It is only natural for inexperienced investors to contemplate how to find a real estate mentor. The pursuit of education, after all, is not only a necessary part of scaling our expertise in a particular field, but it’s also something every one of us has a subconscious need to satiate daily. Today’s most prolific investors, at the very least, are never satisfied with their current understanding of the housing market and are constantly striving to learn more. Anyone looking to emulate their favorite predecessors’ success should, therefore, strive to do the same. At the very least, learn how to find a real estate mentor you can count on to show you the ropes.
As far as I am aware, there’s only one way to place yourself in a position where success is essentially a foregone conclusion: find a real estate mentor. In aligning yourself with someone that has already realized the success you hope to one day, it stands to reason you will be more likely to achieve your goals. After all, what is a mentor, if not for someone that can teach you the best way to get things done?
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What Is A Real Estate Mentor?
A real estate mentor is someone who will offer advice and coaching as you begin a career in the real estate industry. A mentor will typically have years of experience in the field you want to enter and will be willing to guide you through the process. In the perfect mentor-mentee relationship, the mentee will also bring something to the table, whether new skills, network connections, or even potential deals.
Types of Mentorship
Before you start your search, there are a few different types of mentorship to be aware of. Think about your availability, educational needs, and preferred learning style as you decide on the right mentor for you. Here are a few different types of mentorship:
Personalized Coaching: This one-on-one mentorship style is a great way to get started in the real estate industry. By working with an experienced investor, you can receive personalized advice as you walk through each deal. This is also a great way to ensure you stay consistent as you learn more about real estate investing.
Mastermind Groups: Depending on where you live, there are likely real estate investing groups you can join in your area to learn from. These groups can put you in contact with your peers and lead to great connections, even outside of your mentor. If you can’t find one in your area, try searching for a virtual mastermind group on Facebook to get started.
Apprenticeships: One of the best ways to get started in real estate is to tag along as another investor shows you the ropes. This could mean shadowing them through a deal or even working at a real estate business part-time while you learn. An apprenticeship, or even internship, can be a great opportunity to learn about real estate without fully jumping in.
How To Find The Best Real Estate Mentor In 5 Steps
It is common that many real estate investors hope to accomplish several different things in their career, yourself included. Again, the perfect real estate investing mentor must also hope to achieve the same career aspirations as yourself. If you want to find a good real estate mentor that can take your career to the next level, there are several steps you must take:
Identify what it is you hope to accomplish
Determine whether or not your prospect has the credentials to realize your own aspirations
Confirm the level of risk you are able to tolerate
Find someone that has as much respect for you as you will give them
Make sure your goals are one and the same
Before choosing a mentor that you are willing to put all of your trust into, I highly recommend doing a little self-reflecting. You can’t possibly know who to ask for help if you can’t identify what it is you want in the first place. Therefore, it’s at this time that I want you to identify your own aspirations. What is it you want to accomplish as a real estate investor? Do you want to flip homes? Do you want to compile a passive income portfolio of rental properties? Perhaps you want to make a career out of wholesaling.
Whatever the case may be, determine what it is you want out of your real estate career. Then, and only then, can I recommend seeking out a real estate mentor. That way, you’ll be able to identify someone that has the experience you hope to learn from. At the very least, it stands to reason that you will learn more about rehabs from someone who has done dozens of them instead of a wholesaler that’s never even thought of rehabbing as an exit strategy. So before you choose a mentor, make sure you know what it is you want. And, more importantly, if they can offer what it is you need.
Assess Your Mentor’s Accomplishments
Success, for all intents and purposes, is a relative term. What one investor deems a success, another may cringe at. Nonetheless, there has to be a level of “success” you deem acceptable from your own mentor. How successful have they been in their previous endeavors? Have they done the things you intend to do? You need to objectively consider whether they have been successful and make sure it meets your standards.
Take a good long look at the person you intend to emulate, and ask yourself if you would be satisfied in their shoes. That’s not to say they will represent your ceiling, but understanding the level of success your mentor has experienced should “set the bar” for what you can expect in the future.
If you are truly convinced your prospective mentor can get you to where you want to be, you are on the right track. However, those who are less convinced of their mentor’s ability should look elsewhere. At the very least, there is no use in working with a mentor with no experience in what you want to do.
Determine Your Risk Tolerance
There’s no doubt about it: investing in real estate involves an inherent degree of risk. There isn’t an investment opportunity out there that won’t coincide with at least a small amount of risk; after all, nothing is for certain. That said, investors of every level have made a living off of the degree of risk they are willing to accept. Some investors prefer the relatively low risk exit strategy of wholesaling, while others like the larger returns that come with “riskier” endeavors like flipping.
If you are more comfortable making smaller sums of money with more risk-averse exit strategies, I suggest finding a mentor that subscribes to the same approach. If you are confident in your ability to mitigate risk, you may choose to align your services with a more comfortable mentor taking “acceptable” risks on larger projects like rehabs.
It is worth pointing out, however, that risk is a relative term. While I can honestly say no investment is risk-free, there are ways to mitigate risk. And, as it turns out, it’s those investors that can mitigate the most risk that stands to be the most successful.
I can’t stress this enough: there needs to be mutual respect between a mentor and a student. Real estate mentorship is not a one-way street; respect needs to be given both ways. In addition to finding a mentor in real estate you respect, you must find one that will respect you back; only then will true progress be made on your behalf. You see, to get the most out of your apprenticeship, you must respect the person teaching you. Anything less, and you’ll find yourself questioning their every move and essentially wasting your time. The same can be said about the mentor; if they don’t respect you, they won’t be inclined to give you their full attention, which can do a lot more harm than good. So before you choose a mentor, make sure the respect “street” goes both ways.
Identify Your Mutual Goals
Lastly, it is important to identify your real estate investing mentor’s goals and make sure they align. Is this someone who has the same motivations and aspirations as you? Ideally, you want someone who not only wants to mentor you but someone who could one day be a potential business partner. Aligning your goals together will seamlessly allow you to learn and achieve several things you hope to accomplish in your career. Your real estate investing mentor, in turn, will gain a valuable asset once you become more self-sufficient.
If you are convinced a proper mentor can elevate your investing career to another level, you have already made what I believe to be one of the smartest decisions in your investing career. If for nothing else, the pursuit of education will take you further than you could have ever imagined; it’ll serve as the foundation of your entire career. At the risk of sounding trite, it’s true what they say: knowledge really is power. More than anything else, your familiarity with the real estate industry has the potential to elevate your career. However, the pursuit of the right knowledge isn’t without its own sea to navigate. You see, you can’t simply trust everything you hear; you need to trust where your information is coming from. That said, it’s just as important to know how to find a real estate mentor you can count on as it is to continue your education. With the right mentor, anything is possible, so choose wisely.
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