Looking for a great Birmingham real estate coach and mentor? All great achievers have coaches. Nobody is "self made". Behind every great real estate investor is a great real estate coach and mentor. But how do you find one that can help you to be successful in Birmingham, AL? Ask yourself these 3 questions:
# 1 - Do You Want to be a Creative or Traditional Real Estate Investor?
There are really only two main ways to invest in real estate, creative or traditional. The majority of people are traditional. Traditional investors use, cash, credit or both to acquire real estate and therefore they take on the risk associated with having to put real money into each transaction. Traditional works great if you are already rich. But, what if you're not? Instead, what if you are wanting real estate to get you rich? That's where Creative comes in. With Creative, rather than using cash, credit or both, to acquire real estate, you apply creative strategies to purchase property without down payments, conventional loans, cash, or credit. And, you also eliminate the risk but get the rewards. Which one of those descriptions best fits you? Note: If you would like to learn more about the differences between Traditional versus Creative, please review the following article: Creative Investing vs Traditional Investing.
Deciding on which type of investor you want to be is critical because it will determine which type of Birmingham real estate coach and mentor is right for you.
Traditional = Local
If you plan on being a traditional investor, a local Birmingham real estate coach and mentor is probably your best bet. The best traditional investors have access to lots of fast cash to buy real estate. They are very good at consistently locating very inexpensive, very reliable contractors. They have the ability to move on with good deals quickly (because most traditional deals require instant action or else you lose out to someone else.) Traditional investors know the local market like the back of their hand, which communities are good, which communities are not so good, the direction of development, etc. Successful traditional investors recognize local trends and adjust accordingly. Traditional investing is very localized so the best type of a real estate coach and mentor will probably be one living in Birmingham, AL.
Oftentimes, a really good "investor-friendly" real estate agent can be a great traditional real estate coach. In addition to being an expert in Birmingham, AL, a Realtor can also introduce you to mortgage people, closing companies, general contractors and so many other team members that will be crucial to your traditional investing success.
Creative = Nationwide
If your goal is to be a Birmingham creative real estate investor, you may be surprised to hear that a nationwide real estate coach and mentor is your best bet. Creative investing strategies tend to work in every area because it is based on the concept of desperate property sellers and motivated property are not location specific; they are everywhere. People who need to get rid of their house quickly are compelled to do so for reasons that typically have nothing to do with the area of the country, such as divorce, financial issues, passing of a family member, can't pay the mortgage, etc. So a very successful creative investor could relocate to a totally different area and be just as successful. Certainly there are regional laws that may favor one creative technique over the other, but for the most part, successful creative investing is not based on how well you understand your area.
Since creative real estate investing requires significant creativity, thinking outside the box and seeing how other creative investors are doing all across the country fosters more ideas and better ways to creatively buy and sell real estate. Plus, sometimes creative investing requires very specialized team members and if you are only drawing off of the Birmingham, AL area for those people, you are limiting yourself. Some of the best mortgage brokers for no-title-seasoning loans and closing companies for concurrent closings we use provide nationwide or regional services. Whereas if you could only draw from closing companies or mortgage brokers in Birmingham, you couldn't get the deal done.
Most importantly, the number of motivated sellers willing to sell their property creatively is limited based on the size of the market. The cliche that, "there are enough deals to go around for everybody," is hogwash when it comes to creative real estate investing. The more creative investor competition there is in a given area, the harder it can be to find motivated sellers. Usually, the best creative investors in a local area avoid sharing their top secrets to avoid competition. Personally, although I mentor investors all across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, I don't mentor anyone in my hometown because I don't want to create a direct competitor.
What some local "mentors" may do is act like they are going to teach a newbie what to do, but what they really do is simply teach them just enough to be able to find deals for themselves. Here's why. Every creative investor is always looking for more motivated seller leads as inexpensively as possible. Certain lead generation techniques require time and energy, such as driving neighborhoods looking for vacant houses or FSBO signs. Since the mentor doesn't have the time to do it by himself, and rather than hire an employee, they get a local newbie to do all that running around for them in exchange for "showing them the ropes." Local "mentors" are notorious for teaching newcomers to be their birddogs, not successful, independent investors. The fact is that motivated sellers are a limited resource and competition is not helpful to existing, successful creative investors.
