Most people have the wrong idea about what it means to find a mentor and the role of a mentor in their professional development. We often see posts inside the Connected Investors Discussion Forum that go something like this:
Mentor Wanted: I need someone to teach me how to be a real estate investor. Contact me.
So what’s wrong with this approach?
- You’re hoping the mentor will find you. That equation is backwards…you need them; they don’t need you. Plus, you want a mentor who has succeeded in your chosen real estate niche.
- It’s all about YOU. There’s no WIIFM (what’s in it for me) for the mentor – you’re asking for time and expertise to be handed over but there’s nothing in it for the mentor.
- Posts like this get ZERO responses. Why? Because the post offers nothing and asks for everything. Even posts that may say something like “willing to split my first deal 50/50 won’t spark interest from someone whose mentoring is worthwhile. They already know how to find deals and don’t need to invest their time, effort and energy in a mentee to secure their next deal.
How much does a real estate mentor cost?
It all depends on the type of mentor you want and how involved you want the mentor to be. The video below breaks down the different types of free and paid mentors.
How to Find a FREE Real Estate Investing Mentor
The right mentor will have walked the walk that you hope to. A mentor, according to Merriam-Webster, is ‘a trusted counselor or guide’. Random posts in discussion boards aren’t likely to connect you to someone you can trust to be the right mentor with the skill set you hope to acquire. Instead, go to REIA meetings. Talk to people and find out who is doing what you want to do – and doing it well. Start establishing relationships with those who have achieved the kind of success you are seeking. Once you’ve found the right person whose career and philosophies mesh well with your aspirations, only then does it make sense to seek that mentor relationship. Remember, too, that you will be investing your time and efforts in the relationship. Make sure the potential mentor is someone you can trust with your future. Vet your mentor and it’s likely you have a much better match.As you look for a mentor, you should look at their track record of success and their reputation. You want a well-respected mentor that values relationships. A good mentor also values learning – and invests in his or her career and personal growth and is willing to invest in others.
What Does a Real Estate Mentor Do?
Any worthwhile real estate investing mentor or real estate coach will put an emphasis on generating leads to find great deals on investment real estate. Whether you are involved in real estate investing or are a real estate agent or broker, leads are the foundation for profitability. For the investor, leads to off-market properties can keep DEAL FLOW for wholesaling and fixing and flipping. For agents and brokers, quality seller leads open the door to more listings and more income. The way real estate pros get leads has changed dramatically in the recent past. To learn more, click below.
It’s important to know that mentor opportunities don’t all look the same. Many people imagine a mentor/mentee relationship as an opportunity to shadow a successful individual while having their wisdom and experience bestowed upon them.
- A good mentor will set goals for the mentorship and help you determine what you hope to achieve from the time and effort invested.
- A good mentor will not only impart knowledge but will challenge you to build skills. It’s one thing to tell someone how to have a motivated seller conversation. It’s one better to push you toward making those calls on your own with some guidance and training.
- A good mentor carries an overall positive attitude and serves as a positive role model
- A good mentor’s actions and skills will motivate you to achieve your goals
- A good mentor isn’t afraid to provide constructive feedback and emotional support when it’s needed
- A good mentor will act as an trusted advisor as you spread your wings and take flight on your own
The Mentoring Relationship
Depending on the type of mentoring relationship you seek, there a number of different opportunities for professional and personal development.
The “Free” Mentor
Free mentors can be hard to find. They’re usually the most sought after and are constantly chased. I met my “free” mentor at my first REIA meeting. He was on a panel and I liked what he had to say and I liked his investing philosophy. He wasn’t interested in a mentoring relationship – he’d been on plenty of the “pick your brain” lunches. But I kept reaching out and showing up at his office, asking how I could help. But probably most important, I demonstrated what I was learning on my own and that I didn’t expect him to teach me everything. I added value to his organization and I started working for free – kind of like an unpaid internship. It was an approach that paid off big time in the long run.
Paid Mentor – Real Estate Coaches
Look at high achievers like athletes and actors…they all have coaches and trusted advisors. A coach typically mentors those who come to the table with some inherent talent or developed skills but seek that next level of achievement. There are a lot of coaching companies out there but in general, the smaller coaching companies are able offer more personalized services. There are plenty of good, larger coaching companies – but the further you get away from the individual whose mentorship you seek, the more watered down the experience can become. That’s not a hard and fast rule, but rather an educated observation.
A sponsor is typically involved after you’ve demonstrated some measure of success. A sponsor will invest in your business and in turn has a financial interest in your success. When a sponsor has skin in the game, they tend to stick with you every step of the way providing guidance, resources and support.“At the end of the day, you gotta hustle. The biggest mistake is to work with a mentor and not implement. When you take their advice to the finish line and thank them for the outcome, it’s the biggest compliment you can give them…and they’ll be open to giving you even more.” – Ross Hamilton, CEO Connected Investors
How to Attract the Interest of the Right Mentor
- Create a “Value Add” for the mentor. You need to bring more than interest and enthusiasm to the table. Building win-win relationship can get and keep the interest of a worthwhile mentor. Do things that make them more profitable and in the end, their mentorship can do the same for you. It can be simple things that they don’t want to do, or even more complex things that they can’t do. Whatever it is, add value for your mentor in exchange for their guidance.
- Invest in your own education. Mentors worth their while don’t have the time to teach you every nuance, every law, or every creative strategy out there. Hustle and take the initiative to learn – and then demonstrate what you’ve learned. Many successful investors are willing to share their experience but usually only after you’ve take some initiative on your own.
What to Expect when Working with a Mentor
The one-on-one mentorship can be kind of like an unpaid internship. And there’s no shame in that! People work for “free” all of the time in order to get access to education, develop their skills and build a network in companies and individualsThose who are willing to mentor typically take great pride in the success of their mentees. Whether it’s a mentor, coaching or sponsor relationship, there’s nothing quite like contributing to the success of another who has taken an interest in emulating their successes. You know the old saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Showing that you not only appreciate but are also taking action on the advice you’ve asked for is a great way to repay your mentor. Education combined with the personal guidance of a mentor or coach can be invaluable for the aspiring investor or the investor looking to expand their horizons. Take the time to find the right mentor and it can be richly rewarding for everyone.