find a mentor
 

Mentors can play a huge role in your life. I’ve had a number of mentors, Jaren has too. I think anybody who has gotten anywhere has probably had SOME kind of mentor in their life… whether it’s a live, one-on-one coach, or even a person they follow along in a virtual format like a blog, podcast, or youtube channel.

Undoubtedly, having a one-on-one mentor can take you much further, because you can ask direct questions about real-time situations you’re dealing with. That direct communication can be worth a lot, maybe even priceless in some cases.

Without the ability to tag along with someone who knows more than you, it’s usually going to be a longer, harder road to success, with a lot more mistakes made along the way.

…so how do you find someone who is miles ahead of you, and more importantly, how can you get them to give you the time of day? That’s what we’re talking about in this session.

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Episode 73 Transcription

Seth: Hey, everybody. What’s going on? This is Seth Williams and Jaren Barnes, and you’re listening to the REtipster podcast. Today is episode number 73 and Jaren and I are going to share some ideas back and forth about the subject of what it takes to land a real estate mentor. First of all, how important it is. But second of all, and more importantly, I think, how do you actually find somebody who is willing to take you on and make room for you in their lives and in their businesses?

I think mentors can play a huge role in your life and in your career. And I know I’ve had a number of different mentors. I know Jaren you’ve had some mentors too, right?

Jaren: Yes.

Seth: I think anybody who’s gotten anywhere with anything can probably point to some kind of mentor in their life or career, whether it’s like one on one coach or even a person that they’ve been following in a virtual format, like a blog or podcast or YouTube channel. Having somebody who has already gotten to where you want to go and they can help you along either giving like little tidbits of wisdom, in a blog or podcast format, or really answering direct personal one-on-one questions in a live coaching scenario. It’s just really important to find those people who can help bring it to the next level.

Obviously, this is a very important thing, but how do you get these people to give you the time of day? I mean, more than likely anybody who you would want to have as your mentor already has a very busy life with a lot of things on their plate. And especially if they don’t even know you, how can you get their attention and make them seriously consider taking you on as their little project?

And I think maybe part of the problem people have is in the way I just framed it there. It’s that it’s not necessarily about you being their project, but it’s more about going the other way, where you find ways to add abundant value to somebody’s life. And not even just that, but not making them work for it. Not showing up and saying, “Hey, how can I add value to you or give me a job to do?” That whole approach is the wrong way to go about it. And anyway, Jaren and I are going to dive into that a little bit more and sort of dissect and pull apart this whole process and what is the right and wrong way to do it.

Jaren: Yeah, man. I’m really excited to go into this topic because I know from doing keyword research and my time at BiggerPockets and all the other things that I’ve done in the past, I know that this is one of the very first pieces of advice that people get when they get started in real estate is go find a mentor. But there is not a lot of content out there related to the practical side of how do you actually do it.

I’m excited that we’re going to be able to take time to really hopefully hit the nail on the head. I’m sharing everything in here that has worked for me in the past. I think that the real 80/20 of it all is “Don’t go into this with a selfish intent”. Me and Seth always get emails on a weekly basis from people who are just like, “Hey, will you do this for me?” And they have no idea who we are. We don’t have any relationship. We get emails like that every week. And for me, at least I don’t even take the time to respond to them because I have no relational context for them to ask me if something, and I just don’t have time to respond to all the inquiries that I get.

I have an outline here. Kind of like a step by step process, but before we dive into it, it’s about five steps in total. I want to just kind of throw the cat out of the bag and say, you don’t even have to do this, if you were to go and find somebody who is doing what you want to do and you go work for them. That has been my biggest key to getting mentors in my life.

Like I consider Seth my mentor and I work full time for REtipster. I mean, I’ve learned so much working here and have really been taught the “secrets of the industry” because it’s advantageous for him to help me perform optimally because that’s his return on paying my salary. Even that Simple Wholesaling, when I was working for a large real estate wholesale operation based in Indianapolis, that was the same thing. I was getting paid to get taught how to find deals, how to sell deals, how to underwrite deals. And instead of me having to pay for mentorship or me create this huge, weird agreement with somebody who is very busy and more successful and doesn’t really have any real incentive to spend time with me, I kind of flipped it on its head. And I went and worked for them, solve their needs, helped grow their business and in exchange, I learned on the way.

