Working with a good mentor not only helps you succeed but also raises the entire real estate investing industry.

When I started my real estate investing career, there were no YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok videos, much less the internet’s easy access to on-demand real estate news and education.

I know that dates me!

Anyway, having easy access to real estate information, news, and potential mentors is both good and bad.

We have to be more careful about the mentors we choose, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

If I were starting over today, the first place I would look for a mentor is in my own backyard.

I would look for an investor-friendly realtor who also invests in themselves. Finding this person likely will lead to investor-friendly lenders, property managers, and the contractor relations you need—saving you valuable time and money. They will know about off-market deals and which areas are up and coming and best for cash flow.

Some of the people I trust as virtual mentors are Ken McElroy, The Real Estate Guys Robert Helms and Russell Gray, Bigger Pockets, and Jason Hartman. Anything put out by them is great and credible. There are others you can follow, but I recommend this group readily.

Sometimes you have to pay for mentorship (e.g., books, courses, and conferences). When you do, you should make that investment in mentors you have come to know, like, and trust. One of my rules is to buy a book written or recommended by a mentor I trust as soon as I hear about it.

Another place I would look for a mentor is in the pages of Think Realty magazine or the other content the organization delivers. I appreciate that Think Realty includes the writer’s contact information at the end of each article. When I first started writing for Think Realty, I reached out to some of the writers. One of those was Bruce Kellogg, whom I’ll refer to often in this article.

How to Evaluate a Good Mentor

A good mentor will be happy to share what they know with you if you approach them and their time respectfully.

A good mentor should be at least a step or two ahead of you in their real estate investing career and preferably have a similar goal for their portfolio. They should have some setbacks to share with you, and they should be willing to talk about them with you because you will have those same challenges. We all have them as we grow.

When I emailed Bruce for the first time and told him what I liked about the article he had written, he was open to my questions. We both were investor-friendly realtors, but in different parts of the country. He is in California, and I am in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

We both liked building our portfolios with 2–4-unit properties. This strategy provides flexibility in any economy to rent or liquidate the properties and to (hopefully) always have at least one rent check coming in.

We both believed in content marketing, and we are both regular contributing writers for Think Realty magazine. Bruce would send me articles to help me with my content writing and investing, and he shared his investing experiences with me as well—warts and all.

Bruce was the ideal mentor for me at that time in my investing career.

Your Responsibility with Your Mentor

Your target mentor will likely be as busy as you and probably busier. Treat your mentor with respect and care. Do what they recommend and share how it worked out with them. Honor their limited time and show appreciation.

Do what you say you will do. This is true of any relationship you want to last. With Bruce, I always showed appreciation for his time with a handwritten thank you card or expressed appreciation in our other communications.

We talked about what was working and what was not working, and he shared his experience and connections with me to help me succeed. He just sent me the book he recently published. I know I will publish a book as well because, through his example, I can see it is possible. As I read Bruce’s book, I will communicate to him the things I connect with, how I will apply them to my life and business, and express my gratitude for the opportunity. That last comment bears repeating: Show gratitude and appreciation for your mentor.

Becoming a Mentor to Others

The ultimate compliment you can give someone is to give back by sharing with others what you have learned from your mentor.

In keeping with Bruce’s generous spirit, I try to be a mentor to as many people who connect with what I have to share. I counsel my clients on investment strategy and building their portfolios using my own experience (good and bad) as well as what I have learned from mentors like Bruce.

Writing and creating content allows me to virtually mentor others as Bruce did for me. Posting and commenting on Bigger Pockets regularly allows me to mentor and share with others as well.

The power of a good mentor is they create other mentors like them, which strengthens the entire real estate investing community.

Following the suggestions in this article, maybe you too will find a great mentor like I did with Bruce Kellogg. Such a mentor will follow alongside you and share their experiences, connections, and wisdom to accelerate your growth and inspire you to give back and be a mentor like them, lifting up our industry.

Thank you, Bruce!

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