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How To Find The Right Real Estate Mentor For You

February 16, 2024 8-minute read

Author: Patrick Russo

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Are you looking to enter the real estate investing industry but don't know where to start? One way to learn the ropes of the industry is to find a real estate mentor. Whether you have an informal mentor relationship with an experienced real estate investor in your area or join a formal program, mentorships can be extremely helpful.

Below, we discuss what the different types of real estate mentors can do to help grow your business. Then, we’ll get into some tips for finding the right mentor for you.

What Does A Real Estate Mentor Do?

A real estate mentor is an experienced real estate investor who can help you get started in the real estate investment industry. They'll show you how to find properties, negotiate and close deals, and manage a successful real estate investment business.

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Types Of Real Estate Mentorships

Mentorship can come in many forms. Here are some of the most common types of real estate investing mentorships:

One-On-One Mentorship

A one-on-one mentor is the most personal type of mentorship in which one mentor can focus specifically on helping you and your real estate business. The intensity of the program is up to you and your mentor. If it’s an informal agreement to talk with an experienced real estate professional, a simple phone call or meeting once a month may be sufficient.

If you’re looking for more focus on every aspect of your business, a formal paid mentorship program with several monthly meetings may be right for you.

Group Mentorship

A group mentorship program is a great way to learn from several different mentors and work alongside other mentees. Mentorship groups can be small groups of 10 or fewer real estate investors in a specific area. There may also be large programs available where investors from all over the country meet to learn from a uniquely experienced and successful mentor.

Group mentorship programs can be a great way to network with peers and are often more cost-effective than paid one-on-one programs.

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship may be the best way to get direct experience on the job, especially for someone new to the real estate investing industry. Apprenticeships can come in many forms.

Some real estate investing mentors may allow apprentices to shadow them on the job to learn as much as possible about the industry. This type of apprenticeship may involve no payment between the mentor and mentee, or hourly pay to the apprentice to complete administrative tasks for the mentor.

Other apprenticeships may involve intensive training sessions with a mentor over an extended period of time. After learning the business and getting started on their own, apprentices may pay for this more involved program by giving the mentor a portion of the profits of their first real estate deal.

How To Find A Real Estate Mentor

Once you know what type of mentorship you’d like, it's time to find the person, group or program that’s right for you. You may be ready to take any advice you can get and go to work. However, it’s best to determine the goals you want to achieve during the mentorship and take the time to find a mentor who can help you with those specific goals.

Follow these steps to ensure you find the best real estate mentor.

1. Figure Out What You Want From The Mentorship

It’s important to clarify the goals you believe a good real estate mentor can help you achieve. This will allow you to give potential mentors enough information on your needs and determine which mentor is right for you. One of the best ways to define your goals is to make them SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

  • Specific: With your mentor, you’ll want to dive into the details of your investing goals. These goals may include where you want to do business, the property types you want to invest in, how much money you have to work with and how much time you have to devote to the mentorship program.
  • Measurable: Determine how you will measure success. Is it the monthly revenue you receive from investing? The total value of the properties you own? The number of properties you own? Clarifying what measurements are important to you will allow you to track the success of your business and the mentor-mentee
  • Achievable: Make sure your goals are within It’s great to challenge yourself, but don't get discouraged by creating a lofty goal that no mentor could help you achieve.
  • Relevant: Align your goals with your larger life values. If you value time with your family, create goals that are achievable without sacrificing that important time.
  • Time-bound: Create deadlines to sit down with your mentor to review each of the previous factors of your goals and adjust the goals accordingly.

2. Attend Local Networking Events

Once you know the goals you'd like to achieve, it's time to start looking for a real estate mentor who can help you get there. Luckily, you don't have to go far to find them. Your local network is the best place to start. To find a real estate mentor near you, try some of these tactics:

  • If you’re joining or currently work for a brokerage firm, check if they offer a real estate mentorship program for their agents.
  • Attend events hosted by your local chamber of commerce.
  • Look for and attend workshops or seminars related to real estate investing and the real estate market.
  • Ask your friends and family if they know of any successful real estate investors in the area.
  • Ask a local real estate agent or REALTOR® if they’ve worked with experienced investors in your area.
  • Connect with local real estate investors on social media platforms like LinkedIn to learn about potential mentorship and networking opportunities.

3. Look For Qualified Mentors

Since there are many types of real estate investments, you’ll want to find a mentor who understands the investment you’d like to pursue. Even within residential real estate, the different subtypes may require different skill sets. For example, you might not want to work with a mentor who’s experienced in managing a vacation rental home if you want to learn how to flip houses.