So, I think that from an 80/20 standpoint, that is one a tip for you guys that if you really want to, if you’re young. And not everybody can go and work for a real estate investor, but maybe you can, if you have obligations at work or you have to make sure that you keep your day job, maybe work for him part-time or on the side. Or maybe don’t take a salary from them, but go in and say, “Hey, I’m going to go find deals and then pay me out of the deal”. And that’ll give you a very similar situation.

Seth: Yeah. Maybe we should take a step back here and first define what we even mean when we’re talking about a mentor. Because in a way, when I think of a mentor that sort of by default means that the person being mentored is going to work for the mentor in some way. Although that is certainly not how it has to work. That is like one scenario though. I think maybe what other people have in mind is “No, I’m going to actually pay this mentor money”. Like I’m going to pay them some sum of cash either one time or on an ongoing basis. And in return, they will show me how to do everything. They will give me the time of day, that way. Or maybe another scenario would be maybe the mentee is just assuming they can get it for free for some reason. I don’t know. I mean, maybe it depends on the two individuals involved.

Jaren: I was just going to say a joke. Like, yeah, I’m just dashingly handsome. So, this super ultra-successful entrepreneur needs to spend time with me because I got a twinkle in my eye.

Seth: Obviously, the only reason why anybody would consider that. Maybe you should explain what you mean Jaren or what comes to your mind when you say a mentor. Paint the picture what that looks like.

Jaren: Yeah. So, I think even if I were to take a step back from there and identify it for the realistic context of you go on BiggerPockets, you read the blog articles and you listen to the real estate podcasts out there and everyone says, “Get a mentor, get a mentor”. What I think that a mentor is in that context is somebody who can take you under their wing and show you the ropes of a particular type of real estate strategy. I think somebody has to get very clear on what they want out of real estate, what their strategy is going to be.

Because if you don’t have that clarity, then you don’t know what kind of mentor you need to target as your potential mentor. Like if I am only interested in buying hold real estate, I have no business trying to pursue a relationship with a fix and flipper. I mean, it just doesn’t make sense and vice versa. So, getting really clear on what you want and what strategy is going to be. Your strategy is a really important thing. But yeah, I think that to summarize it, it’s finding somebody who’s doing what you want to do successfully. And then having, figuring out a way to convince them, to take you on, to teach you everything they know.

Seth: What are the different reasons why a person would be willing or able to be a mentor to somebody else? What is in it for them? There are obviously the people who literally make money from being mentors. So, there’s that. Like, you pay me cash and I’ll do it. Or there’s you somehow make my life easier in some way. Like maybe you teach me something that I don’t know and then I’ll teach you something that you don’t know. That kind of exchange. Or maybe there’s the situation where, “Hey, you are coming to work for my business. So, I’ll teach you how to do this”. And then you sort of act like either as an unpaid intern or an employee, like you were talking about earlier Jaren.

So, there’s like the employment or internships scenario. And in both of those cases, the only reason that would happen is that the mentor stands to gain from the activities with the person they’re mentoring. Is there anything I’m missing? Any other situations where a mentor would exist for some reason?

Jaren: I think there’s one more, but I think it’s a little bit of a pipe dream. I hear thrown around sometimes this idea that the successful mentor for whatever reason is just going to be like “I’ve arrived in life. And so, it’s my moral obligation to give it on to the next person”. But I don’t think that’s pretty normal. That for me, legacy and having an impact is something that motivates me. But if I was still active in my land business, I don’t have the capacity without either getting paid as a land coach, through the Land Masterclass Coaching Program we have here at REtipster, or through us actually doing deals together, if I could justify doing it. And I think most people are in that situation.

Seth: Yeah. It does seem like kind of a very rare situation where that would happen just because there has to be some kind of chemistry or some sort of motivation beyond just to be a nice kind of thing. Especially for somebody who really knows their stuff. They would theoretically have hundreds of people knocking down their door for free help like that. So, I don’t know what would motivate them to pick one over the other.

Yeah. So anyway, sort of a line that you were going down, Jaren, sounds like the first step is to know very clearly what your intent is. Like what kind of real estate or business you want to get into, like have no confusion about that because once you know that, then you can really go on to the next step of knowing who you are even looking for, what kind of person might be able to help you.

