Did you know that 95% of first-time real estate investors fail?
That’s right. Most people who get into the real estate business end up quitting because they can’t get past beginner hurdles.
That’s why finding a mentor when you’re just starting out is so important. They’ll help you learn the ropes and teach you what pitfalls to avoid.
In short, a real estate investing mentor provides advice and coaching that you can’t find in any other way.
Some mentors cost money, but others will teach you out of their own generosity. Passing down the knowledge you’ve accumulated over a long career can be very fulfilling.
The Benefits of Finding a Real Estate Investing Mentor
Finding a real estate investing mentor will shorten the time it takes you to learn the trade. They’ll put you on the fast track to finding, buying, managing, and selling property while teaching you how to avoid costly mistakes.
In the long run, a good mentor is an invaluable asset. Much of the real estate business is learned by trial by error, but a mentor can help you learn even faster. Among other things, they’ll teach you how to find good deals and build your real estate team, which includes contractors, property managers, lawyers, accountants, and partners.
Where to Find a Real Estate Investing Mentor
To find potential real estate investing mentors, you should ask around everywhere.
See if you can find any leads from those in your personal circle—your family, friends, and colleagues. Announce that you’re looking for a mentor in person and on social media. The further you spread the word, the more likely you are to get some referrals.
Go to networking events. You can look for local groups online or find your local real estate investors association (REIA). They’ll likely even offer a formal mentoring program for new members.
Try to connect with as many investors as you can and ask them for mentor referrals. Or ask someone for their advice directly. Sometimes a mentorship can develop naturally simply by starting a conversation.
Whatever you do, surround yourself with successful people so you can follow their examples and learn from them.
What to Look for in a Real Estate Investing Mentor
That said, not any real estate investor will make for a good mentor. Here are few things you should look for:
First and foremost, they obviously need to have the right experience. If they’re not very experienced or they don’t have experience in the area you’re interested in, they probably won’t be much help to you.
Next, you want a mentor who is a good teacher. If they have a lot of knowledge but are bad at explaining what they know, you may be better off with someone else.
You also want to find someone who is well-connected so you can take advantage of their network. After all, the real estate business is all about networking. That way, even when your mentor isn’t familiar with a particular market or method, they can introduce you to someone who is.
Finally, you want a mentor who has your best interests in mind. They should genuinely want to help you learn. Someone who is like-minded goes a long way as well.
Vetting Your Real Estate Investing Mentor
Once you have a prospective mentor in mind, you’ll want to do your due diligence and make sure they are the right fit for you.
Check to see if they have any reviews or ratings from previous mentees. Are the reviews all positive? Or do they get bad or mixed reviews?
Also, ask for a second opinion. Have someone you trust look over your prospective mentor, so they can check for any blind spots you might have.
Finally, watch out for red flags. If your prospective mentor has business operations that seem shady or has had legal trouble in the past, it’s better to steer clear. Always look for someone with good character and values.
Next Steps: Developing a Good Relationship With Your Mentor
Once you choose a mentor, you should take their coaching seriously.
Tell them your short- and long-term goals and why you are in the real estate investing business in the first place. This will help them understand where you’re coming from and how they can best help you.
Ask lots of questions. The more you ask, the more you’ll learn. Your mentor can’t read your mind, so let them know when you’re not following or you need help.
Listen carefully. Whenever you do get advice or feedback, it’s important to be receptive. Keep an open mind and be willing to try out new investing techniques and methods. Also, be open to criticism. Your mentor may correct you at times and point you in a different direction. And you’ll be glad you listened.
Ultimately, you want to treat your mentorship like a friendship. Show that you trust your mentor, and they’ll do the same. Give back by offering to do some work for them. Or express your gratitude by taking them out to lunch, leaving a nice thank you card or gift, or simply saying thank you. Anything you do to show your appreciation can go a long way.
A good mentor will teach you valuable lessons and skills you won’t forget. Stay the course for the long term and you’ll probably find that having a mentor was the smartest move of your entire real estate investing career.