Now that you have decided to have a career in real estate investing, you may not know where to go from here. You have watched countless hours of YouTube and read all of the real estate investing books and see that there are a million ways to get into real estate. You feel like you need someone there to help you handle specific situations.
I remember running around town blindly looking for deals and even going to parking lots with “I Buy Houses” cards and put them in people driver side windows. It was not an effective use of my time at all!
So I looked online and at local events for a mentor and found hundreds, if not thousands to choose from. How do you decide? Here are a few tips that I considered when looking for a mentor.
Experience is going to be absolutely key. Many of the real estate guru’s you see today have risen after 2008 and claim to know all the expert secrets of the industry. This leaves you to question, “How would they handle another 2008 crisis?” “How would they mentor me through something like 2008?”. If your prospective mentor can’t tell you how, you may want to move on.
Why have a mentor if they do not hold you accountable to results? I guarantee things will get tough, your going to want to call it quits and you will need someone to give you a swift kick in the rear a few times to get you back on track. A mentor should be holding you accountable for when you are not performing the way you should. You should also have regular meetings. This can be daily, weekly or even yearly. This will depend on you and your mentor’s availability.
You need to have someone you have access to. A good mentor will make the time for you when you need it. While they may not be able to take every singe phone call you make to them right away, they should get back to you in a timely manner to give you the answers and advice you see are seeking.
When I first hired my mentor, I thought he would be able to answer every call and email I sent to him and I would get an immediate response. I quickly found that not to be the case because, guess what, my mentor has his own life, and his work within the industry. My mentor is highly sought after by many and he does not mentor just any one. However, as our working relationship has evolved, we have found a timeing that works and I know that he can’t just pick up the phone every time I call. So a quick text about what I need to talk to him about will do the trick and he calls me within a few hours for a call or meeting if needed. Be sure to find a mentor that is willing to be available to you.
This one is a HUGE deal for me. Common decency and morality seem to be a superpower these days when dealing with people. I have interviewed many people for mentorship and found their sense of morality lacking when it came to helping people with real estate problems, such as foreclosures. Some people just want a quick buck, but you have to ask, what is your integrity, or even your soul, worth? $50,000? $10,000? You have to make that decision for yourself, but for me, my integrity can not be compromised.
So when I interviewed prospective mentors, I made sure to test them on this with questions about what they would do in certain situations. I knew I found me mentor when I saw him in action and did what was right for the client and found a win-win-win situation for everyone.
It is important that your mentor knows how to run a business as well as know the real estate industry. Have you ever seen a really good doctor go out of business? They may be great doctors, but horrible business owners. It is the same across the board in any industry. A good real estate investor should also know how to run a business successfully. This means that they will probably charge you a good amount of money for mentoring you. This is what you want! Be careful of people who say they will mentor you for free! What will give them the incentive to give up their precious free time for you if there is nothing in it for them? There should be some kind of exchange for the mentoring program.
They should also advise you on getting an actual LLC setup and if they are really smart, an actual estate plan to help with your long term business goals. They should be creative in business practices and ethical in their daily interactions.
These are just a few things to look for when hiring a mentor. You will ultimately make the decision on what matters most to you. Just make sure that your decision is an educated one so that you know you have made a good decision in the first place.