How to Approach Hiring a Real Estate Investing Mentor
Ask a successful investor for their opinion on hiring a mentor and you’re not likely going to receive the same answer twice. One investor will swear by mentors, saying it’s impossible to reach the highest levels of success without one. Another investor will say that mentors are unnecessary and a complete waste of money. And yet another investor will have an opinion of mentors that is somewhere in-between these two extremes.
My personal philosophy is more similar to the former than the latter. However, I can find truth in the arguments from both sides, because like most things in real estate, it depends. It depends on what your expectations are of a mentor. It also depends on why you want to hire a mentor in the first place.
In this post, I outline what to and not to expect from a mentor, as well as when it is the right time to hire one. You will also learn how to find a mentor, which you should pursue only if you’re expectations and current situation align with the reality of what a mentor actually does.
What should I expect?
There are four main things you should expect to get out of a relationship with a mentor.
Number one is expertise on how to do what you’re wanting to do. The mentor should not only have experience in the same field you’re pursuing, but they should be active as well. If you are a wholesaler, for example, a good mentor is someone who has a successful track record as a wholesaler and is still completing deals to this day. A poor mentor is someone who has never wholesaled a deal or someone who has stopped wholesaling, even if they have a long list of clients who are actively and successfully wholesaling deals.
Secondly, you should expect a mentor to provide you with a do-it-yourself system for how to replicate their success.
Thirdly, and – in my opinion – most importantly, a mentor should be an ally that you can call upon to only talk to about yourself and work out any problem you’re facing, real estate or personal. Since you are paying this person, you don’t have to feel guilty about being selfish or asking questions about the other person. You don’t even need to be interesting. You can and should talk about whatever it is you need at the moment.
The fourth thing you should expect are connections. Since the mentor should be active, they will have relationships with all the movers and shakers in your investment niche. Therefore, they should connect you will team members relevant to growing your business.
What shouldn’t I expect?
There are two main things you should NOT expect when hiring a mentor.
A mentor will not be your savior or your knight in shining armor. Do not expect to hire a mentor and poof, have all of your problems solved. Yes, they should offer expertise, be an ally, and provide connections, but you will still be required to take action. Moreover, the best mentors, rather than being your knight and shining armor, should give you the tools and knowledge so that you become your own savior!
Also, do not expect a “done for you” program. Actually, if you find a mentor who indeed does offer such a program, run! If a mentor promises you anything that doesn’t require any work on your part, run! The problem with “done for you” programs, assuming it truly is and is not just a scam, is that you’re not learning anything. You are not building the foundation of knowledge required to sustain a business. Even if you are able to attain a high level of success using one of these programs, it is unstable. And once you lose that program, you lose your progress as well.
When do I hire a mentor?
You are ready to hire a mentor when you have defined a specific outcome you want to achieve by hiring a mentor. Do you want immediate access to expert advice about your investment niche? Do you want a system for reaching financial freedom? Do you need an unbiased person to selfishly speak with? Do you need to find connections people in the industry? These are all defined outcomes that can be solved by hiring a mentor.
Do you want a mentor because you were told you were supposed to? Do you want a knight and shining armor who will do all the work for you? Do you want a “done for you” program so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the returns? These are wrong reasons to hire a mentor.
How do I find a mentor?
There is really only one effective way to find a mentor – word of mouth referrals. That is the only way that I have found to verify the legitimacy of a certain mentor.
If you don’t know someone with a mentor, or if you don’t know where to go to get a referral, then you’re probably not ready to hire a mentor. You’ll need to get out in the field and start meeting investors.
There are many differing opinions on the benefits of a hiring a mentor. I believe that a mentor can be extremely useful as long as you have the correct expectations and have defined a specific outcome.
Assuming your expectations and outcomes are in line with the reality of what a mentor can offer, the most effective way to find one is through word of mouth referrals.
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