Finding a mentor to help you navigate the complexities of real estate investing can shorten the learning curve and help you become profitable more quickly. However, learning how to find a real estate mentor who can offer you the maximum value requires defining which type of mentorship is best for you, finding and connecting with potential mentors, and asking qualifying questions.
To help you find the right mentor, here’s a detailed guide about what mentorship is, types of mentorships, where to find one, and how to make the most of it.
What Is a Real Estate Mentor?
A real estate mentor is an experienced, knowledgeable professional who helps new or aspiring agents or investors advance in the real estate industry. Mentors offer personalized advice, practical insights, and strategies gained from their own successful sales or real estate investing careers, helping new professionals avoid common pitfalls and make informed decisions.
Top Ways to Find a Real Estate Mentor
Most professionals love the idea of having a mentor, but the challenge of how to find a mentor in real estate often prevents them from making it happen. Although it can be uncomfortable to search for a mentor and reach out for help, having the right agent or investment mentor can have an incredible impact on the success of your business.
To help you find potential mentors, here are seven valuable strategies:
- Local real estate events: Attend local real estate events and seminars to network with experienced professionals and find potential mentors who share valuable insights and expertise. Find events on Facebook, Meetup.com, or in local publications.
- Join real estate clubs and associations: Join investor clubs or agent associations, like the National Association of Realtors (NAR), to connect with seasoned professionals willing to mentor. This will provide access to a community of like-minded individuals eager to share their knowledge.
- Online forums and social media groups: Find and engage in real estate-related social media groups to get feedback and interact with experienced investors or agents who might be open to mentoring.
- Real estate offices and brokerages: Check if any local real estate offices and brokerages offer mentorship or networking programs. Agents should carefully choose a real estate brokerage with local mentors or training programs.
- Real estate educational programs: Consider enrolling in educational programs to further network and find potential mentors, like designation courses, investing courses, or boot camps for new sales agents.
- Search online: Utilize search engines or social media platforms to actively search for real estate mentors who are available to work with you.
- Hire a real estate coach: Although a real estate coach may work differently than a mentor, this can be a great way to start getting support and expertise from someone who already has a coaching system.
Why Having a Real Estate Mentor Is Important
Even though all licensed real estate agents are required to complete prelicensing education, it usually doesn’t cover everything new agents need to know. This is just one reason why the real estate failure rate was between 43% and 54% from 2020-2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Having an experienced mentor by your side can help accelerate the learning process by connecting you with important education, tools, and strategies that could take months to find on your own.
For real estate investors, the risk of failure is just as common. Data from the BLS says 20% of all new U.S. businesses fail within two years, and 55% fail by the fifth year. Although there are many benefits to investing in real estate, your success depends on your ability to understand the real estate market, find good deals, and make wise decisions about properties. An experienced mentor can help new investors confidently approach the market, make informed decisions, and set themselves on a path toward long-term success in the competitive world of real estate investment.
It’s important to evaluate both the pros and cons of every business decision, including mentorship. A few of the pros and cons of real estate mentoring programs include:
Another important consideration before starting a mentorship is your personal reasons for wanting a mentor and your expectations. A long-term mentorship relationship requires commitment, honesty, and being able to address and learn from your mistakes. Make sure that you have valid reasons for wanting a mentorship and that you’re motivated enough to keep going when your mentor may challenge you or when you struggle in your business. Starting with realistic expectations will set your partnership up for success.
Types of Real Estate Mentors
One of the primary questions new and aspiring real estate professionals ask is, “What does a real estate mentor do?” The answer depends on the type of real estate mentorship and career path you choose. Real estate mentoring to become an investor or home flipper will be very different from mentoring for real estate agents.
For example, a real estate agent mentor is likely to focus on helping a new agent set up systems to generate leads, nurture leads, work efficiently with clients, and build a strong brand, among other things. On the other hand, an investment mentor would put a stronger focus on developing ways to understand the current rental market, tools to find properties, evaluating properties, and understanding different methods of financing.