And in terms of where you go to start finding those people, there are probably a bunch of different ways. Maybe you already have a specific person in your life who knows that, but if you don’t know anybody, a pretty natural place to go would be any kind of a local real estate investor meetup, or a social media group or a forum. For example, the REtipster Facebook group might be one place, BiggerPockets forum, that kind of thing.

I know back when I wasn’t really looking for a mentor necessarily, but back when I was starting retipster.com, it was actually a really good place to mentor others. And I use that term very loosely because it wasn’t any kind of like a one on one coaching thing or anything like that. But I was just looking for people to help so that I could kind of make a name for myself and just show the world that, “Hey, I have something to bring to the table. I kind of know what I’m talking about here”.

And I remember spending just hours on that forum looking for people who are asking questions that I knew how to speak to and not just given like one-sentence responses, but like really getting into it. So that by the time somebody got at the end of that little forum response I left, they were like, “Whoa, that was really helpful”. So on the flip side, if you want to be a mentor for some reason, or if you’re looking for help or if you do want to build a brand or make a name for yourself, that can also be a good reason to hang out in the same places where somebody might be looking for a mentor.

Jaren: Yeah. I do want to say too like a blog or a content channel, like retipser.com like BiggerPockets can definitely be kind of a virtual mentor. And I still think that there’s something special about a one on one relationship, but if for whatever reason you can’t find that, don’t let that hinder you from growing and taking action. I think a lot of people get hung up on that where they’re like, “I need a mentor. And if I just get this one mentor, then my whole life will change and everything will work”. And the reality is at least for me, I feel like the road to success is kind of a lonely one the majority of the time. And as amazing as people can be, there’s something inside all of us that is a little selfish or a little self-serving. So, most people that are out there in the world, unless it’s a mutually beneficial thing, they just won’t have an interest in it.

And so, when you’re young and you’re fresh trying to get into the real estate game and you have no experience and all of that, it can be tough to find somebody who’s going to give you the time of day. And that’s just reality. So, if you really want to make this thing happen, don’t let not having a mentor stop you. Learn books, listen to podcasts, read blog articles, watch videos, and get after it, man, because really at the end of the day, the only person that is responsible for your success is you.

Seth: Yeah. Well, because I know there’ve been a lot of times in my life with different things I’ve tried to pursue where I really could have benefited from having a mentor, but I didn’t get one. I just kind of went it alone. And was it a harder road? Yeah, probably. I think I messed more things up and it took me longer, but I was still able to get somewhere with it. And I think to me, what that says is that while a mentor can be helpful, it’s all for nothing if you don’t know how to move and take action and actually do something.

There’s a lot of people that are similar to the mindset of like, “Hey, if I just buy this course or something, that’s going to somehow make it work”. And it’s like, not really. It’s just a multiplier of the action you end up taking. So, it’s important to I think before you even think about wasting a mentor’s time or even paying them for their help, you almost might want to prove to yourself that you’re somebody who knows how to take action. Like, do something to prove to yourself really just that you’re willing to move when you actually have all the information. If that means trying a direct mail campaign, just anything like that, that requires some kind of movement. Just give it a shot.

Jaren: And when you have a potential mentor in place, that’s something that they’re going to want to look for. That you’re a self-starter, that you’re an action taker because they’re really busy and they don’t have time to waste on a charity case, unfortunately, as harsh as that sounds. But if you don’t have something that you’re bringing to the table and something that could be again, mutually beneficial for their side of the equation, they just can’t afford to take the risk or the chance on you.

Because a lot of people don’t realize, but especially I think when you get into business or you get into things that are successful or what have you, maybe they understand what it takes to run a business. But on the opposite end, when you haven’t been in business or you haven’t been in a startup environment where you have to put in a lot of effort and really grow something, there’s almost this like, “Well, why wouldn’t you? I mean, you’re super-rich and super successful. Why wouldn’t you help me? I’m I want to get to where you’re at”. And they don’t understand that in order to sustain success, you have a lot of responsibilities every single day that you’re maintaining.

So, it’s not that simple. I’m a perfect example. I promise you. If all things are being equal, I didn’t have to worry about money, I’d be like coaching people for free. I’d be doing all kinds of fun stuff, but I don’t have that capacity. I have mouths to feed and I have people who rely on me to make sure that our needs are met. So, don’t put that expectation going into this, that people owe you anything because they don’t. They really don’t.

Seth: Yeah. That’s a great point.

