Ask Cornerstone: How do I find a mentor for house flipping or real estate investing?

real estate mentors meeting over coffee

It’s a great idea to find a mentor when you are first starting out in real estate.  It can be overwhelming when you are first getting started.

I recommend a two-step approach in finding a mentor.  First, arm yourself with some basic knowledge in the areas of real estate that you are interested.  Keep a list of questions that come to mind as you do your research. Make sure the list is handy, like on a smartphone document or note, so you can record questions whenever they pop in your head.

While looking for a mentor, start “practicing” investing by joining a Cashflow 101 game in your area. Google “Cashflow 101” or search  The game is part of Robert Kiyosaki's, (author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad), program to help teach new real estate investors the fundamentals of finance.  You’ll condition yourself to make wise investments much the way a mentor could help you (without having to waste their time on these essential concepts).

A good way to look for your mentor is to attend your local Real Estate Investor Association meetings. First time visitors can usually get in for free or a low guest rate so that potential new members can get a feel of the group and what they have to offer.  Meetings are usually teaming with people that have the potential to become your mentor, so arrive early to start shaking hands.

When you start meeting people, put yourself in a mindset of being genuinely interested in what people do and their experiences. Laser focus your listening skills. If their experience seems like a fit, ask them about mentoring you and offer to do some work for them.  Even if they turn you down or are not a fit, all is not lost. Ask them if they know someone that might be able to help you. You may have started to establish a report with the person you’ve just met from your interest in their experience alone that they would like you enough to introduce you to some of their colleagues.

One way to warm up a potential mentor who may be hesitant at first is to make it easy on them.  Clearly show that you are respectful of their time and offer to help them out with their business in any way you can.  A convenient way to meet with a mentor is to agree to meet an hour before the REI club meeting over coffee. That way they aren’t making any extra trips to meet you.  See if they will let you shadow them for certain aspects of their job also.

It’s been said that there are “six degrees of separation” between any two humans in the world. Following this philosophy, if you just start asking around enough, you should be less than six degrees of separation from your mentor.

Good luck.

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