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List: Posted: 09/29/11
A mentor is someone who teaches you by example, who shares their experiences as their main means of giving you a new set of skills. Real estate investors oftentimes start out with a mentor. You can read all the books in the world about real estate investing and, really, it doesn't hurt, but you still need real world experience. Here are some good ways to find someone to mentor you at real estate investing.
Look for Success
What you'll be trying to do is to model yourself on someone who has been successful. A good real estate investor that decides to mentor you can help you to avoid a lot of mistakes by sharing their experiences with you, and by making sure that you're ready for the particular challenges that the real estate market presents.
Read About the Investors
Learn about real estate investors that you're interested in mentoring with by researching them and their firm or company online. Learn about their style, their success and how they got where they are. This will make it easier when you approach them asking for a mentorship.
Real estate investing involves a lot of different skills and practices. You can look for a mentoring program that addresses the ones you're interested in specifically. This way, you'll be ready to absorb what the mentor has to teach you. If you're interested in specific types of deals, look for a mentor program that concentrates on them.
List Your Desires
When you're taking a look at the different mentorship programs out there, make a list of what you want to learn most of all. If you're interested in commercial real estate, find a mentor that specializes in that field. If you're interested in development, look for someone who made their fortune in real estate development.
Be around. A lot of the real estate world is about networking and the more that people see you the more likely they are to remember you. Chat to the mentor you're interested in at parties and ask them good questions. Show them that you're serious.
A lot of real estate investors are — to put it charitably — rather intense individuals. Be ready for a high-pressure environment and prepare to jump when they say jump. You don't have to debase yourself, but be willing to take some orders here and there. The mentor is basically going to delegate some pretty tedious and thankless work to you, but it's all so that you learn the business inside and out. They'll expect you to perform.
Imitate your mentor as much as possible. You don't want to be a doppelganger, but make sure that you learn how they make real estate deals work and don't try to reinvent the wheel for them; they'll probably drop you.
If you don't understand something, wait for a convenient time and ask them about the process they used and how they got the deal done. Patience is a virtue when you're mentoring with someone, and real estate takes a great deal of patience and a willingness to act when necessary.
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