3 Reasons You Need a Single Family Rental Real Estate Mentor (and Not a Guru)

If you are new to investing in single family rentals, there are a few ways you can get started:

  • Learn the ins and outs of single family rental real estate the hard way
  • Learn from a single family rental real estate guru
  • Learn from a single family rental real estate mentor

Which is the best approach? Probably not learning the hard way. That means going it alone and, in all likelihood, enduring painful experiences and suffering financial losses along the way. Many new investors consider that the “price of admission,” but if I were just getting started, I’d be looking for a way to avoid that expense! 

Learning from a real estate “guru” often comes with pain as well. Some of these people truly understand how to make a profit on single family rentals. But many have had little success in actually buying and managing rentals. Instead they make their living marketing their “expertise” to investors who are eager to get into the business and are willing to pay a hefty price to learn from the “guru”.

It’s been my experience that the best approach is to work with a real estate mentor. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Someone qualified to serve as a true mentor has learned how to generate consistent profit in single family rentals and therefore can share actual “in the trenches” insights with you.
  2. A mentor is interested in establishing a long-term relationship, not just selling you tickets to an event or some overpriced “resources” that they claim will help you succeed. 
  3. In addition to having a wealth of knowledge to share, a mentor also typically has a network of trusted professional connections and a willingness to introduce you to people who can help you achieve your profit goals. 

Finding a mentor isn’t always easy, and it helps to understand what the mentor will get out of the relationship. Somebody you already have a close relationship with, such as a family member, church member or somebody in your social network is a great place to start because they already have an interest in your personal success and well-being.  Building a relationship with a real estate broker or owner of a property management company is a possibility because they too can benefit as your investing business grows. There are also some private investment advisors, but make sure the mentor you seek, is not the guru you find.

So, as a new investor, you can take more “lumps” than you need to, be disappointed by empty promises, or get advice from someone who understands single family rentals and has your best interests at heart.