Jaren: Again, a real estate investor, meetup groups or social media groups or your local REIA group, those would be a great place to start. I know that on social media there are some incredible active communities on any topic in real estate on Facebook, LinkedIn, you name it. So, we live in an era where you can really connect at scale if you know where to look.

So again, getting very clear on what you want to do is a crucial piece because that’ll speak to what groups you go hang out at and so on and so forth. After you’ve gotten involved in those groups, you want to identify a few key people who are experienced and successful at doing your desired strategy and then try and identify where they may have problems or pain points. So this is going to take some time and some relationship to figure out, because you can’t just like, I mean, imagine if you were on a date on the first time with a girl and you’re like, “Hey, what’s the major problem you have in your life right now?” That’d be so creepy, right? You definitely cannot do that. It would be really weird. In a similar fashion, if you’re going to approach somebody who’s ultra-successful and they don’t know you from Adam, good luck being like, “Hey, blah, blah, blah”. They’re going to know what you’re trying to do and it’s going to creep them out.

So I would definitely have a long in approach to this thing and just show up to where they show up, try to create organic opportunities for them to get to know you, whether it’s like even if you were to go up to a real estate meetup group and they have that section of the meeting where people can pitch deals and stuff, I should try to figure out a way to get up there and have something to say like, “Hey, I’m really looking to get started in X strategy. And I have a lot of time on my hands, but no experience. So, if there was somebody here who could use some free labor, I’d love to handle acquisition calls for you or do admin stuff, whatever. I’m just really hungry and looking to get started”. Even if you were to do that, that could be a huge eye-opener. Because a lot of people, busy people, they have problems and they need help. So, anything that you can do to help make yourself stand out.

Seth: Kyle Marcotte in episode 64, we talked at length about how he was able to find opportunities to add value to the guy that was putting together their local meetup. And I just thought it was a brilliant approach. When I heard it, it was almost like, “Duh?” Like why doesn’t everybody do this? But for some reason, it just doesn’t come naturally to people, including me. And when I heard the way he explained it, it was like, “Man, that’s really smart”. So, retipster.com/64 if you want to hear that conversation and we’ll link to it in the show notes for this too.

But I think the less work in thought you can require a person to do in order for you to help them is huge. I cannot tell you how many emails and messages I’ve gotten over the years from people just saying like, “Hey, what can I do for you? Or how can I add value or something like that?” And I totally get it. It’s like a very nice gesture and all that, but make no mistake, you’re making a person work when you just like, “Hey, put together a big list of stuff I can do” when I don’t know anything about this person. I don’t know what their skills are. I don’t know what their experience is. And whatever the situation is, it’s probably going to require tons of time for me to teach them how to do it. So, there’s a huge cost in barrier for me to saying yes to them. But if a person can show up and be like, “Look, I’ve got to experience doing this task with this person. Here’s the success I’ve had. Here’s how I can do it for you. Just give me the keys and I’ll go to work”. Like, make it super easy to get from point A to point B without requiring that prospective mentor to do a whole lot of stuff. I think that’ll really make it easier for you to get where you want to go with that person.

Jaren: Yeah. And I think some 80/20 skill sets, a lot of people always need help with marketing. So, if you learn Facebook ads, for example, that’s an easy win. If you can handle the motivated seller calls, that’s an easy win. And if you can handle spreadsheet stuff from on the duty on the acquisition side, like scrubbing lists and doing due diligence or doing door knocking or phone calls, there’s a lot of menial tasks related to getting deals. And I think that is a huge avenue for you to just like pick up a skill that would immediately grab the attention of a mentor. I think a big principle here is don’t just show up empty-handed. Like, please teach me your ways. That just doesn’t work. Figure out a way to have something to bring to the table before you even approach them.

Seth: Yeah. I can think of many examples where somebody basically wanted something for me. Like that was the ultimate goal of their reaching out to me and they eventually got it. But the way they did it was by… I didn’t hear about the thing they wanted until like weeks after we had been talking. The conversation has started more with like, “Hey, I noticed your website is going a little bit slower. I ran through this website Metric Tool and I see this problem. You can fix it if you just go over here and check this box. It’ll totally fix the problem.” Or like, “Hey, here’s how you can solve this issue”.

Basically, doing nothing but helping and making my life and business better without asking for anything back. So then by the time they actually did have an ask, it was like, “Yes, please tell me what I can do for you. You’ve been so helpful to me.” That is a masterful way to go about finding really anything that you want from somebody is just make it so that like, they’d be crazy not to help you because you’ve done so much for them already.

