newbie brought me in exchange for some coaching rather than get paid an hourly rate.
I just like it better because, for me, it’s cleaner and creates a better “win-win,” but again, that’s just a personal preference.
Step #1: Find A Seasoned Real Estate Investor
Sometimes people have difficulty finding a seasoned investor in their area. My suggestion would be to start with the BiggerPockets keyword alerts and reaching out to local investors that way.
If that doesn’t work, if you have MLS access, you can do a search for cash-buyers who have bought in your area over the last six months and then reach out to them that way.
Beyond that, Meetup.com is also another way to get connected to other investors in your market.
Once your potential mentor is found, invite them out for coffee or for lunch.
Step #2: Don’t Ask to Be Mentored
Though I have a had a few people who started off this way with me turn out OK, the vast majority of people who ask me to mentor them within the first time of meeting typically were a waste of my time.
Asking a real estate investor to mentor you the first time you meet is similar to going to a bar and asking the first woman you meet to marry you.
Doesn’t usually turn out so hot!
My first suggestion would be to take it slow. You need to make sure that the both of you fit well together and mutually benefit from the relationship.
In your first meeting, I would ask them questions like:
- What are your core values?
- What are some things you’re passionate about in life?
- What kind of investing do you do, and how do you do it?
- What would be your suggestions for me, as a complete beginner?
- Do you partner on deals on a case-by-case basis?
Listen far more than you speak in this first meeting.
Step #3: Discover Their Needs in a Non-Arrogant Way
Next, I’d seek out to discover what their business is lacking. Maybe your potential real estate mentor is a one-man operation, and taking all the motivated seller calls is weighing on him (or her).
Maybe they’re overwhelmed by having to view too many properties and are in need of some extra help there.
Or maybe they’re terrible at utilizing online marketing and are missing out on that huge opportunity.
Whatever it is for their specific situation, once you’ve found it through asking strategic questions, offer ways that you may be able to step in and help.
Here’s a big key, though: DO NOT tell them how to run their business or come across as a know-it-all!
You’ve got to take the humble route, my friend. You have never done a deal (or have done very little) compared to this investor, and you are in no place to preach to them.
Your communication needs to come across as simply wanting to help and learn.
Suggest running social media for them, helping out with some motivated seller calls, or cleaning their office even!
Then once they make a suggestion of something you can do, go far above their expectations.
Under-promise but over-deliver, meaning wow them with your responsiveness and work ethic. If they ask you do 5-10 hours, give them 15-20 or even full time without asking to be compensated for it.
Genuinely show interest, and let your work speak for itself.
If you do this, the more value you bring (if they’re a decent person and a worthy mentor), the more your mentor will help you out.
Step #4: Bring Them Deals
As you help them in their business, on the side, be aggressive at finding deals.
You will most likely get a lot of duds, but that’s OK! You’re now in a position where you can call on the advice of a seasoned investor, and you’re learning, so it’s all good.
Run your own analysis of the deal, come up with your own numbers, and ask your potential mentor to check them for you.
If they say your numbers look good, ask them if they’d like to partner with you on this particular deal. You can say, “What would you suggest I do? Would you like to go in on this one with me? You can take 50 percent if you finance it and walk me through all the steps involved.”
If the investor agrees, boom — you just found yourself a real estate mentor.
Then all you have to do is rinse and repeat. Continue to serve their company and needs, and in the meantime, bring them deals that you two can potentially partner on.
It’s really that simple, but it’s definitely not that common!
Most people approach this with the wrong perspective. They go in to take a lot more than they’re willing to give, and those are the people who don’t last in this business.
Without money and expertise, serving and adding value is really the only leverage you have starting out, so use it wisely!
If you already have a real estate mentor, how did you find them, and what tips would you add to this article? If you’re looking for a mentor, how are you going about finding one?
Leave your comments below!