Who is a Mentor in Real Estate?
I see this question asked a lot in the Real Estate Wholesaler Community. It seems there are a lot of people that want to learn to wholesale Real Estate but lack qualified Mentors. There also seems to be a lot of people that claim to have the secret sauce to make you a lot of money in a short amount of time. Those are promises that cannot be kept by anyone. The reason is that Real Estate Guru’s are not real mentors. They are salesman. Salesman can make a lot of money in Real Estate and also selling a process that worked 5 years ago. These people only prey on those that want to learn how to wholesale Real Estate because they promise to make all their dreams come true.
What is a Mentor?
As defined by dictionary.com a Real Mentor is…
to act as a mentor:
She spent years mentoring to junior employees.
to act as a mentor to:
Does that sound like 99% of the people you know in the industry? Unfortunately, there aren’t many teaching or counseling in the wholesaling industry.
A mentor will guide you in your career because they have a vested interest in your success. They typically don’t make money unless you make money. Only wholesaling in Real Estate lacks this mentor structure. Even agents have a broker they can go to with questions.
EarlToms can be a mentor of sorts giving you articles and information but we can’t be on the ground with you. That’s when a mentor can be valuable. You learn by applying what you read when you have a similar experience. If you search for a mentor keep in mind it’s hiring for a job. This decision will impact your career and your livelihood. It’s important to find a good fit for you because when the smoke clears you always have to take care of yourself.
I have been fortunate to have multiple mentors in my career. That’s likely due to taking a path of obtaining a license in Real Estate in the beginning.
My career started in Real Estate 15 years ago. I drove an hour one way to work every day. I made $10,000, my first year as a license professional. In the 15 years since I have been in multiple major publications for investing in Real Estate. The only reason I have experienced the level of success is because of all of my mentors.
My first mentor was an old slumlord that gave me my first job in Real Estate. I worked in an office that had termites in the walls. He wouldn’t fix it even though he was a multi-millionaire. He didn’t care what condition the building was in because the value was in the land. The office was located on the corner of a major intersection. I was able to watch people people sell him houses directly for pennies on the dollar. They gladly sold them to him. It still baffles me. No matter my issue or question in Real Estate I knew he had the answer and would give me an honest answer. Why? I made him more money if I did a good job. He lost money if I couldn’t get business. He had a vested interest in my success. Luckily, I can still talk to him any time I want to say hey.
My second and third mentors came at the same job. This was my step up from driving an hour after learning a little bit. I was able to have a mentor at this office teach me how to value every type of property imaginable. Appraise a wedding venue or a cemetery some time. You’ll understand. It was a learning experience that almost makes it unfair dealing with people selling a house now. I’m trained in value and they are hoping whoever buys their house isn’t trained.
The other mentor was a large property owner in both residential and commercial. He could tell I understood investing to a degree so it was in his best interest to teach me. That’s how he could make more money and as he said, the goal of investing in Real Estate is to create equity first. Investing in people is investing in equity. As I’ve grown I have begun to understand his logic. Equity is the only thing that survives economic downturns. The equity may decrease but it’s still available. Cash flow may go away in a downturn but the equity is always what saves investors when others lose their properties.
Finding the right mentor is important. I hope by reading the few examples I gave with the lessons my mentors taught me over the years, and continue to teach, will help show you the difference in a guru and a mentor. It is the same principle of every healthy relationship, stress healthy, you have in your life. You only try to surround yourself with people that make you better and genuinely care about your well-being. I don’t mean to sound like gurus are terrible people because some may not be. I don’t see any of them communicating with people unless they are buying a course, list, or something else. That is selling not mentoring in my opinion.
Also, keep in mind a mentor doesn’t have to be a wholesaler. A mentor can be anyone with REAL knowledge of the interworking in Real Estate. That could be an agent, contractor, appraiser, loan originator, or wholesaler. Keep in mind that wholesalers are the least trained in actual Real Estate knowledge if that is who you decide to let mentor you. They can sell but so can you. What you lack is the nuts and bolts knowledge of Real Estate. Unfortunately, most wholesalers don’t have that type of knowledge.
Always look out for yourself in Real Estate. I’m new is slang for I’ll pay for the hopes and dreams of all your promises. Real Estate takes work on a daily basis to be successful. There is too much money on the line for it to be a hobby and not taken seriously.
To Your Success