Jaren: Yeah, man. I want to mention in the Deal Finding Guide course, we have a whole section on networking and the power of networking, and a lot of the principles that we share there would be applicable here. So, if you haven’t checked out the Deal Finding Guide, it’s a really amazing course that me and Seth put together on the major avenues to find deals. And we walk you through step by step. One of the cool things that we kind of walk you through is how to do something called list stacking with your direct mail, where you actually take different data points. Like, let’s say people who are 55 and older and you stack that against people who are out of state, where you can find data like that. So, there are some really cool things in there, including a very helpful step by step guide on how to network for deals and you can apply those same principles to finding a mentor.

Seth: Totally.

Jaren: Once you identify the problems, just try to start solving them. Like Seth was saying, the most powerful way to get somebody who’s successful, to get their attention is by solving problems. Even if you have the right heart and you start asking, like he said, “Hey, how can I help you?” that doesn’t really help them. Figure out what their problem is, and then just start providing value. And then once you’ve added enough value, at that point, you could make it more formal. And Seth’s example with this guy that wanted something from him and just started adding a bunch of value and then eventually got a face to face conversation with them. That’s a perfect case study of what we’re saying here.

Because he added value and then Seth was at the point where he was so impressed with this guy, it was like a no brainer – “Yeah, let’s talk”. And if you at that point want to ask and say, “Hey man, I really need a mentor. I really like it. I feel like this has been mutually beneficial, correct me if I’m wrong, but I can add a ton more value if you just are open with what your needs are. And I’m very teachable, you can literally mold me into whatever it is that you need me to be. I just want to run with you and learn what you’re doing. Because I want to eventually do what you do.” And I think at that point you’ve established enough relationship added enough value where it would make sense for them to take you on.

Seth: Yeah. In a way I almost, I mean, this is probably not a big deal, but I almost might even steer away from using words like, “Hey man, I need a mentor.” Don’t even talk about your needs because the fact of the matter is if you’re really involved with somebody and if you’re really constantly adding value to what they’re doing by working in their business with them, you’re going to get that mentorship help just by nature of the fact that you’re doing that with them. It’s not a deal killer. I don’t think because sometimes it actually does help to just have clarity and just be straight-up – “Look, man, I hope I’ve helped you a lot. This is what I’m looking for.” Just be totally upfront about it. Some people will probably be cool with it, but in a way, there is a lot of mentoring help you’re inevitably going to get just through helping somebody.

Jaren: Yeah. I think maybe you could even use the words instead of a mentor to just say, “Hey, I want to work with you or I want to work for you.” Something like that.

Seth: Yeah.

Jaren: Yeah. I think that’s a good point.

Seth: There is actually somebody who has just started working with me like this past week, it’s very, very recent, but I’ve decided to take them on as an unpaid intern at their request. And the reason why I want to point this out is that this is not the first time somebody has asked me this. Usually, my automatic response is just like, “Sorry, I don’t know what to do or I don’t have any jobs for you right now.” Even if I do, the bigger problem is I don’t have time to teach you all this stuff. And I don’t have time to figure out if you even have the aptitude to do this job. Like it’s just too much. So, I just say no.

But the reason I said yes to this guy is that I’ve had a chance to talk to him a number of times. And he is like very clearly showed me that he’s a smart guy. He knows how to do stuff like this. I think he has a ton of potential. I don’t know this because he has asked me for anything or because I’ve worked with him in some capacity, he has just shown me this just in my interactions with him, just the way he thinks about problems and processes things and the kinds of questions he asks.

When I sort of realized just in my own head, that’s why I’m saying yes to this guy, because he has shown me that he’s smart. It makes me realize the importance of if you’re looking for a mentor, whether it be in an online forum or at a meetup or whatever, I think it’s important to realize that literally every word you say, every post you make, every interaction you have is a testament to your own intelligence and your aptitude and just the way you process everything. It speaks volumes about how driven you are, how you think, how you process problems, how you perceive opportunities.

I say this because I’ve seen a lot of people post things on BiggerPockets or whatever that are just like, frankly, not that smart of a thing to post. I would almost be embarrassed if I was them. I was like, “Dude, you just put a permanent record of how dumb you are out on the internet.” It’s important to realize that sometimes the only job interview a person needs is just to recollect the past interactions they’ve had with you. Like a person is going to know that you’re going to be good for the job, just because they’ve seen how you operate in your daily life.

