The most powerful tools you can have in your tool belt as a real estate investor are knowledge and experience. There are many ways to acquire these skills, but one of the best methods is to have a real estate investing mentor.
Your real estate investing mentor will help you focus your energies on good projects, teach you tricks of the trade and introduce you to a real estate investor network full of contractors, lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, real estate brokers, etc.
What to Look For in a Real Estate Investment Mentor
In picking a mentor, look for someone with whom you are comfortable and can communicate easily. Start your partnership off by touching base frequently and building your relationship.
Complimentary to Your Personal Skills
You should also try to look for a mentor with complementary skills to your own, not identical skills. If you are great with numbers but a bit disorganized, look for a mentor that is highly organized and can help you put processes in place that will keep you on track with your projects.
Successful Track Record
Look for a mentor with a successful real estate investment portfolio, whose business may be getting a little too big to handle on their own and would welcome another set of hands. This is the perfect opportunity for you to jump in and learn from your mentor first-hand. Pay the closest attention to the skills you may not have.
Your real estate mentor should be able to teach you how to evaluate a property – both for current value, future value, rehab costs, potential after repair profit or rental income stream possibilities. They should also be able to show you how to estimate the costs of holding the property and the amount of time the project should take. Another important skill to learn from your mentor is how to problem solve the unanticipated issues that arise during the entire process.
Help Build Your Real Estate Investor Network
Real estate investment mentors will also introduce you to others in the business. Keep track of everyone you meet, what they can do for you and their contact information so you can build your own real estate investor network. These connections will prove to be invaluable to you down the road.
How to Find a Real Estate Investment Mentor
One of the biggest concerns real estate investors have is finding a good mentor. So how do you find a mentor? Get involved! Every metropolitan area has a real estate investors group that they can join. There are also many online resources that you can easily find by doing a quick online search for real estate investor groups in your city. One online resource is the National Real Estate Investors Association, which has meetups all over the country.
The best thing to do is take the initiative – start connecting with other people in the industry, go to meetings, and email people who you see on investor group websites. The right mentor for you will become apparent over time. Treat it like dating; court a few until you figure out the right one!
You’ve Connected With a Mentor, Now What?
Once you have identified a potential real estate investing mentor, take it slowly. Build a rapport through conversation and questioning. Tell them about your skills, and how they complement the mentor’s skills. Help them understand that you can bring valuable skills to the table that can help them.
Eventually, work your way into a conversation that suggests that you should work together on a small project. Offer to do more than your share of the work, giving them a larger share of the potential profit. This is your way of “paying” them for helping you learn the overall process. As your successes together grow, increase your participation share going forward.
At worst, this will teach you some new skills and likely put some money in your pocket. At best, it could be the start of a successful, profitable and long term relationship.