Before determining what type of program is best for you, consider the different types of real estate career paths you want to take, like:
- Commercial real estate agent
- Property manager
- Real estate wholesalers
- Home flipper
- Real estate developer
- Real estate finance and investment
- Specialty niches like for sale by owner (FSBO) or expired listings
Once you know what type of real estate profession to seek mentorship for, you can consider three different types of mentorship programs:
One-on-one real estate mentorship is a personalized and intensive learning experience where an experienced mentor provides individualized guidance for your specific goals and challenges. For real estate agents, this can be someone who is currently active in the industry or a coach or broker who is no longer active in the field. Similarly, an investor mentor could currently own a real estate investing business or has since retired and consults.
It involves meeting with your mentor regularly and receiving tailored advice and practical tips to help you to learn from your mentor’s expertise, gain valuable insights, and develop the necessary skills to excel in the real estate industry.
Group real estate mentoring programs involve a mentor providing guidance, advice, and knowledge to a small group of individuals pursuing the same type of real estate career. The mentor may facilitate group discussions, conduct workshops, and allow participants to learn from each other’s experiences and challenges.
This collaborative approach is useful because it allows you to learn not only from your experiences, but also to receive valuable insights and tips for new agents and investors from others. You can gain a diverse perspective and start building your network.
Real Estate Apprenticeship or Internship
As an apprentice or intern, you get to work closely with a licensed or experienced professional to get a feel for the industry before diving in on your own. This is often an ideal way to break into the industry while you work on becoming a real estate agent or making your first investment. For other real estate careers, like home inspectors and real estate appraisers, an apprenticeship is a required part of prelicensing education.
Pro tip: If there aren’t any real estate agent apprentice opportunities near you, an alternative option is to join a real estate team. Real estate teams can include just two or three members or have 30 or more members. There is usually a team leader and members who have various levels of expertise. Teams have unique real estate commission splits and are set up for more close-knit collaboration, ideal for professionals wanting a real estate agent mentor.
How to Evaluate a Potential Real Estate Mentor
Learning how to find a real estate mentor is more complex than finding someone with “mentor” in their title. Choosing a mentor who best fits your career goals is a pivotal decision since their knowledge, experience, and support can significantly impact your success. However, with such a wide variety of options, it can be overwhelming and confusing to discern which mentor is the right choice.
To help you find a mentor who will make the biggest impact on your real estate career, here are six ways to evaluate a potential mentor:
1. Define Your Business Goals
The first step to becoming a successful real estate investor, agent, or broker is knowing exactly what you want to do in your career. When you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, you can more easily qualify and disqualify mentors for real estate. For example, if you want to own 10 or more multifamily properties and apartment buildings, it would be easier to recognize that an investor who specializes in single-property homes probably won’t be the best source of information and guidance.
If you don’t already have clear business goals and a business plan, start by using one of our free templates:
2. Assess Their Communication Skills & Structure
If you were able to have coffee with every successful real estate professional in your area, you’d probably learn plenty of valuable information. Simply spending time with accomplished professionals can help you learn and grow your business—that’s the power of networking. However, when you’re deciphering how to get a mentor in real estate, keep in mind that many accomplished real estate investors or salespeople wouldn’t automatically make good mentors.
The right mentor should not only have business skills, but also teaching skills that help them communicate effectively with you in an organized way. The most successful real estate mentorships have a structure that allows the mentor to thoroughly teach the mentee all of the most important information. Even if you find a professional with incredible business skills—and possibly even a desire to help you—they may not be the right fit for a mentorship relationship.
For example, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) provides a mentorship program called NAR Spire. It is a four-month program that matches mentors and mentees with similar goals and hosts regular meetings for all members and webinars on important topics. Although it is possible to have a successful mentorship without a strict structure, this type of format often helps new real estate professionals have the most success.