I know when the opportunity to work with Jaren first came up, there was no interview really necessary because I just knew he was a good fit because we had talked so much. Not in a context of like, “Hey, maybe we’ll work together someday.” That wasn’t even on the table. But when the time came, like I just knew it. So, don’t overestimate the value of just being a wise person and displaying your intelligence to people. Think before you talk. Think before you act. Our reputation is always being built in everything you do. It’s important not to forget that. I think a lot of times people don’t even think that way until they actually do want to get a job or do something like this. And if you’re sort of always prepared for it, you’ll always be ready when the time comes up.

Jaren: I love it, man. I think that was the best piece of content I’ve ever been exposed to on this subject. So, I’m pretty excited to be a part of it. I’m reading a book right now. And one of the major principles out of it, it’s called the prosperous coach. It’s about business coaching. And one of the things that he said that was really good is that needy is creepy. And I thought that was awesome. Anytime that you approach anybody from the perspective of like, “Oh, I just need the sale or I just need to land this mentor and like, blah, blah, blah”. You’re completely obsessed and focused on your needs. It’s just not attractive psychologically to anybody.

Even if you are in that situation where you’re like, “Man, I’m hurting for money or whatever”, you’re going to turn people off if you’re aggressive and you try to close in the context of sales, like close the deal out of this space, this headspace of trying to make ends meet. You’re not going to be powerful. People, they’re going to be all kind of put off by you. In the same way, I just thought it was worth mentioning that when you’re approaching a mentor relationship, needy is creepy, man. Do not come into that thing with your hand out asking for something, begging for something. Show up with something to bring to the table.

Seth: Yeah, it makes me think of like in the human resources career job world, 99% of the time when a person wants a job, the way that happens is the company puts out a job listing and then a bunch of people will go and put their name in the hat just to possibly get that job. It’s much less common for it to go the other way around where the company finds a person and says, “Hey, we want that person. Nobody else. They’re the only person that can make this work. Or we feel they are the best person for the job.” It happens. But it only happens in the highest levels of any industry.

For example, when a major league team wants to pursue a single player because they’re the best. That’s a very different thing than when there are a hundred prospective players that want to play for that one team. I think about what happens there? Like why is that happening? Where the company is going out of their way to track down that one person? What is it that they did that made them worthy of that kind of attention? It’s probably because in the past, they’ve displayed many, many, many times over how good they are at their thing. So that companies are just like begging for them to come and play for them or work for them.

And in the same way, it’s like when you’re looking for a mentor, it’s just a huge paradigm shift. Not that this is like a common thing that you can expect this, but almost live your life and work your career in such a way that you have so many things to back you up in terms of your credibility. You have so many deals or projects or whatever to be proud of that all you have to do is show this stuff, show you your portfolio of experience to somebody. And it doesn’t take them long to be like, “Whoa, this person is somebody worth knowing. And this person is somebody worth giving my time to.”

I know I’ve come across people like that. There is one guy that comes to mind immediately. I remember the first time he reached out to me, it was about joining the land course. I didn’t know who he was. I had never heard of him before. And it was probably like six or eight months later I found out he’s like a huge, huge YouTuber with millions of subscribers to his channel. Again, he makes amazing videos. This whole time I didn’t even know it. And as soon as I found that out, it just like totally changed everything. It’s like this isn’t just another random person. This guy is like, he has something that I would love to get to where he is. It has nothing to do with real estate. It’s just something totally different that I really look up to. And if there’s anything in your life you can do, even if it’s not related to real estate, if you’ve got anything that you can really be proud of or really build up your credibility, I think all of that stuff has a lot of potential. So, I wouldn’t overlook that either.

Jaren: Yeah. I think that’s right on the head. The last thing that I mentioned, I think we kind of beat the dead horse a little bit on it, it’s really important to make sure that you have an existing relationship with the person that you’re pursuing. We’re wired for relationship and the more you know about somebody, the more value you place on them. And so, if you want to get kind of high-profile people in whatever space you’re in, whether it’s real estate or whatever, if you want to get their attention, you got to figure out ways to get to know them.

