5 Things to Look for in a Commercial Real Estate Mentor

5 Things to Look for in a Commercial Real Estate Mentor

Are you looking for a commercial real estate mentor? I was mentored in commercial real estate by the top minds in this business, and it made all the difference in the world, getting me to where I am today. I wanted to work with someone with experience who could show me the ropes and guide me; someone with gray hair and scars, so I could reach my goals safely and as quickly as possible. In this post you'll discover 5 things every fledgling commercial real estate investor should look for in a mentor so that you can safely fast track your path to success and financial freedom.


When I started out investing in commercial real estate, I had several goals:

  1. Obtain financial freedom.
  2. Do several deals and own multiple properties. If you want to do just one deal, that's fine. Hire a top real estate agent, get a property manager, get a lender and go for it, one-and done. However, for me, and perhaps for you, I wanted to do more.
  3. Create generational wealth for my family.
  4. Have options such as working less hours, leave my job and invest in commercial real estate full time, or have financial security if my job hours were reduced giving me options for my future.

To achieve this, I needed to learn commercial real estate and I wanted to avoid learning all the expensive and time consuming lessons the hard way. So I sought out the right commercial real estate mentor to guide me. And I ended up working with some of the leading commercial real estate mentors of that era. Now more than twenty years later, having become a mentor myself, I want to share with you 5 things to look for in a commercial real estate mentor.


#1: National Experience

There are 3 reasons why it’s important your commercial real estate mentor has national experience (and not just experience in one specific location).

Reason # 1 - Perspective: When you have national experience, your perspective is different because you're able to track what's happening in other markets across the country. This enables you to follow the prosperity trends so that you don’t miss out on opportunities. If you don't have that national perspective, missed opportunities will be the result.

Reason # 2 - Secondary Markets: If you live in a prosperous city or expensive area in a big city, deals with good cash flow and good returns are hard to come by. However, when you have a national perspective, you're able to keep track of where the greener grass is, and that greener grass can be found in the secondary markets.

You probably don't want to do a deal in an expensive market and buy at a 3% or 5% cap rate. However, the secondary markets that are around this market are just as good. By having a national perspective on where the prosperity trends are, you can find the most prominent secondary markets. This will give you a higher return on investment.

Reason # 3 - Broaden Your Horizons: Dealing nationwide will broaden your horizon and help you get the complete picture. Having the complete picture on something gives you understanding which makes the decision-making process easier.

So, when you have a mentor with national experience; your perspective is a different than a local person, you know where the greener grass is in secondary markets with a high ROI, and you can broaden your horizon and get the complete picture. As a result you're going to get the best deals.


#2: Gray Hairs

Does the commercial mentor you're looking to work with have the gray hairs that can only come with experience? Have they successfully navigated several market collapses? Have they seen twenty plus years of ups and downs? This is important because commercial real estate is cyclical with an up cycle, a sideways cycle, and then you have the down cycle. You need to know what to do, when to do it and how to do it in each of those cycles. Learning how to do that over twenty plus years enables you to maximize all of the opportunities to be had.

One of my mentors said, "Don't go into business with someone without a limp." What he means is you need to have a mentor that has gone through adversity and not only survived but thrived from it. No one who is successful escapes adversity. Without exception, you will face unprecedented times at some point in your life, and you will be thankful for the gray-haired mentor.


#3: Proven Teacher

There are many successful commercial real estate investors out there. Most of those commercial tycoons are not good teachers. They would rather be boating, golfing or acquiring more properties rather than teaching some newbie the ropes. And there's nothing wrong with that. Most people do not have the gift of teaching AND the gift of being highly successful in commerce.

I personally have been wired differently. I get great satisfaction from helping others buy their first 20-unit apartment building. Yes, I continue to acquire more properties even though I am financially free, but I get even more gratification from helping someone else do it.

What's a proven teacher look like?

  • They have the patience, skills, and passion to get across what they're trying to teach, making sure you understand it.
  • They have a servant's heart when teaching. The definition of a servant's heart is they believe that it is more blessed to give than to receive. How do you know they're like that? It shows in their teaching.
  • Proof of good teaching in action.

What is proof of good teaching in action? I'll give you a great example. We have the number one rated YouTube channel on commercial real estate investing. We have over 32 million views on our teaching alone. So, having a proven teacher is extremely important.


#4: Mentor with Tools and Resources

Mentoring is more than just telling someone what to do. Imagine having the best YouTube channel or book in the world, but not having the tools to get the job done. It is pretty much worthless in terms of getting the results you want. However, if your mentor can provide great advice plus leadership and practical tools and resources, the result is going to be life-impacting. That's what we're after. So, make sure your mentor has all the tools and resources needed for you to implement what you learn.


#5: A Mentor Who is Financially Incentivized

Are the mentor and mentee working together to make money together? If that's the case, you can expect the relationship to be sustainable and you will experience consistent long-term mentorship. If you are a beginner investor, this is the key to your success. You need to have a relationship that's sustainable and consistent long-term because commercial real estate is not a get-rich-quick practice. It’s long-term, which means you can be in it for a while before you see the results, and the results are worth waiting for.

Many professionals out there charge a one-time consulting fee and then you're done, which is not optimal. Instead, this is how we work. We share net profits with you 50/50 so that when you make money, we make money. It's a win-win. With this arrangement we are mutually aligned, meaning that we both have skin in the game. And as you know when you have skin in the game there's commitment. Being financially incentivized together to make money is important because it produces more cashflow and profit per deal. We've been doing this for a long time, and it works fabulously well.


5 Things to Look for in a Commercial Real Estate Mentor

  1. They need to have national experience.
  2. They need a few gray hairs.
  3. They need to be a proven teacher.
  4. They need the tools and resources for you to be successful.
  5. They need to be financially incentivized to help you close good deals.


Become My Next Protege

If you would like to apply to our Protege Program to be mentored by us, please apply here. Because we are a small company, we are very selective on who we choose. Unfortunately, we can't mentor nearly as many as apply, so if you don't get in the first time, keep trying because I don't know of any other company like ours.  So, don't get discouraged and keep on trying. Apply below now:

Protege Program Application


  1. Patrice White says:

    I have been watching your tutorials on commercial real estate investing. You are an excellent teacher and the advice has been priceless. I look forward to more of these priceless tutorials. I would like to invest in commercial real estate, however due to a previous investment in a tax lien company, my cash flow is down to a minimum. However, I eagerly look forward to get into this as soon as possible. I previously owned a 4 unit, but being a newbie, I made all the mistakes and then 2008 hit. So much for that. Patrice

  2. Reynaldo says:

    Wanted to see if I was on your email list

  3. Hosea Green says:

    Hello…My name is Hosea Green and I desperately want to get started in real estate investing.
    I have read countless books….I have read ALL of your books and still haven’t invested in one property. I am ready to get started.

  4. I have not been receiving any emails from you recently. Hopefully I am still on your mailing list. You will be my first choice as a mentor when I am ready to purchase commercial real estate. I find you to be most knowledgeable and it’s an honor to be associated with you. I do thank you. Please continue to send me emails. And I watch your videos all the time. It’s just I’m one of those guys, it takes a longer time to learn.

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