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How To Find The Right Real Estate Mentor For You

Patrick Russo8-minute read

March 17, 2023


Are you looking to enter the real estate investing industry but don't know where to start? One of the best strategies 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 an extremely helpful resource.

But finding the right real estate mentor for you can be difficult. They need the time to commit to assisting you and the knowledge in your specific niche or locality to give you value. Most importantly, you need to trust your mentor. Follow along for tips on how a mentor can help your business and how to find a real estate mentor that's right 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 handle finding properties, negotiating deals and managing a successful real estate investment business.

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What Types Of Mentorship Are There?

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

  • One-on-one mentorship: This 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 is 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 are 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: This 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 are also large programs 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: This may be the best way to get direct experience on the job, especially for someone new to the real estate investing industry. Apprenticeships 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 involve intensive training sessions with a mentor over an extended period. 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 deals.

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 that can help you with those specific goals. Follow these 5 steps to ensure you find the best real estate mentor:

1. Figure Out What You Want From The Mentorship

It is essential to clarify the goals you believe a 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. The best way to define your goals is to make them SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

  • Specific: Telling a mentor you want to "learn about real estate investing" does not give them much direction on what you need to learn. Dive into the details of your goals, such as where you want to do business, the type of property you want to invest in, how much money you have to work with, and how much time you have to devote.
  • 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 relationship.
  • Achievable: Make sure your goals are within reach! It is 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 a goal that is 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 mentor you can trust, try some of these tactics: 

  • Attend events hosted by your local chamber of commerce
  • Look for and attend workshops or events related to real estate investing
  • Ask your friends and family if they know of any experienced investors in the area
  • Ask a local Realtor if they have worked with experienced investors in the area

3. Look For Qualified Mentors

Since there are many types of real estate investing, ensuring your mentor is qualified in the kind you'd like to pursue is vital. Even within residential real estate, several subtypes require much different skill sets. You don't want a mentor experienced in managing a vacation rental home if you want to learn how to flip houses! To determine their qualifications, ask them how many years of experience they have in the type of investing you are looking into and how they measure their success in the industry. If they have several years of experience that align with your goals, they may be the mentor for you.

4. Meet With Each Potential Mentor

Meeting with your potential mentor, in person or virtually, is important to 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 are willing to commit to learning, it will 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. 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 is essential to 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.

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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 deals after going through the program. On the other hand, many mentors are happy to offer guidance free of charge.

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 and cheaper options may not give you the information or attention you need to get started.

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 also may 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 start.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Mentorship

So you found your perfect mentor? Now is when the fun starts. 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 are doing the work required to make the meetings worth it. 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 are 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. Don't give up! 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 strategies is essential to a successful mentorship program. If you are new to real estate investing, be prepared to follow through on ideas you may have never even heard of before your mentorship. 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 real estate mentor may be the key to unlocking your true potential in the real estate industry. If you could benefit from an experienced real estate professional showing you how to get started in the industry, follow the steps above to begin your search. If you find a mentor you can trust, take advantage of the valuable time they've given you by using their advice in the real world. If you're ready to buy your first investment property and put your mentor's advice into action, start the mortgage application process with Rocket Mortgage® today.

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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.