Seth: There was a sales guy that I knew back in my job, who I don’t know if he had some kind of a reminder system set up or if he just was thinking about this all the time, but he made a regular practice of reaching out to his several hundred contacts on an ongoing basis with things that had nothing to do with sales, that had nothing to do with the product. It was literally just building and maintaining relationships. Like, “Hey, so, and so. I saw this article and I thought of you because of this.” Not a candy email, but something that very clearly showed you were in my thoughts for a very specific reason.

And this is why I think you would also find this interesting, just stuff like that. Or even like, “Hey, how are your kids doing at this place that I remember about you?” Just showing, “Look, you hold a place in my heart. You’re not just a number on a sheet to me. You’re like an actual person and I care about you and I think about you and that kind of thing.” Not in a creepy way, of course, but yeah, just, I think all that stuff can go a long way just in sort of a building the relationship before you have to. When you sort of set this foundation in place, it makes it much easier to ask for anything really in the future. It doesn’t mean you’re going to get it, but it’s a totally different ball game than just a cold call first point of contact – “Hey, can you do this for me?” That kind of thing.

Jaren: Yeah. The book I’m reading about actually talks in length about that and the importance of that. Because he actually gave an example in the book about somebody who his like top of funnel opt-in thing is to actually give a two-hour coaching session for free and really go in-depth and really coach them as if they were his client just to get kind of a show and tell method of selling a services. And so, he did a coaching session with this lady and it was really impactful, but it was clear she didn’t really need to continue coaching after that. But he didn’t just blow her off. He stayed in contact with her for like a year and a half. He would be like, “Hey, this article made me think about you.” Or all he did was just add value. And a year and a half later, he had an idea of a particular type of coaching program that would be really beneficial to her. And so, he reached out to her and said, “Hey, I’m thinking about putting this thing together. This would be something that interests you.” And then she was like, “Yes!” And she signed up for coaching after a year and a half.

And a lot of methodology of sales and marketing does not have that kind of intentional follow-up. Most people would take that situation and said, “Well, that was a waste of two hours. I’m onto the next one.” And this guy’s approach, because I guess his premise is that the coaching business is super relational in nature, that everything from your marketing and your sales has to be all about relationship, no strings attached. Just total relationship.

Seth: Yeah. Yeah, actually, I’m doing like a coaching swap with somebody right now where somebody wants to learn the land business and they actually have a lot to offer me in terms of how to run a website, how to build an email list, how to brand yourself, how to do this and that. They’ve very clearly displayed to me what they know and what they can help me with to the point where the idea of me expecting money from them or anything else is like out of the question. Like they’ve already way over-delivered and helped me out a lot. Like I’m at their disposal now. Like I want to help them.

Yeah, I think that kind of relationship stuff can go a long way, especially when it’s like a give and take back and forth thing. Sometimes it’s not always clear, what do you have to offer somebody else? You may not even know that, but if there is anything like that, and I think the only way you can ever really know is by just being aware of that as even a possibility. And then maybe even reaching out to somebody and saying, “Hey, I know how to help you with this because of this. Here are my proven results right there. I can help you with this now.” Just see how they respond to that. Maybe they don’t care, but maybe it means a lot to them.

Jaren: Yeah. Awesome, man.

Seth: Well, if you want to check out the show notes for this episode, you can find them at retipster.com/73. That’s 7-3 and you’ll find links and transcription of this entire thing if you want to read it again instead of listening to it. Anything else we want to cover on the subject Jaren or did we pretty much hit it all?

Jaren: I think we hit it all. I think we’re ready for our weird quirky question of the week.

Seth: Awesome. I’m looking forward to this. So, if you could wake up every morning, open your bedroom blinds, and look out at a huge glass window at the perfect view, what would that view be?

Jaren: Yeah, for me, it’s real easy, man.

Seth: Gary, Indiana?

Jaren: No, definitely not Gary, Indiana. That’s funny. For those who don’t know Gary, Indiana, it’s probably the armpit of America.

Seth: I think that is like literally the dirtiest city in America, I think. Or it’s up there.

Jaren: Yeah. It’s at least ranked. It’s pretty intense, unfortunately. But there’s a lot of people who are trying to turn it around. So hopefully it does turn around. But for me, it would be somewhere tropical, somewhere on the water. I think of sandy beaches and ocean view, but not like cold, not like overcast, but kind of more like a Florida type or Puerto Rico or Hawaii kind of type scenery. I would say though, I think if Savannah, Georgia so far has been my favorite place that I’ve ever visited. And so, Tybee Island is a little island off of Savannah. I think I could definitely make that work. Waking up and… That’d be awesome.

