Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by Mark Ferguson
Many people feel they need a mentor to succeed as a real estate investor. The truth is a mentor for real estate can be a massive help, but I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to be successful. Many people have become successful real estate investors without a direct mentor. Finding a great mentor can be time-consuming and expensive as many will charge tens of thousands of dollars! If you can find a mentor to help you that is great, but don’t give up or spend all of your time looking for the mentor instead of learning about real estate.
I have been a successful real estate investor and agent. I have flipped almost 200 houses (199 as of right now, own 175,000 square feet of rentals properties and I own a real estate brokerage. I have also written 9 books, have a successful YouTube channel and Instagram page (100k subscribers). A lot of people want me to be their mentor. While I love helping people I simply cannot mentor everyone who asks because I have an active business and a family. I have set up some programs to help people who want mentorship and they don’t cost tens of thousands of dollars!
What is a mentor and why do you need one?
Some think a mentor should be a guide who helps when needed, while others want a mentor to do all the work for them. There are also those, who think a mentor will tell them exactly what to do at all times, and when they don’t get that, they give up. I found that most people I tried to help, wanted someone else to do the heavy lifting, and when they found out much work they would have to do, they gave up. When looking for a great mentor, you cannot be focused on what that mentor can do for you, but what you can do for the mentor. Successful people are usually busy, and their time is very valuable. If you can provide value to a mentor, they may be willing to help you out, but don’t expect someone to help you for free, just because you are “highly motivated”.
A mentor is defined as: “an experienced and trusted adviser”. There are a couple of very important points to take from this definition.
Who should be a mentor for real estate?
To be a mentor you need to have experience in the field the mentee wants to learn about. The level of experience needed can vary, based on what the mentee wants to learn and how involved the mentor is. A successful mentor may only know one thing really well, but all they teach is that one thing. Other mentors, may know ten different techniques, and teach all ten based on what the mentee needs help with. As someone looking for a mentor, you need to make sure the mentor you are looking for has experience in what you need help with. The more specific, the better. If you simply want to be “successful in real estate”, that will make it very hard for anyone to help you.
But if you know you want to be a wholesaler, or a house flipper, or a real estate agent that will help you find a mentor in that area of expertise. I think it is vitally important to find a mentor who is actively doing what you want to do and did not quit 10 years ago or never was an investor at all. The world is full of fakes, so make sure the person you are trusting actually did what you want to do.
What is an advisor?
The second part of the definition of a mentor mentions an adviser. An adviser is someone who gives advice and helps people. In my mind, an adviser does not teach someone how to do everything. They offer advice in certain situations when it is needed. If someone is looking to learn an entire trade from scratch, they would want to be part of an apprenticeship. An apprentice is:
“A person who works for another in order to learn a trade.”
Don’t think a mentor hoping they will personally teach you everything you need to know to be successful. I have people who want to shadow me or work for me for free so that I teach them to be exactly like me. The problem is they cannot even tell me what skills they have and they have no idea what they like to do. They want to be rich and that is all. If you are not willing to put the work in to find out what you want, it will be tough to ever find a mentor.
Do the rich need mentors?
Many of the wealthiest people in the world, spend thousands and thousands of dollars on coaches and mentors. The wealthiest people also are at a point where they need very specialized training and have to pay a lot of money to work with the best trainers in the world. I am not against paying for an expensive mentor if you have the financial means to do it.
Unfortunately, the real estate investing world is full of people trying to convince novices to spend $30,000 on real estate training. They have no qualms with asking people to borrow the money, refinance their homes, or even get credit cards to pay for it. These programs draw in people who don’t know what they want except they want to be rich.
The rich use mentors to help them become the best in the world at certain tasks to careers that they already know a lot about. You do not need a $30,000 coaching program if you are just starting out and trying to find your way in life. If you are just starting out you may not be ready for a mentor but someone to help educate you.
How do you decide if you need a mentor?
If you want to invest in real estate or even be a real estate agent, a mentor or education can help you succeed much faster. There are many choices for a potential mentor and it is not easy to decide who to use. If you are a real estate agent, you should be able to find a good mentor. When you choose a broker to work with, make sure you pick one who offers the most training and can act as a mentor. Too many agents choose the broker based on how many fees they charge, instead of the training offered. If you cannot find an awesome broker to work with, there are many training programs for real estate agents to help them succeed.
When you get into real estate investing, it gets much more confusing. There are programs, mentors, and systems for flipping, rentals, wholesaling, notes, tax liens, and more. Before you choose a mentor, you need to figure out what area of real estate investing you want to be in. Learn as much as you can about the different ways to invest.
My blog has a ton of articles on real estate investing and real estate agents. if you want to dig deep I have written 9 books as well on a variety of subjects. Books are a great way to learn what you want to do before you seek out a mentor.
Many people do not like to read so you can also check out my Youtube channel that has a ton of information as well.
