Finding mentors at local REI Clubs


I have been reading about how useful it can be for an inexperienced, new (you’ll notice I didn’t say “newbie” because I find that term personally offensive) investor to hook up with and learn from seasoned real estate professionals as well as being able to get in on some potentially good deals. I can’t even seem to locate the available wholesalers here.

I belong to two different local REI clubs and have attended every single meeting for both for the two months I have started learning real estate investing. While there, I keep my mouth shut and my ears and eyes open to learn whatever I can. I arrive early and “hover” around the lobby smiling and chatting, then I stay late and do the same. Mostly, I have talked to a lot of people who have never and probably never will invest.

What I have personally found, in my particular area, is that the seasoned investors (a) aren’t available - they don’t come to these meetings because they are much to busy and/or don’t really need to any more, or (b) they don’t want to be bothered with or waste their time on the “newbies”. It would seem our really seasoned investors are a pretty tight little community unto their own here.

Most of us have read the statistics that 80 to 90% of new investors aren’t ever going to even buy a property. I have heard (and read) many degrading comments about how the “newbies” are ruining it for “the real investors” I’m sure theyr’e not all like that and those are the ones I am trying to find.

Does anyone . . . anyone at all . . . have any helpful suggestions for me to locate the seasoned investors in my area . . . to talk to and learn from them . . . and generally assimilate into their culture - without being an annoying little pest or appearing to be just wasting their time.


Hello Debra, What state are you located in?
There are other ways of being mentored without being there in person. I have mentored many of my “new” clients along the way by email and phone.

Having a good understanding about RE and reading all that you can and asking questions on these postings, have helped many new investors get started. Their is a great deal of information out here and plenty of help. Of course, once you have an understanding, you need to choose what part of RE you want to do. Then do it. Take action.


Yes you are right. There is a large number of “new investors” at the meetings. The “pros” might be busy here and there, but if they are intelligent they know the best thing is to keep going to the clubs.

I have been investing for years and I have found a few clubs better than others. I like to have those just getting started be my bird dogs on deals. Of course I have a discerning eye for those I feel are truly committed and ready to learn and work.

So just keep attending the clubs. If anything you can learn what not to do from some, what to do from others, and gain valuable knowledge as well.

Some clubs are all about having speakings come in to sell you something, others are all about holding onto deals and knowledge themselves and being “lonewolf” types. We have several of those that I attend here in the Chicago area. Others however have a good mix of experienced, intermediate, and new investors. The one I have found in Chicago is the WCRT.

Look for something like that where you are located. Trust me it is important if anything to just surround yourself with positive minded individuals. Use the club as a monthly accountability partner.

Hello Chris and Ryan,

When I get enthusiastic and motivated to get going on a new path, I want to immediately immerse myself in the whole experience and soak up as much as I can as fast as I can - like a sponge. Patience can be such a challenging virtue to develop. Feeling confident and comfortable in any given environment takes time to perfect as well.

I do know that any opportunities available to you in your life are only as good as you make them. So I will do my best to be patient, and to make myself available and open to whatever I can get from each meeting. I’m not exactly a wallflower so I should be able to integrate eventually.

Some of the clubs out there are pretty awesome. California, Chicago, Florida and Georgia seem to have some great clubs available with a lot to offer.

Thanks guys . . . .


I think that the key to meeting the right people at the REIA meetings is to be assertive. Since you’ve been to a couple of meetings, you probably have already realized who the “players” are. You are correct that the “seasoned investors” may be a tight little community, but I’m sure that you would be welcomed as a new member if they knew you were serious. The key is to introduce yourself to the seasoned investors and let them know that you are serious and WILL be investing. As you said, there are tons of “newbies” that come and go and it would be impossible for the seasoned investors to take them all seriously. Most of the “newbies” are there hoping to get rich quick without work, money, or credit; and when they realize that isn’t going to happen, they slip back to the 9-5.

So, GET NOTICED! Say something at the meetings. Identify and talk to the seasoned investors. Show yourself to be a serious person that will succeed. It will be worth the effort!


Thanks Mike,

That is excellent advice. If I can’t be more aggressive in approaching other investors - it doesn’t say much about my ability to approach future potential seller’s does it.

I will work on putting this into practice at my very next meeting.

Here’s a little tangent. How about people that ‘THINK’ they want to be mentored.

I have run into situations where people have asked to be showed what to do. When you give them some direction or suggest they make a move, they disappear.

I used to think. How did this happen? I thought they wanted to be real estate investors. I have answered all the questions, addressed all the fears.

No I am beginning to think that mentoring is educating a majority of the people to the point where they realize they don’t want to be investors.

I had one ‘protege’ buy three properties this year as a result of me working with them. I had so many mor run away.


Better now than when they’re up to their hips in debt and properties they don’t want or can’t deal with.

I think many young wannabes think that it’s a no-brainer, no work kinda thing and successful folks know that it’s not…it takes some imagination and some effort.


Very true, Keith.

I remember my first deal that I put together. After I did the work, I didn’t have a ‘mentor’ to say GO FOR IT. I sure wish I did.

