Saturday, February 6, 2010

Choosing a Real Estate Mentor

So how do you choose someone to coach or mentor you in your real estate career?
The level of expertise you will require in a mentor will depend very much on your own level of knowledge and experience. Your mentor should have more experience in your particular focus area than you. Be clear about the knowledge or expertise you seek, and you will have a better experience working with a mentor.

If you are brand new to real estate, you will want a mentor who can provide you with a general overview and who can help guide you toward a direction that makes sense for you. An individualized coaching program with regular assignments and meetings will help you progress more rapidly than a generalized program without built-in accountability. For generalized information, you should be pursuing your own education through books, networking, and online research - whether or not you work with a mentor. A great deal of information is available for free, or for a limited investment of funds, such as joining your local real estate associations or clubs. is another great resource for finding or creating a group of like-minded individuals.

Working with an experienced mentor is a proven way to advance more rapidly in your career. Someone who is investing time and training for you will expect to be compensated, and mentorship programs vary in terms of price, quality, and benefits. Ask around for references and referrals. Find out who is successful in your area of interest, and chances are you will start hearing the same names. Which of these people are willing to provide training or mentorship?

Talk to potential mentors about their background and qualifications. What is their education level? Have they made a commitment to their own education? To what clubs and associations are they members? What is their level of experience in your field of interest? Do they enjoy teaching and do they have any experience working as a trainer?

For example, I offer a mentorship program for real estate investors (described in my previous blog). I have an MBA and over 25 years of executive experience in the public and not-for-profit sectors. I have earned a license as a real estate broker, which requires several years of full time real estate work, continuing education credit hours, and passing state and national examinations. I am a member of several real estate associations, and serve as volunteer membership coordinator for the Real Estate Association of Puget Sound where I train other investors and provide educational materials. I write monthly articles for new investors on doing their first deals in the REAPS newsletter. I have expertise and experience in property management, real estate sales and transactions, rehabs and remodeling, lease options, creative real estate acquisition, negotiation and finance. I own rental properties in two states, including single family homes and multifamily property. I worked as a personal assistant and real estate manager for a local builder, developer and investor who is a national speaker on real estate investment. I have decades of experience as a public speaker, licensed trainer and facilitator in the non-profit sector, as well as aviation and fitness. I work best with investors and agents who are just getting started in real estate. I can provide references and testimonials as to my abilities, and best of all, I offer a money-back guarantee of satisfaction on my personal services as a coach, mentor or sales agent.

Know what you want and what you need, then seek it out from people you believe will be able to help you achieve your goals. Be sure they have the time, interest and inclination to serve in this capacity, and good luck with your real estate career!

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