Therefore, you're best bet if you are looking to be a creative investor is a nationwide real estate investing mentor. They will open up their vault on all their hidden secrets because they don't have to be concerned about creating competition and they can draw on more ideas, techniques and team members due to their much larger geographical perspective.
# 2 - Is the Person a Good Real Estate Investing Mentor AND also Successful Themselves?
Being a successful real estate investor in Birmingham and also a good real estate coach are two very different things. Some people are fantastic at performing a skill themselves but are lousy at teaching others how to do it. Just because you can do something yourself doesn't necessarily mean you can teach it well. Some people possess the skill to mentor...and others don't.
On the other hand, some teach real estate investing when, they haven't been successful investing themselves. That's where the phrase ,"those who can't do, teach" comes from. These people are perhaps the most destructive because they may teach well, but what they are teaching is inaccurate. Unfortunately, the least competent coaches are also usually the least expensive and since many budding real estate investors are on a tight budget, sometimes they go with the lowest priced option. This is one thing you don't want to go cheap on because you can't learn to be rich from a broke person. If you pick the right coach, the cost will be money well spent anyway. So avoid going with the least expensive option, only work with the best and make sure the coach you choose is far more successful at investing than you are.
If you want to be a creative investor, you need to also make sure the coach is successful nationwide, and has a track record for mentoring students to success on a nationwide basis.
# 3 - What's the Coach's Real Motivation to Help You?
This is a huge mistake many people make when choosing a real estate investing mentor, They do not think through the real motivation of coach. Some beginners unrealistically assume they are going to find an extremely successful coach who, out of the goodness of his/her heart, is going to show them how to be incredibly successful. But mentoring someone to real estate investing success is a long term, ongoing, patient and persistent process. The mentor must have substantial motivation to work with you; and thinking that the mentor wants to help you simply because they like you, is downright incorrect. It doesn't work that way in the real world.
Here are some examples of the real motivation of some Birmingham real estate investing mentors:
- If you are traditional investing and you have an investor friendly real estate agent mentoring you, the agent's true motivation is for you to buy real estate. That's how they get paid, when you buy. But sometimes the best decision of all is to not buy the property. If you don't buy the property though, your agent doesn't get paid a commission. When in doubt, the advice of a real estate agent is going to be for you to buy the property because that is how they get paid.
- If you are traditional investing and you find a local real estate investing mentor that says he/she will teach you by doing a deal with you and all you have to do is bring the money, beware! That's what got me and my friend in trouble when I first got started. Well, my friend brought the cash, but I was broke so I brought my credit, which is very similar. If a local mentor is truly successful, he/she doesn't need your money to fund a deal or your credit to finance a purchase.
- Whether creative or traditional, sometimes a real estate investing mentor will charge you an upfront fee to be your mentor. Although this arrangement usually works very well, be aware that, depending on how this is set up, you can inadvertently provide the mentor all the motivation to help you in full upfront. What motivation do they have down the road to help you when you get confused? If they have already been paid all of their money, you may have inadvertently removed all of their motivation to help you. It would be like paying a home remodeler their entire bill before them initiating any work. Most people would never agree to those terms with a home remodeler. Instead, they may pay the home remodeler some of their total bill upfront for materials and to get the work started, then they may pay some progress payments as work is completed until the entire job is completed.
Best Way to Structure Your Relationship with Your Birmingham Real Estate Coach
The best way to structure your association with your real estate mentor is to create mutually aligned incentives by splitting in the profits fifty-fifty so that when you make money, the mentor earns money. That way, when you win, your mentor succeeds too. And perhaps just as important, if a deal is falling apart, your coach stands to miss out that money too so they are motivated to help put the deal back together. That's how our company works. We coach creative real estate investing across this country by splitting the profits fifty fifty with the people we mentor to ensure success is achieved. To learn more, check out our Apprentice Program or call us at 205-675-3032. If you're interested in mastering creative real estate investing, we could be your Birmingham real estate coach. But we're a small, close-knit group so we only have a limited number of openings, we choose not to oversaturate any one area and we choose to only mentor those who are 100% committed to becoming successful creative real estate investors. So, unfortunately, we don't accept every person that applies. But, whether or not we are able to work together, hopefully now, after reading this article, you can make a much more informed decision when searching for a Birmingham real estate coach and mentor.