I was terrified at the risk! I can’t describe how much I wanted to run.

But I had the course and the coaching. I used all the tools they taught me and the end result was a deal that screamed success, no matter how I over analyzed it.

It took me days to put a deal together back then.
Now, I can figure out a deal in my head while I am standing in a property. Sometimes, I even write out the purchase contract on the kitchen counter of the property I am viewing.

That’s what I want for the people I work with. But they have to want it for themselves, I guess.

On mentoring -

I can’t speak for all “students” but I am probably a pretty typical representation.

I am grateful for the time that another person is willing to give me when there are so many other things they could be doing with their time.

I respect and value the insights and experiences of someone who has already been through it. I would like to be able to learn from other people’s mistakes, as much as that is possible, to help minimize my own - althought I do know I am going to make plenty of my own.

I’m a little worried about being taken advantage of by someone who is looking for an inexperienced mark. I don’t think it happens a great deal but it does happen, I have heard some sad stories.

I know, from experience, that there are a lot of people out there that want to seperate you from your money. While I do spend plenty of money on my real estate education - that education can either be “reasonable” or “expensive” based on my own personal decisions.

My final thought on mentors is that they need to be a good fit for the particular student. “The language” they are speaking has to be “heard” by the student. It has to be on a level the student is able to grasp.

There are many awesome mentors on this site. So to the students I say . . . . listen . . . they really are telling you what you need to know. Listen to the things they repeat over and over. PropertyManager, I don’t know how may times I have read . . . “look at 100 properties” . . . . it is great advice no matter how many times you have to say it.

Good observation.

In addition to the risk associated with investing there is the concern that your mentor is a trusted source. That is correct. That’s a lot to overcome.

If I were to say to you:

Let’s do a deal together. I will put up the money. You have a note payable and 1st mortgage on the property for 50% of the cost. (That the rent is expected to pay for.)

We will have an attorney of your choice draw up a contract that says:

You can back out of the deal any time in the next six months without losing a dime.

Would you go for it?

You would get all your payments back and of course give up your half of the ownership of the property. The hitch is you don’t get to keep any profit. But every nickel you spent out of pocket if any, you would get back.

After the six months, it would be 50/50 partners. Win or lose. But technically you get a 6 month money back guarantee.

Well??? Would you?

Don’t cop out with ‘depends on the partner’. Assume you can get past that.

A test . . . LOL . . . I like tests . . .

Based on what you have told me - I would not.

A) Sounds like there is no profit in this for me?

B) I am not in a buy and hold position right now, I am still into fix and sell with a goal to buy and hold later. Sounds like you have plans to rent this property out.

C) I won’t buy property out of my regional area. I want to be able to personally manage and oversee properties I want to keep so they have to be less than one hour away.

D) I’m not to keen on taking on any partners right now. It doesn’t fit into my current plans. But I’d be more than happy to buy from or sell to other investors.

Pick one (a is probably the best reason though)

Did I pass ?

I think I would do it. Just to gain the experience. I don’t like the fact of tying up my money for 6 months and not being able to invest it elsewhere however.

What do you think you could get out of this type of deal ryanpal (other than the experience)?

6 months safeguard to insure the deal will make me money. if after 5months x days ( a day before the 6 months ends) it looked as if i was going to lose money, i’d get out of the deal and get compensated fully…for a beginner like myself this seems like a good opportunity if you ask me.

On your original question, don’t forget that you can also use some of the yahoo investment groups as a tool. Many the investment clubs have an internal email list or group on Yahoo. You can often send an email to the group asking for mentor recommendations. The mentor may not necessarily respond, but maybe some of the investors know of a good person who can help you.


I have read almost every book or study program offered up by the “gurus”, but I still have times where, the more I learn, the more I realize I NEED to learn. Sometimes I just feel like I’m 11 years old again, and “grown ups” are talking.

I too would desperately love a mentor. I have considered paying for some of the mentoring programs that the gurus offer, but as mentioned here, I’m also very nervous about being ripped off. Too many horror stories about “boot camps”; peple plunking down $1500 for systems only to be hustled for $5000 ‘boot camps’, only to be hustled for $15,000 more boot camps.

Two questions:

  1. You mentioned Carlton Sheets. Have you had any experience with thier coaching program?

  2. Where in CT are ya? I’m in northern NJ. And are you looking for another protege?? :wink:

Maybe? :wink:

Greetings LeiterCIA,

I am also in Northern Virginia. I belong to both the Capital Area REIA and the Beltway REIA. Do you go to either of these? If so I’d love to get together to chat. And to any others of you that attend these meetings as well.

You know we wear those name tags - so that will help identify me. I am a middle-aged caucasian woman, (relatively) thin, (relatively) attractive, with shoulder length brown hair and glasses. I am very interactive and I smile a lot - I shouldn’t be to hard to find.

I look forward to seeing you there.


Thanks very much for the invite Debra, but I’m actually in Northern New Jersey. Getting down to VA might be a bit of a stretch for me. :wink:

Thanks much… hoping I can find someone up in this general area.