There is no substitute; no book, no video, no website to getting a living, breathing, experienced human being to teach you. A mentor is someone who truly wants you to succeed. Someone who takes pride in just teaching you what he or she knows and has no ulterior motives and plays no games. Someone who can give it to you straight. Someone who will tell you what you need to hear.
Who should be my mentor?
Someone who has successfully done what you want to do, more than a few times. Say, you want to invest in single family rental real estate, then get a mentor who has done that specifically a few times. Real estate investing is an ocean. There are so many different avenues, opportunities, legalities and liabilities. Just because a person has bought condos in Florida does not mean they will be able to tell you the intricacies of buying and operating a three bedroom, two bath, two car garage home in north Dallas. Get someone who has done almost exactly what you want to do. The closer the better.
How can I find such mentors?
First, start looking! Actively, start looking. Google local real estate clubs and see if they are doing what you want to do. See if they accept guests at their meetings. Most clubs will be happy to welcome truly motivated individuals. Accomplished people always want to learn from each other. Trust me, you’ll have something to contribute, even though you are new to real estate investing. Try walking into a real estate office and ask them if they have agents who work with investors. Contact those agents and see if they invest in real estate themselves. Find out what kind of investing they do. Share your thoughts with them and see if they have any references for you. Tell them you are looking for a mentor, not necessarily an agent. Be upfront. That has always worked for me.
Why would a mentor spend his or her time on me?
It’s a pleasure. Trust me. I love teaching people about investing in single family rental real estate. I love learning about other aspects of real estate investing and I love learning about whatever my proteges are good at. It’s a two way street. From your side you need to be willing to learn. You should be ready to try. There’s no point in having book knowledge about things if you don’t apply them. That’s where a mentor can be very useful, giving you the strength you need to make the call. Be grateful for their time. Be sincere about your position, what you want to invest in, what your expectations are.
What should I watch out for?
Listen to your gut. If it does not feel right, get out of there. If you feel pressured when you are not ready, communicate. If you find yourself in a situation where you are still pressured, that’s probably not the right place. Don’t be a tire-kicker though. When you feel that you have the education and trust in your mentor, make the move. Sitting on the sidelines never got anyone anything. You must play. You will have to make the call. You don’t need to know everything before you get started. When you have the right mentor, things will feel right and you will make the move. Never be afraid to ask questions. No one has ever asked me a stupid question.