When you look for someone to mentor you, especially in real estate, there are a few things to keep in mind. Today we'll talk about the 5 most important things to consider when you decide to invest time and energy into a mentor.
Learn more about our mentoring programs.
5 Important Things to Remember When Seeking Out a Mentor
1: You have access
When looking for a mentor to guide and teach you about real estate, your instinct will probably be to seek out the biggest, most successful and notable person you can find. While credibility is paramount, remember that you want someone who actually has the time, energy – and desire – to make themselves available to you.
Choose a mentor that answers your calls, returns your emails, and regularly sticks to your mutually agreed upon appointment times. Of course, things come up so sometimes, people have to reschedule. But property investing is a time-sensitive business, and having to wait a day or two just because you couldn't get your mentor's council could mean you lose the perfect deal.
Even better, they should be willing to roll up their sleeves and help you evaluate properties, write offers with favorable terms, and negotiate with sellers. Savvy real estate investing is a calling that needs to be learned first-hand, not in the pages of a book, and a good mentor will allow you to be their co-pilot as you learn invaluable lessons from experience.
Without a mentor who is accessible, you’ll find yourself with incomplete information, stumbling to make the right moves, and even frustrated. Trust me when I tell you that those things are a recipe for losing money in the world of real estate!
This is also why so many big real estate mentoring programs don’t work – they look good on paper, but fail to deliver actual results because mentors aren’t available or take too long to respond.
- They're not only great investors but great teachers
Take a quick look at the world of sports – some of the most iconic and winning championship coaches were only marginal players during their day (if they played at all). It’s critical to understand that doing something and teaching it are two entirely different skill sets, In fact, making millions in real estate doesn’t necessarily qualify you as a great mentor if you don’t know how to effectively and efficiently pass on that knowledge.
And just like these epic coaches, a great mentor won’t just have thoughts or strategies, but a system that can be replicated and followed by any mentee. Therefore look for a mentor with a proven and polished system, including resources like written manuals, practical exercises, video tutorials, and plenty of opportunities for gaining experience in the field.
- They put their money where their mouth (or real estate advice) is.
You don’t want an academic real estate professor who hides in a classroom all day, but a seasoned and grizzled veteran of the real estate investing game. In fact, one of the principal benefits of mentoring is that you can learn from other peoples' mistakes (OPM), which not only saves you money, but springboards your career curve. For that reason, align yourself with a mentor who is still “in the trenches,” and who makes the lion's share of their income doing just exactly what they're teaching you.
- They’re proficient in the same market that you’re delving into
Real estate, perhaps like no other vocation, is specific to regional markets, and even micro markets within those. So if you find a great real estate mentor that made their fortune in rehabbing luxury California properties, but you plan to focus on amassing foreclosed condominiums in Florida, it may not be the best fit.So your mentor should be accomplished in the same geographic market (and possibly even property niche) where you want to learn, grow, and invest.
By the way, this is another strike against the big national mentoring programs, which try to present one set of rules for every market across the U.S.
- They’re mentorship is personalized; not one size fits all
A fantastic mentor is interested in one thing: empowering you to achieve positive results. They also understand that the best way to see you out there making deals and cashing checks is by being flexible in their methods of teaching, but still highly personal. If a mentor asks you to come to a workshop on their schedule and sit silently with a class of other students, they're not really a mentor at all! (Sorry again, national “mentoring” programs.)
Instead, invest in a coach that understands your unique goals, challenges, and resources, and adapts their training accordingly.