To determine a mentor’s qualifications, ask them how many years of experience they have in the type of investing you’re interested in and how they measure their success in the industry. If the mentor has several years of experience that align with your goals, they may be the one for you.

4. Meet With Each Potential Mentor

Meeting with your potential mentor, in person or virtually, can help you get to know them personally before you begin a business relationship. If you choose a mentorship program that involves lots of time with your mentor, you will want to know ahead of time whether you feel comfortable with them.

Once you're comfortable, the key to a productive and lasting relationship with your mentor is a sense of mutual respect. If they show a genuine interest in your career and respect the time you’re willing to commit to learning, it can be easier to build trust in your mentor and take their lessons to heart.

5. Decide On A System That Works For Both Of You

If you think you've found the perfect mentor, the final step to solidify the relationship is to create a system that works for both of your busy lives. Some questions you might want to consider with your mentor at this stage in the process include:

  • Will you meet in person or virtually?
  • Will you meet weekly, monthly or quarterly?
  • How should you contact them between meetings if you have any questions, and how quickly should you expect a response?

Clarifying these questions with your mentor can help make the relationship valuable and sustainable. If you work with an experienced paid mentor, they may have an existing system you can follow. If you have an informal or unpaid mentor, clarifying each other's expectations for the relationship is even more critical.

How Much Will A Real Estate Mentorship Program Cost?

The cost of a real estate mentorship program can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month. Some programs forgo monthly payments in favor of splitting a fraction of the profits from your first few deals after going through the program. On the other hand, many mentors are happy to offer guidance free of charge.

Let’s go over some of the pros and cons of paid versus unpaid real estate mentorship programs.

Paid Mentorship Programs

Paid mentorship programs can be a great way to ensure your mentor is focused on your needs. Creating a formal business arrangement and mentorship system can be easier when you both have a financial incentive to make the relationship work.

On the other hand, great mentorship programs can be expensive, though they may be the best option for you. Cheaper options may not give you the information or attention you need to get started.

Unpaid Mentorship Programs

Unpaid mentorships sound great, but they have their downsides. An experienced real estate investor working on their own business may not have enough time to commit to the mentor relationship. It may also be harder to create a formal mentorship system with consistent meetings and input from the mentor without a financial incentive.

Whether paid or unpaid, all mentorship programs cost participants valuable time. Before beginning a mentorship program, ensure you and your potential mentor have the capacity in your business and personal lives to commit to whatever type of mentorship you begin together.

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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Real Estate Mentorship

Now that you found your perfect mentor, it’s time to begin the partnership. Follow these tips to make every mentorship session worth it.

Ask Questions

Coming to your mentorship meeting with a list of questions is the best way to tailor the lessons to your needs and show your mentor that you’re taking the meetings seriously. If you're just starting out, ask more general questions about what types of real estate investing you should pursue, what markets you should enter, and how you should assess your risk tolerance.

If you’re deeper into the real estate process, look for details on assessing property values, negotiating with buyers and sellers and gathering financing for your deals.

Take Notes

Don't let valuable lessons go in one ear and out the other. Take notes to capture every recommendation and tip your mentor gives out, then organize them so you can use them efficiently on the job. The notes you accumulate from your mentorship can make even a short-term mentorship program valuable over your entire career.

Follow Through

Anyone can begin a real estate mentorship program, but its benefits only come to light if you follow through on its recommendations. Taking the first step can be nerve-wracking, but following your mentor's advice makes it much more likely that each step will lead to a productive result. If you have created a trusting relationship with an experienced mentor, you can be confident that the advice is tried and true.

Following through is especially important after a challenging period where things don't go your way. Even the most experienced mentors cannot ensure that every decision you make will be correct. But if you continue to follow through on the lessons learned during mentoring, you could have a long career in real estate investing.

Stay Open-Minded

Being open to new ideas and investing strategies is essential to a successful mentorship program. If you’re new to real estate investing, be prepared to follow through on ideas you may have never heard of before working with your mentor.

If you have some experience investing but need a mentor to break through, staying open-minded will allow you to break bad habits and develop new ones that could enable your business to soar. No matter your experience, you won't get much out of mentoring unless you're open to new suggestions.

The Bottom Line

A great mentor can help you unlock your true potential in the real estate industry. If you find a real estate mentor you can trust, take advantage of the valuable time they've given you by using their insights and advice to kickstart your real estate career.

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Patrick Russo

Patrick is a writer and researcher with expertise in real estate and insurance. When he is not writing, you can find him hanging out with his family and friends or walking around Washington, DC, listening to an audiobook.