Finding the right mentor can make all of the difference in the world for your real estate investing career. However, there is a right and a wrong way to go about finding one.
In this blog post, I want to share a few best practices for how to find and approach a real estate mentor.
How to Find a Seasoned Real Estate Mentor
The best way to find a seasoned investor in your area is to simply go to where investors hangout.
My first suggestion is to start your search on BiggerPockets. This site is your one-stop shop for everything real estate, and it is an amazing way to network with other investors.
When searching for investors on BiggerPockets, I suggest using keyword alerts to find local investors in your area.
For example, if you’re based out of Indianapolis, your keyword alerts can include “Indianapolis,” “investor,” “Indianapolis wholesaling,” “Indianapolis wholesaler,” etc. Once you have your keyword alerts set, you will receive an email each time your keywords are used in a post. This will allow you to keep an eye on those who post frequently using your keywords.
I also recommend attending your local Real Estate Investors Association (REIA) AIACLUB.COM meeting, because a lot of investors hang out there, and it’s an amazing way to connect with local investors in your market.
If you’re a licensed agent and have access to the Multiple Listing Service(MLS), you can search for cash buyers who have purchase properties in your market in the past six months.
You can also utilize Meetup. There are tons of real estate investor meetings you can attend and connect with investors that way.
So now that you know where to find investors, I bet you’re wondering, “Well, how do I approach a seasoned investor?”
Here’s my advice.
Don’t Ask to be Mentored
At my wholesaling company, we receive lots of requests each week from people who want us to mentor them. But that’s not the way you want to go about it.
Think about it: When you find someone who you’re interested in dating or potentially marrying, do you approach them by immediately asking them to marry you?
No way! That would be so weird! The first time you meet someone, you don’t ask them to marry you. You get to know them first. You foster a relationship, and then maybe one day you pop the big question.
The same thing follows for approaching a mentor.
It All Boils Down to Relationship
Real estate is all about relationships, and you need to make sure the both of you fit well together. The hope is that you will mutually benefit from the relationship.
Once your potential mentor has been identified, invite him or her out for coffee or lunch, and spend time developing a relationship. Truly get to know one another.
In your first meeting, I recommend asking these questions:
- What are your core values?
- In life, what are some things you’re passionate about?
- 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?
Discover Their Needs
Real estate investors are extremely busy people. They already have a lot on their plates. If they decide to take on a mentee, they will be giving up time they may otherwise put into their own business, their team, or their family. Being a mentor is a time commitment.
Give your would-be mentor a reason to take time to invest in you.
If I were a newbie investor, here’s what I would do
When approaching a potential mentor, I would take the word “mentor” out of my vocabulary. I’d ask one of these two questions instead:
“How can I bring you value?”
“Hey, is there anything I can help you out with?”
This approach is more inviting because it’s not self-centered. Instead, it’s a great way to build a relationship with an experienced wholesaler like myself by bringing value to the investor.
You can do this by figuring out a way to get hired at your would-be mentor’s company. Even if they’re not hiring, find a way to justify a job.
If your potential mentor runs a small business, find areas of opportunity where their business is lacking. Offer to help in that area. Offer to drive for dollars, clean offices, take motivated-seller calls, manage properties, scope land—whatever it is, your communications should come across as simply eager to help and learn.
Create and Add Value
Look for opportunities to create and add value somehow. If you see the opportunity, you can run after it.
When I was working for the timber guy, I didn’t know how to operate the machinery. I knew I couldn’t add value in that area, but I also knew that any entrepreneur in the real estate business needs deals. Investors can never have enough deals, because that’s how they make money. So I added value by helping my mentor find land deals, and the deals were a huge value to him.