The world of mentoring is a dangerous one. In fact, every time you mention the word ‘real estate mentor’ it seems like people come out of the wood-work bashing mentors, talking about how they got ripped off my some guru, and saying they’ll never use a mentor in their life.

Well… over the years I’ve had too many mentors to count and I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars, so let me tell you what I wish I had known about mentors when I started out in this business.

First off, I wish I would have known more about real estate in general before I chose my mentor. I wish I would have known if I wanted to do wholesaling, lease options or become a subject-to expert. Obviously, a new investor (like I was) can get taken advantage of much more easily since we don’t know much about real estate at all.

At least…

If you know more about this business you can choose which niche you believe will be best for you and then you can go and find a mentor in this niche. Secondly, I wish I would have had more “guts” back then to challenge a person claiming to be a mentor so I could determine if they knew what they were doing or not.

These days, I advise everyone to ask a potential mentor for addresses of at least 3 of the properties they own… I advise them to get references from past students… and I advise them to make sure everything is in writing of exactly what they get for the mentoring program. (Obviously, if a mentor won’t do any of the above, that should be a major red flag.)

Lastly, I wish I would have realized the importance of getting a (quality) mentor sooner. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until the day I die. I think anyone who doesn’t have a mentor is crazy and is making their life much more difficult and making the chance of success a lot less likely.

Ever since I got my first mentor years ago…

I’ve had a mentor and I still have one today. I’ve moved up the ladder with mentors, whereas my first mentor was a semi-successful local guy, and now I pay successful national people a lot of money every month.

But paying a mentor isn’t necessary, if you can find a friend or relative who knows what they’re doing. However, one of the frustrating things about life is that a good mentor is likely going to cost a lot. I remember one of the times that I wanted to take a very successful person out to lunch to pick his brain and he said that it would cost me.

I wasn’t happy about this and of course wanted to just pay for his lunch and pick his brain for free. (I ended up using this guy and it was well worth it.) The bottom line is, if you don’t have a mentor yet, you need to find one ASAP. I would try and find a local one if you’re brand new and find national ones later one.

Also, perhaps most importantly, do not let these people intimidate you. If you are paying this person money you want to give them a thorough “interrogation” to make sure you aren’t getting ripped off. I imagine there would be a lot less complaints about mentors if people weren’t so “star struck” and actually did their due diligence… and… if they actually followed the advice that their mentor gave them.

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