Even with the abundance of freestanding information on the internet and in the libraries, we recognize that having a mentor who has been there and done it is the best way to transfer knowledge and learn. Students have personal tutors, athletes have coaches and employees have managers. The mentor’s personal experiences, immediate feedback and the genuine relationship that is built between the mentor and mentee are invaluable aspects of a mentorship structure that cannot be found even in the best books or educational videos.
But when it comes to real estate investing and building your personal wealth, not many people go through the effort of finding a mentor. Instead they base some of their most important financial decisions on hearsay from friends and family or on general platitudes such as “You must have a high salary to get good financing”. A good mentor would tell you – not necessarily. A mentor can also share his knowledge with you and guide you toward sustained profitability and away from financial pitfalls. So, how do you find one?
Nothing is for free, and you shouldn’t expect great mentors to line up for the opportunity to share the knowledge they’ve spent years accumulating with you just because you asked. A great way to find a mentor is to offer value to them by introducing them to people, sending them great information or offering to do some work for them for free to help save them time. Value reciprocation is always a great way to start a relationship.
Work for a mentor
This is similar to the first method, but a step further. Perhaps the most iconic model of a mentorship is the apprenticeship model used by tradesmen and artisans of all varieties, where the apprentice works directly under the master for little or no pay while accumulating knowledge and experience over a period of years. The apprentice eventually becomes a master and takes on an apprentice himself. If you have a passion for real estate investing, finding a mentor in the industry and joining his or her team is a great option to take your skills to the next level.
Pay for a mentor
Good mentors know the value of their time and knowledge, and do not give out their attention freely. They are busy investing in their own properties and continuing their own education. In fact, you would not want a mentor who is too giving of his time and attention.
Some mentors offer paid mentorships, both as a compensation for their time but also as a test to see how much ‘skin in the game’ the student is willing to put. If they mentor somebody for free, chances are they won’t value the information as much as not take any action anyway. It goes without saying that before signing up for a paid mentorship, you should do your own due diligence on the mentor and the program.
Sam Lee is a marketing manager and property consultant at JML Property. JML was established in 1994 and offers Investment Property & Homes. It specializes in managing properties for owners and investors, and providing attractive and comfortable homes for tenants.