Seth: Yeah. That would be pretty sweet. Yeah, for me if it’s in the summer months, I think any home on Lake Michigan would be pretty awesome. It’s just a beautiful view in the summer months again, let me reiterate that. There is another place that comes to mind for some reason. So, I was on a cruise a number of years ago and we stopped at this tiny island in the Caribbean called Dominica. I don’t know that I’d ever actually want to live on the island, but I got to tell you the view on that island it was amazing. It’s a big volcanic island. So, it’s kind of like a mountain that just comes out of the ocean and you can drive up to the top of it. And man, when you’re up there, it’s just a breathtaking view. So that would be pretty cool too just in terms of the view.

Jaren: Yeah, man. Going back to Gary Indiana for a minute. There is this little oasis in Gary that butts up right up against Lake Michigan. And you can have lakefront property. Gorgeous, amazing views of the whole nine yards for dirt shit. We are talking like lakefront property for like $250,000. Maybe if you’re looking for a deal like $200,000. On the high end, you’re probably thinking like, you’re looking at like maybe $350,000. Because right next to it, it butts up against the Indiana dunes, which a lot of people don’t realize, but there’s like this whole stretch of sand dunes north of Indiana, which is crazy. Because nobody thinks, they think of the Midwest.

But for people who’ve never been to the Great Lakes, when I was in California and growing up as a kid, I pictured a lake as what people in the Midwest call a pond. What people call lakes around here is like their oceans that are freshwater. Like they’re straight up huge bodies of water. And Lake Michigan is straight up an ocean. Like in Chicago and there’s elements of like a beach culture actually in the summertime because you actually have a sandy beach to go to. It doesn’t have huge waves. That’s probably the biggest distinction between at least the Pacific coast is that is the wave size, but it’s still like swimming…

Seth: You can straight up surf if you want. But I think the waves are a little bit smaller, but it’s pretty much the same thing except the water is not salt water. It’s freshwater. So, if you get some of your mouth, it’s not disgusting where you’re retch all over the place.

Jaren: Well, unless it’s like maybe the Chicago beaches… I don’t know if I’d be drinking. But yeah, man, it is interesting. I’ve actually thought about that little stretch and are there some spots in the dunes that are pretty affordable too? There’s not much development there, which I think is a shame. There’s not cool little coffee shops and restaurants and stuff. At least right now. But there’s a big development opportunity for sure there.

Seth: Yeah. I think it was back in like, I don’t know what era it was. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, that time, for whatever reason, nobody seemed to understand the value of waterfront property. It was commonplace to not put homes on the lakeshore or next to a river, but just straight up factories, like smokestacks and stuff. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, back in the early 1900s, it was just all nasty factories, just smokestacks everywhere. Like that was downtown Grand Rapids right on the water. And now all of this stuff had been torn down and it’s like the highest price stuff in the city really. And for whatever reason, I don’t know why they didn’t get that, but they’re slowly starting to move on. I feel like Gary, Indiana, maybe that was what happened there. They built a bunch of factories right on the water and for whatever reason, they are still there. And maybe it’s because they just have so much investment tied up in those factories or something.

Jaren: There are tons of them. Even if you go up to Whiting, Indiana, there’s this really cool little beach there. But if you turn right, you literally see a factory and then there are tons of them as you go into the Indiana dunes, like little ones. They’re ugly too, man.

Seth: It’s just an eyesore.

Jaren: They are just ugly. It’s like this crystal beautiful view and then you just see this ugly… And a lot of them are rested and like they’re not painted well. It’s just terrible. Absolutely terrible.

Seth: Yeah, that’s too bad. Maybe next century they’ll figure that out and do something different there.

Jaren: I’m sure.

Seth: Well, I hope everybody out there is doing really well. I hope life is going well for you. I hope you enjoyed this episode and get something out of our ramblings. If you guys want to step it in and what we got going on, feel free to text the word FREE. F-R-E-E to the number 33777. And that’s a good way to follow along with what we got going on with retipster.com. So, thanks, everybody. We’ll talk to you next time.

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About the author

Seth Williams is a land investor with hundreds of closed transactions and nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real-world guidance for part-time real estate investors.

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