To Mentor or not to Mentor that is the question? - Posted by $Cash$

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on July 03, 2002 at 21:28:36:

William Bronchick--------------

The directional consultation makes a lot of sense to me. I could see the value to somebody to have a chance to get more in a follow-up. That might even be done by phone.

Good Investing and Good “Mentoring”**Ron Starr

To Mentor or not to Mentor that is the question? - Posted by $Cash$

Posted by $Cash$ on July 01, 2002 at 20:09:26:

As a REI for over seven years, I have trained and mentored a few people that called me for help. I am pleased to say they have done very well. They were from different areas so I didn?t create competition for myself.

I see so many newbie?s requesting help and in return receiving great advice from the CREI community. Although new to this message board I am impressed with the advice giving freely and with the sincere concern to help from so many, many contributors. I really don?t know much about Ronald * Star but he comes to mind when I think about his responses to those who need help. The time he takes from his schedule to thoughtfully reply to a question is impressive to me. I recently saw a posting where the author of the post said he started with a mentor and it worked great for him along with the reading postings on CREOnline.

Then I look at all the courses available from I?m sure some very knowledgeable teachers and authors. I would presume that any of these courses would provide the student with a working knowledge of REI except for the actual hands on experience gained from applying this training in the field. I have not personally taken any courses, but that is not to say that they are not beneficial because I believe they are.

My question is would a newbie learn more from a knowledgeable mentor or a REI course or both?


Mentor/courses/both? - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on July 02, 2002 at 14:33:58:


I think that personal direction will probably be much more useful than will courses for beginners. By my model of becoming a successful real estate investor, it is important to develop a system of investing that fits the individual investor. And, of course, works in the investment environment to extract rewards – read “CASH”.

It is in this early stage that some personal help can be valuable. A person with broad knowledge of the different ways to invest can offer suggestions and direction to the fledgling investor. The advice can narrow down the paths to explore, reducing the confusion of the novice.

Once the beginner has a program to learn, I think s/he should switch over to reading materials on that particular subject. This is a very efficient way to learn, I think.

At the same time, the learner should be studying the particular market to learn values and neighborhoods. Also, one should be studying the basics of real estate which can be learned from classes intended for those who will be taking the real estate license exams. Economics, financing, law, that sort of stuff.

Then, when the person is ready to go out and start making deals, it might be useful to get some individual coaching. Or at least take some class which deals just with the realities of deal making, if such be available.

Then some help will be useful to deal with specific details. So a mentor could be useful at this stage. Other options besides a mentor would be asking questions of other investors that the novice knows, including on internet sites such as this CREONLINE.COM one.

One of the difficulties from the mentor’s point of view, I suspect, is “flake-out.” This may be a little too harse word for it, but the phenomenon is real. I have several posts from people who run real estate investment clubs and they see a lot of “flow-thru.” People who come to the club meetings for a while, all enthusiastic for real estate investing, who then disappear from view, never to heard of again. I have seen the same phenomenon myself.

Apparently, over 90% of people who explore the possibility of real estate investing do not endure. Most give up before buying any investment properties. The rest may buy one or two properties and then stop at that level.

So, if you were a mentor, you would have many people who want to gain from your knowledge. There is a possibility that many of them will then not really use the knowledge to make investments, or, at least not many investments.

For some this is probably a rational choice. Real Estate Investing is just not something they are enjoying or are good at. However, what I like about real estate investing is that there are so many different approaches that virtually anybody should be able to taylor an investment program to fit themselves, and thus enjoy it. “Create your own job.”

I do not offer mentoring. I do some consulting with beginners whereby I find out about them and their background and then try to give them suggestions of ways to go. Or, if somebody already has a program in mind, I try to help them rethink it, refine it, make it more likely to work. But, I don’t work with people to make deals happen.

It seems to me that a potential mentor should enjoy teaching and have a breadth of experience and knowledge in real estate investing. There may be a place for somebody who teaches a specific investment approach, but more in a class setting, rather than mentoring.

Interesting enough, the online help boards, such as this at CREONLINE.COM probably make unnecessary a mentor. Why so many people post to this and similar sites that they are looking for a mentor is a mystery to me.

Good Investing**********Ron Starr**************

Re: To Mentor or not to Mentor… - Posted by Matt (MPD)

Posted by Matt (MPD) on July 02, 2002 at 03:30:07:

I think what you see here in this online community IS a mentoring program already. I have personally worked with a few brand new investors and have been told that they had done well but at this point have lost touch (hopefully because they are doing so well they have little time to devote to online forums.) For me, I wish I’d had someone like you in the beginning so that I may have avoided some of the traps and pitfalls that can’t be learned from books or courses. There just isn’t a value you can place on personal experience. Heck, at this point in my investing career I would value perhaps even moreso the attention and brain power of someone such as yourself who has made a great success story out of their practice.
There is no doubt that education is key and fundamental in any business endeavor but none more than real world experience in my honest opinion.

If you are still of the mindset that you would perhaps like to take someone under your wing I would consider it a blessing to work with you as well. I invest in IL so I don’t believe we’d be in ‘competition’ if that’s still an issue for you. Also, I’ve got nearly 3 years experience with rehabs, flps, rentals etc., and am very familiar with many aspects of contracts, lending, laws etc.

So I guess in short, I would say that the value you could bring even to someone who’s been successful for a little while would be invaluable whether coupled with courses or not.

MPD Investments Inc.

