Selecting a Coach or Mentor
Tips for Hiring a Mentor or Coach
Selecting a mentor or coach to help your real estate investing can give you a huge advantage. But finding one that matches your investing interests and level of knowledge can mean the difference between success and frustration. Here are a few questions to ask yourself and your mentor when evaluating different individuals or companies:
What experience does the Mentor have?
What type of investing does the Mentor specialize in?
Is the Mentor/Coach actively investing?
What geographic areas does the Mentor know about?
What is the expected time/effort/resources I am required to contribute?
How long is the mentoring/coaching program for?
What access do I have to my Mentor?
1. What experience does the Mentor have?
Quite often the best teacher is not the person who has been in the field the longest but the person who can teach the materials at a level the learner can understand. This is why Graduate students are called on to teach for Professors who might be long-time researchers. The Grad students are closer to the beginning students but just far enough ahead to understand the undergraduate students’ needs. An advanced Expert may be too far ahead and make things too complicated and often, not as understanding, when a new learner asks basic questions and just ‘doesn’t get it.’ Great mentors know that they are there for the students and not the other way around.
2. What type of investing does the Mentor specialize in?
If you have decided you want to start Wholesaling properties but your mentor is known for fix and flips or apartment investing, that may not be the best match. Real estate has tons of specialized niches and no one can be an expert in every area. You may also find yourself working in different niches as your interest change. Make sure your mentor understands your interests.
3. Is the Mentor/Coach actively investing?
You’ve probably heard it before, “Those who can do, those who can’t teach.” Many mentors have discovered that telling others what to do, is much easier than doing it themselves. They offer to partner with their students and let the students do all the work while they sit back and make a nice return on mentoring instead of investing! Don’t be afraid to ask your mentor about their most recent deals. Active investors will be up to date with the current market conditions and best types and areas for investing.
4. What geographic areas does the Mentor know about?
We’ve all seen the national TV ads or heard of gurus who come into town to recruit new mentoring students into their programs. Many of them have incredible systems for maximizing or growing your investing business. But many of them have no idea what are the exact laws that have to be followed or how contracts need to be done in Texas. If your Mentor doesn’t know the difference between The Heights and Acres Homes or the Third Ward, you might want to keep asking questions.
5. What is the expected time/effort/resources I am required to contribute?
Unlike a franchise system, hiring a Mentor is not a “done for you” business. You will be required to complete certain tasks, learn specific knowledge and spend time (often, a great deal of time) working on your business. There is a reason McDonalds and Subway franchises are so expensive; it’s a complete business. When you hire a mentor you are not buying a business but hiring a consultant that will help hold you accountable for your success. If you read the fine print of many ads there is small disclaimer saying something to the effect of “Results are not typical” meaning the person doing the testimonial may be one of thousands who bought and participated in the program.
6. How long is the mentoring/coaching program for?
Most programs are for a set amount of time, others have monthly fees. Six months is the minimum amount of time a new person will need to learn enough to establish their business. While you may get lucky and get a deal right away or already have a deal in hand, scaling a business takes time. Just like a college curriculum, you will need time to digest the basics before scaling and moving onto more advanced techniques.
7. What access do I have to my Mentor?
Is one hour a week over the phone worth paying $5000 for six weeks for? It could be if that hour is giving you the missing resources or knowledge to make thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mentors not only have knowledge but access to resources that they should be willing to share with you. The mentoring program should outline how much time, whether the sessions will be in person, over the phone or internet as well as if the sessions will be individual meetings or group sessions. Group sessions will allow you to learn from others and often give you a network to assist you. Individual sessions will focus just on you. Also be sure to ask what turn around time you can expect on email responses, phone calls, deal analysis and if they other staff to assist.
8. What is the refund policy?
No one can predict unexpected family emergencies, job layoffs or medical situations that may interrupt your investing. Or what if you just discover rather quickly that you and your mentor are not the best fit? Be sure to read and understand the program’s refund policy before paying any money. In Texas, there has to be a written Refund Policy, even if the policy says “No refunds.” Just because your circumstances change half way through the program, don’t expect a refund of half your funds. Mentors have already spent a considerable amount of time developing the program and have scheduled in your participation. They have expenses to cover and could have taken on another student in your place. If the refund policy states that you must ask for the refund in writing or mail it to a certain address, make sure you abide by all the conditions stated or you may not be entitled to any refund at all.
Mentoring and Coaching programs can give you a huge jumpstart on your investing goals. I highly recommend working with a mentoring program to help round out your investing education. Unlike classes and special events, a great mentor or coach works with you on an on-going basis and really can take you to a new level of success!
I wrote this guide about three years ago and now I just launched my own Coaching program! If you think we might be a good fit for you, schedule your free 30 minute evaluation session. Go to the Coaching Page for more info on our programs.