Can I help you decide how to be better in real estate?
Along with my books and other resources, I have an Insider program that allows people to ask me direct questions every week. It also has a monthly newsletter, podcast, advanced calculators, and a contest that allows people to win prizes for completing real estate-related activities that will help them succeed.
If you talk to a lender, visit a potential deal, or get pre-qualified or attend an REIA meeting, you earn points. The winners of the contest get access to my advanced coaching programs, autographed books, and other prizes.
I wish I could answer every email or direct message I receive, but it is simply impossible based on how many people ask for my help. The Insider program is one way to get that help directly from me and we are offering one month free for a limited time.
How do you find a real estate mentor?
Once you know what field you want to be in, how do you actually find someone with experience in that field? If you are reading this article, you have already found one source of information, blogs, and websites. You have to be very careful who you listen too. There are many great websites with a lot of really good information, and there are many websites that are simply sales funnels to real estate training programs. There are also many people on forums who pretend to be experts, who have no idea what they are doing. When you see advertisements for free books or free courses, you can be assured they are going to try to sell you a course at some point. Not all courses are bad or a waste of money, but find out as much as you can about the teacher of that course, and make sure they are the person you want to learn from.
I would be careful when the mentor or course makes huge promises, and won’t give you any information until you buy. If you hear an advertisement on the radio for a free seminar, you can be sure they will be trying to sell you a $30,000 course at that seminar or very soon after it.
There is also the option of finding a local mentor, which is usually the best route. However, local mentors may not want to teach you, because they would be creating competition for themselves. A local mentor may be willing to have coffee or go to lunch once in a while, but most don’t have the time to teach someone everything they know.
There are many people willing to be mentors to new investors, but they will want to be paid in return. The courses you see online or advertised on the radio, may not even include training from the person who is promoting it.
If you need or want a mentor, they are out there but make sure you pick the right person if you choose to pay for training. There are ways to find a mentor without paying for it, but that is not easy either. it usually involves working or being an intern for someone, but you better know how you can help that investor and not depend on them to tell you how to live your life.
Do you need to pay for a real estate mentor?
If you want a mentor, but don’t want to take the time to research different investing techniques or provide value to the mentor, you can pay for it. There is no shortage of real estate investing programs and they will all gladly take your money. You also might be able to find a mentor to help you for free, but it won’t be easy.
I have people email me all the time asking what they can do for me, to get my help for free. I cannot answer that question.
- I have no idea what your skills are or what you are good at
- I have no time to find a job for someone to do
- I have no idea who you are and if you are reliable
- Being “super motivated” is not a skill
Almost everyone who wants my help is super motivated, that means nothing to me. Almost everyone thinks they are super motivated and most people are at some point in their life. The problem is, they may only be super motivated for about 5 minutes. If you want someone to help you for free, you have to be able to offer them a service in return, not just be motivated.
You must remember that successful investors are usually very busy, they have many connections and a lot people who want their help. If you go to an investor and tell them you need a mentor, are super motivated and will be willing to work, you won’t get very far. Super successful investors hear that story all the time, have no time to come up with a job, and then train someone to do that job.
You need to offer the mentor value. What kind of service can you offer someone? That depends on what skills you have. Are you good at computers, marketing, sales, writing, or something else that you could help that investor with? Once you identify what skills you have, figure out what job you could do to make the investors life easier. Finally, figure out what a good trade is for the time you will be spending, versus the time the investor or mentor will be spending helping you. Remember, the mentor who want to learn from is much more valuable than you are, and the tradeoff will not always be even.
I have offered to give my programs away for free to people who offered me a service that was specific and helpful to me, without much thinking needed on my part. Sometimes it has worked out and other times it has not. Many times the person keeps their side of the bargain for a week or two and then quits, never to be heard from again .
You can use this technique with local or long-distance mentors. Remember to do as much research on your end as you possibly can before reaching out to someone.
One of the most frustrating things for me, is getting an email from someone who wants a mentor. They have no idea how they want to make money in real estate, they have no idea where to start, they have not done any research, they just know they want to do something in real estate. They want me to hold their hand and tell them exactly what to do, every step of the way. On top of all that, they want me to call them to discuss it.
Here is one more tip for finding a mentor, contact them the way they want to be contacted. If someone asks to be emailed, email them. If someone asks to be called, call them.
What if you want me to be your mentor?
I have many coaching programs for investors or agents. I created cheaper programs and books for people who are just getting started and I have programs with coaching calls and email as well. You can find everything in my store here:
My most advanced coaching is The Complete Blueprint for Successful Real Estate Investing, which comes with monthly calls and unlimited email coaching from me as well as a lot of guides and videos. It is focussed on rentals and flips as I am not a wholesaler and I do not teach wholesaling. If you are interested in the Blueprint shoot us an email and we can let you know if there are any current specials.