Re To Mentor or not to Mentor that is the question - Posted by Jim

Posted by Jim on July 02, 2002 at 24:30:54:


I have seen an earlier post where talked about how you buy and sell real estate with buying with owner financing and selling the same way. I am looking to do this exact thing buy finding current landlords and structuring the financing so that they get a guaranteed rate of return without the headaches and over time a better price (with the interest added in) for the home than if they were to just sell it out right. If you would like to test your system out with someome who is willing to put it to the test, I would be happy learn about your system and work it. This might give you a track record to sell a course or become a mentor. You cannot say no unless I ask, so I am asking.



Respectfully disagree, Ron - Posted by William Bronchick

Posted by William Bronchick on July 02, 2002 at 18:07:19:

Believe it or not, Ron, I would disagree to some extent, even though as you know, I am in the “mentor” business. In my experience, most beginners would do better by buying a few courses, reading a few books, attending a few lower-priced seminars, doing a few deals, then taking a “mentor” program to get to the next level. The exception, of course, is the beginner who is willing to totally immerse himself/herself in the business and wants a mentor to decrease the learning curve. To be honest, only a few of my students have met that criteria. For the most part, I don’t take on “totally green” investors in my program, since they don’t know enough to ask the right questions and use my service (or, worse, they will call me daily for a “pep” talk because they are scared).

My best advice to beginners is to start slowly, part-time. Learn the bus. Learn your neighborhoods. Make offers. Speak with other investors. Join a local real estate club. Then, what you realize that you want to jump to the next level and do it full-time, pay for a mentor program. The money is well worth it ONLY IF you use it (and most beginners unfortunately don’t have the opportunity to do so).

Re: Respectfully disagree, Ron - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on July 02, 2002 at 23:54:26:

William Bronchick-----------------

Thanks for sharing your perspective.

It sounds to me as though we agree on a lot of points. I too think a slow start is good. “Learn your neighborhoods.” Where have I heard that before? Probably in at least a dozen postings I have made. Make offers? Sounds good to me, unless you are using an offerless investment approach, such as buying at auctions. Speak with other investors. Good advice, it seems to me. Join a local real estate club? Sure, why not?

Then a mentor program to go full time? Hmm. Well, it is rarely wise to argue with somebody with practical experience, such as you have.

I am a little surprised at this advise, although I have no reason to dispute it. It is just that I would think that somebody with three or four or five years parttime experience might know enough to go on his/her own without guidance.

What do you feel the mentor can contribute to the person ready to “jump to the next level?”

I would certainly think that taking on “‘totally green’ investors” would be an activity rife with frustration. Your avoiding doing so makes a lot of sense to me.

You suggest: " most beginners would do better by buying a few courses, reading a few books, attending a few lower-priced seminars, doing a few deals, . . …" I agree that people would do well to follow this advice. What I think might be better, though, is to not do too much of this before getting some advice on what types of real estate investing approaches might be better and worse for that individual. Then, s/he could concentrate the reading on things that matter for that investment program.

For instance, somebody aiming to buy long-hold rental properties through real estate agents and escrow companies, financed by new institutional loans, probably don’t need to even hear the phrase “subordination agreement,” let alone study it. The likelyhood of them ever encountering one in their investment career is close to zero–or “de minimus” as you attorneys say. Gee, hope I used the term right.

On the other hand, somebody getting involved in foreclosure buying would be very well advised to study the topic carefully and possibly repeatedly. It is very important when know upon what properties to bid and upon which ones to pass.

The foreclosure investor can probably ignore most of the education available on how to manage rental properties. Buy, kick out the former owner, if necessary, fix up, resell at a profit. But, the long-hold rental investor should study management, it seems to me.

So, pick an investment approach and concentrate your learning on the activities and knowledge most germain to that particular strategy.

Good Investing and Good PostingRon Starr**

We’re on the same page . . . - Posted by William Bronchick

Posted by William Bronchick on July 03, 2002 at 09:31:09:

I misunderstood you, Ron. I thought you were saying a mentor program is a good thing, especially for a beginner. It sounds like you don’t like mentor programs at all, which is ok, too.

A mentor program (if the mentor is worthwhile) can always help someone to get to the next level, whether it be real estate, golf, tennis or sales. Some people are self-starters and learn on their own. I used to be that way, but have since learned that you can leapfrog your way in ANY business by paying someone else to teach you what they know. I have paid several professionals in marketing, Internet, sales (and yes, golf) to help me get better at those things. Sure, I could read books, go to seminars, etc., but paying an expert 1-on-1 gets you there faster. It’s the difference between going to a tennis camp and working with a #1 instructor personally.

FYI, this is NOT an ad for my program, which is currently FULL!

Re: We’re on the same page . . . - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on July 03, 2002 at 14:03:47:

William Bronchick---------------

I am not sure that I am against mentoring programs. So far I feel mostly neutral.

Much of what you mention sounds good to me. It sounds as though it would probably be short-term training, not an on-going program, such as sold by some companies. What you are talking about sounds like seminars or sessions that would be concluded in a week or two. Maybe with your golf game it would be spread out over several weeks.

It seems to me at this time that mentoring could be helpful in steering people to the available materials which they could study on their own. Then, it might be helpful in getting the student to define their activities necessary to implement their investment program. What properties to target, areas to target, what to watch out for.

From what you say, the “whole new level” move is still
another place where mentoring might help.

After that, I think interchange with other investors, especially those using the same approach might be useful.

It is an interesting topic. At least to me.

Good Investing, posting, and mentoring*****Ron Starr*******

Re: We’re on the same page . . . - Posted by William Bronchick

Posted by William Bronchick on July 03, 2002 at 19:00:45:

Actually you have me an idea . . .

My mentoring program is ongoing for a year. I have seen many programs where there is an “initial consulation” or two, then that’s it. However, I think there is a need for the latter, just at a cheaper price. Maybe I will offer a one-time “directional” consultation, with a follow up . . .