Pro tip: If you find professionals willing to meet with you, don’t pass on the opportunity. Other professionals in your industry can be valuable members of your network, even if they don’t fit as a mentor. You should still take every opportunity to learn from other successful professionals.
3. Consider Their Commitment & Motivation
In any business relationship, it’s important to consider how each party is benefiting from the exchange. Of course, it would be ideal for an accomplished real estate investor or agent to happily mentor you just because they want to be nice, but this is unlikely to set you up for long-term success.
In this scenario, the mentor has only one motivator and no additional reasons to invest their time and energy into your business. If and when their business or personal commitments require more of their prioritization, they are likely to put your mentorship on the back burner.
As you’re learning how to get a real estate mentor, consider the motivations and commitment levels of potential mentors. Those with a company, program, or other type of compensation are more likely to stay committed and engaged.
4. Look for Strong Personality Traits & Business Expertise
A well-known study by Dr. David McClelland of Harvard University said that the people you spend time with will impact up to 95% of your success or failure in life. When choosing a real estate mentor, evaluate whether it is someone who you want to influence your decisions, both personally and in business.
Ensure your mentor has proven skills and expertise in the real estate market, investing strategies, finances, networking, and sales. In addition, consider their reputation and the personality traits you’ve witnessed first-hand, like patience, empathy, approachability, and honesty. Their ability to offer constructive feedback in a supportive way will create a nurturing environment for your growth, allowing you to have honest and challenging conversations that help you grow.
5. Clarify & Agree on Your Business Strategy
As a new investor or agent, you don’t need to know every intricate detail about your marketing strategy. However, you should identify your business philosophies and make sure that your potential mentor agrees. For example, if you want to primarily generate real estate leads online, your mentor should have experience and success in using online lead generation strategies.
Sharing a common vision with your mentor will help you set realistic and achievable goals, avoid potential missteps, and refine your overall approach. It will also help you begin your mentorship relationship on the same page, and you’ll be able to confidently embrace your mentor’s guidance and advice.
6. Research Your Potential Real Estate Mentor
As you learn how to find a real estate mentor, think of the process as your first important business decision. Don’t just pick the first mentor you find, but carefully evaluate whether or not they are the best fit for your business and watch out for any red flags. Make sure to search for them online to determine whether or not they have a positive reputation and if there is any feedback from previous mentees.
You should also thoroughly review their social media pages and website, ensuring that they’ve given you accurate information and that they are the right person to guide you in your business. Their online content will help you understand their real estate brand, marketing strategy, and their philosophies.
Consider using the Zillow agent finder to search for a specific mentor or find successful professionals in your area. The Zillow agent profile will show how many sales they’ve made in the last year, their reviews from customers, specialties, and their website and other social media pages.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, as working with the right real estate mentor can offer a wealth of knowledge, experience, and guidance that can help you become more successful and profitable faster than working alone. However, not all mentors offer an equal level of expertise. A real estate adviser who isn’t committed to helping you through challenges or who doesn’t have strong communication skills may still be helpful but likely won’t generate a return on investment (ROI) like a dedicated mentor.
Some people use the terms coach and mentor interchangeably, but there are important differences between coaches and mentors. A coach typically focuses on skill-building, providing actionable advice, and finding short-term solutions to immediate challenges. A real estate mentor should take a more holistic approach by walking you through transactions and helping you plan for long-term success.
There is no set pricing for real estate mentorship or training, so the cost can vary based on each mentor’s expertise, experience, and type of mentorship program. Some agents and investors can find unpaid mentorship opportunities through a company or their network. However, if you purchase coaching, mentoring, and training, it could cost up to $800 per week or more for mentor programs.
As you research how to find a real estate mentor, remember that choosing the right person to guide you is key to having a successful mentorship. Determine which type of real estate mentorship is best for you, and make sure you ask qualifying questions to determine if a potential mentor is the best choice to help you become successful.