How to find a good mentor for your real estate investing

The best advice that I got from my father when I was growing up was to find someone who is very good at the skillset that you’re looking for and listen to everything that he or she has to share.  And remember there are only a few that are truly at the ‘master’ level, so choose wisely.     I took this advice into heart and applied it in my life religiously in everything that I do, whether I looked for a cyclist mentor to finish a 200 miles bike ride in a day or to build a thriving mortgage company from the ground up.

mentor for becoming a published author Co-Author with Brian Tracy the best selling book "Master of Success"

My real estate investing business wouldn’t have been here today without being mentored by a very successful real estate investor who has been in the business for 3 decades at the time I met him.   He had successful track records in the real estate investing business (buy and hold, fix and flip, and real estate development expertise).  He was actively working in the field and understood the real estate market trend and market cycles.  (I used past tense because he passed away a few years ago.)

Real estate mentor with proven track records

You want to be mentored by someone who has been in the business for more than 15 years and has experience going thru the complete real estate cycles, both up as well as down.  You want a mentor who can share with you his lessons learned to protect your real estate portfolio when the market is down as well as how to use this opportunity to your advantage.   Many of you may have seen a lot of real estate mentors started real estate investing in the year of or after 2009 and many of them have made millions.  You must watch them how they can ride the market downturn that is coming, and no one can predict it exactly when.    Will they be still around when it comes?

I was grateful to work with two great mentors who had been in the real estate investing for more than 3 decades at the time that I met them, each of them had their specialized knowledge and skills.    Both of them were buy and hold investors and extremely experienced in this area.  One of them started out as a real estate wholesaler and the other as a fix and flip investor because they both had limited fund at the beginning of their career.   Never ask for advice from a mentor who has only do it for a few years.   They’re still in a learning stage.   This brings up to the next point.

Pick a real estate strategy first before looking for a RIGHT real estate mentor!

Once you assess your current finance, you can make a decision on what real estate strategy is the best fit for you.   You may have limited fund, then wholesale, fix and flip strategy may best suit you.  You want to earn income now that you can quit your 9-5 job.   But eventually, you want to buy and hold income producing properties to generate passive income and wealth so that you will not have to depend on an active income.  If for any reason you can’t work, you still have passive income to cover your monthly expenses.

If you have an income just like I had when I first started out, or you enjoy your work now and also have savings to buy your income producing properties, buy and hold may be a right strategy for you!   You can shorten 15-25 working years by buying 1-2 income producing properties a year and in 10 years, you will have these properties providing income for you to live on without depending on an active income job.

Once you know your best suited real estate strategy, you can select a mentor who specializes in this area.  If you want to master real estate wholesaling, then only listen to a master in wholesaling…not someone specialized in fix and flip strategy.  It sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people do not consciously follow this simple rule.

They have your interest at heart

You only want advice from a mentor who has your best interests at heart.  As Charlie Munger says “You know never ask salesman his advice on buying his own product.”

Let me give you a practical example where this becomes obvious. Let's say you have an injured knee and you go to a hospital for a knee surgery. You're going to walk into that hospital and you're going to ignore 99% of people by not even asking them for their advice. Think about it, you're not going to ask a dentist because knee or knee surgery is not one of his expertise. He doesn't have the skill and he doesn't have your interest at heart.  You can’t consult with an OB/GYN on your injured knee either. What you need is an Orthopedic Surgeon.  He has the most expertise, he has the most relevant experience and he has your best interest at heart. (This is a silly example, but it is a fresh one in my head after having a torn ACL from a ski trip to Whistler!)

I don't care where you are in life, you have to make a decision. Do whatever it takes so you won’t be pulled and guided in multiple directions.  Do your research, make your decision, seek out for a right mentor, pick a path, stick to it and ignore everything else.

Go find your one person, your mentor. Make sure they have 15-20 years of experience in specifically what you're looking for. Make sure they're aligned with your best interests and have tremendous skills in that area.

If you want to be excellent at real estate wholesaling, then find a master real estate wholesaler.  If you want to be excellent in buy and hold real estate investing, then find a master buy and hold investor.   You will learn so much from them in a short period of time.

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John T.

Great post. I have been reading your book, I really like it and it is easy to understand!
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Korianne Mar

Thank you, John. I'm glad you like it. Much appreciated your support reading my book. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Warren Chang

How did you find your mentor? Thanks for sharing your wisdom
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Korianne Mar

The best way to find a mentor is at real estate networking events or real estate seminars. Try to attend local real estate meetings or meetups.
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