Chicago sometimes feels lonely. It’s a big city and I find it hard to connect with the right people sometimes. Sure, there’s the woman at the bagel shop who greets me politely in the mornings, and I have a handful of acquaintances in my neighborhood who are always up for a dinner party, but it can still be a challenge to get to know people. Not all that long ago, my corporate gig was pretty much stalled and I was feeling a little adrift. I was wanting more—both personally and financially. That’s why I started investing in Chicago real estate. But after a few bumps and bruises, and some difficulty making real connections, I decided that I needed a real estate mentor. Let me share what I discovered so that you don’t have to travel the same path.
Finding a Real Estate Mentor in Chicago
I have been around this city and can tell you that there are a lot of options. Just a quick Google search will put you in touch with several local real estate investment groups. If you are looking for acquaintances or friends to banter with, by all means join them! However, if you need a real investing mentor I have some advice for you.
If you look online, you’ll find at least 20 local real estate investing groups to join. But be cautious. While the majority of individuals you’ll meet there share your interests and are honestly involved in the business, there are others who may be looking to profit from your inexperience. I met Susan and Bob at one of those groups and they were very generous with their advice. They took an interest in me and my real estate investing business, always offering perspectives on potential deals. I turned to them when I needed to figure things out. Then, they offered to mentor me—for a cut of my profits.
I said yes because it seemed like a reasonable exchange at the time, but there’s a bigger picture to this story. While Susan and Bob provided me with some support early on in my investing deals, they were not in fact real estate investors themselves. In reality, they were in the business of profiting off other people’s insecurities.
You see, I made a deal with them. In exchange for their mentoring, I would give them a percentage of the profits I made from each real estate investment. And, I was not the only one to fall for this. Susan and Bob had at least 100 other local Chicago real estate investors under their wing.
Imagine how much money they made from us!
It wasn’t long before I realized that their “advice” simply wasn’t worth it, but not before I had handed over a substantial amount of money to them. Real estate investing is inherently risky. But I have come to learn that taking advice from people who make their business by profiting off deals in which they have nothing to lose makes it even riskier.
True Mentors Are Invested in Your Success
When I finally saw the light, I decided to do something different. I looked for a coaching program. Now that was a little overwhelming! There are so many programs and people out there that claim to be expert—knowing how to choose one was difficult. I focused on finding one that was actively investing since I figured they would know more about current market conditions and strategies.
But then I saw the price tag. Talk about sticker shock. The one I finally selected charged $1,000 for six months of group coaching, which was effectively a series of online classes and the ability to email questions to her. A year of private coaching ran $7,000. Now, I knew it was going to take me more than a year to get my real estate investing business off the ground. What was this ultimately going to cost me in the end? $14,000? $21,000? More?
Then I found HomeVestors and became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. Yes, there’s an initial fee, but it is a known, one-time cost that I can account for instead of one that I cannot put an exact end-value on. And, it has paid off in spades.
I went through the comprehensive five-day training that covered all the nuts and bolts of real estate investing that I was previously offered only in snippets by my supposed mentors. I also have a dedicated HomeVestors® Development Agent who is available to coach me through the ins and outs of real estate investment deals. He is generally a seasoned, active investor who is available to answer questions that are specific to my investments and business strategies. I’m not a nameless face; rather, my Development Agent is just as invested in my success as I am.
Real Advice. Real Support.
In addition to mentorship from my Development Agent, HomeVestors also provides some of the best tools and resources to its franchisees. For instance, the proprietary ValueChek™ app helps me evaluate a property and more efficiently decide whether it’s worth making an offer. When I want a second opinion evaluating a deal, it also allows me to send the details to my Development Agent for a second opinion. Reaching out to HomeVestors has been the best investment decision I have made.
I am finally reaching my real estate investing goals. Are you?
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.
I first became a Homevestors Franchisee in October of 1999 when my cousin and I bought a Franchise in Dallas in the great state of Texas. We did well and were ‘Rookies of the Year.
In 2003 Homevestors opened up in the Chicago market and along with my daughter, son and wife moved back ‘home’ to open the first Franchise in the greatest city on earth.
In 2010 I became a Development Agent to help mentor and teach new franchisees this incredible business and to this day I still love the career path I chose and the opportunities that continue to be available.