What to expect from a Mentor – Helen Collier-Kogtevs

What can you learn from a Mentor?  That is a question Sarah Megginson from Your Investment Property and I ask Helen Collier-Kogtevs.
Kevin:  Hi, I’m Kevin Turner from Real Estate Talk, and joining me on this special podcast, Sarah Megginson from Your Investment Property magazine.
Good day, Sarah. How are you doing?
Sarah:  Hi, Kevin. How are you?
Kevin:  Good to be talking again. Sarah, we decided we’d get together and talk about education, what you can learn from having a mentor, and both of us are so impressed with what Helen Collier-Kogtevs has done from Real Wealth Australia. We decided we’d get together and invite Helen to join us, which she is about to do right now.
Helen, how are you?
Helen:  I’m doing well, Kevin. Hi, Sarah. Great to be back, guys
Kevin:  Nice to have you with us, Helen. Now, a lot of this is going to be without notice, so we’ll just fire into it, but as I said at the outset, I’m so impressed with what you’ve done. You’ve dedicated most of your life to educating people about property.
What can we actually learn from a mentor, Helen?
Helen:  A property mentor – any mentor really, Kevin – should be someone who takes you from where you are today to where you want to be. As a general rule, I like to work with mentors who I resonate with, who have achieved what it is what I want to do achieve. That’s a key factor here.
If I want to buy a hundred properties, I would look for a mentor who has that kind of wealth because they’re the ones who have really have to go the experience, the know-how, the knowledge, they’ve made the mistakes, they’ve gone through the process, and you can really leverage their knowledge and experience.
Kevin:  How do you know, though, Helen, that the person you’re choosing isn’t just selling themselves, because at the end of the day, they’re all sales people and they do that very well?
Helen:  Absolutely they do, yes. And how you actually identify the right person is really by asking a lot of questions. You have to do your own research. If I’m looking for a mentor, I’ll Google them, I’ll ask for some references. I want to see who has some runs on the board. I want them to prove them it to me. I’m quite a facts-and-figures type of girl, so I want to see some facts, some data, some actual case studies.
Sarah:  That’s really interesting, Helen, because we were chatting before and you were talking about the fact that you personally have lots of mentors yourself. You’re someone who is dedicated yourself to educating others but you also still tune in to the experts above you to keep on the right track.
What are some of the areas you get your own personal mentoring in?
Helen:  I guess back in the early days when I started the journey with property investing, I was looking for property mentors, and I found some great people who really allowed me to go from having a whole lot of credit card debt and I had a car loan and I was renting, all of that. I was able to turn my life around and retire at 37. I credit my mentors at that stage for that result.
I have learned lots and I’ve continued the property investing journey, however, when I decided “You know what? I can retire now,” I’m not one to play tennis all day and I’m not one to watch TV. It’s like “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?”
That’s a key question you need to ask yourself because when you retire… I’m 37. It’s not like I was 107. I had the rest of my life ahead of me. What did I want to do? What was I passionate about? That’s where teaching others what I got from my mentors and my own experience added into that.
The lifestyle that I gained, I wanted to share that with others, so that’s where it all came from. However, I had no idea how to run a business. When I decided “That’s it,” I quit the corporate job. I was home and it was like “Okay, I want to teach people how to invest in property and build property portfolios.” I had no idea how to find clients. I had no idea about marketing. I didn’t know a great deal about running a business, so I went looking for business mentors.
I’ve had that mindset of looking for mentors all the way through. In fact, as we were just talking a little bit earlier, I have an eight-year-old now, a gorgeous little girl who is the light of my life. When she was born, I don’t know about other women, but I was a bit freaked out by it. I went from being this corporate woman, to retiring, to having a great lifestyle, to all of a sudden, being at the beck and call of this tiny little human being.
Sure, I knew how to change nappies and do all of that, but I want to be the best version of myself. I want to be the best mother, the best mentor. I want to be able to expand myself so that I have a full life – so much so that I even had a mentor with parenting, how to be empathetic, how to understand children and their feelings, and how to grow them up where they are well-balanced people.
I don’t just look at business and property as mentoring. Even if want to learn to sew quilts, I would look for a person who really knows how to do great quilts, who has maybe won awards with their quilting, whether it be local shows or whatever. I have friend like that, so I know who to go to if I wanted to learn how to quilt.
That’s what I do, that’s how I go about looking for the right mentor, regardless of what area of my life I’m looking in.
Sarah:  It’s kind of that you’ve had that experience of seeing exactly what mentoring can do for you in your own life, so you’re able to that or inform your style as a mentor.
Helen:  Exactly right, Sarah.
Sarah:  Awesome.
Kevin:  Picking up on a point you made earlier, Helen, and that is that you didn’t know what you didn’t know. I guess that’s the thing about learning, isn’t it? We just don’t know. Especially if you’re going to go into something like investing in property, it looks so easy until you start to do it and then you find how many mistakes you can make.
I wonder if you’d just help me, though, Helen, because there is a popular misconception about being able to afford to invest in property. Can anyone do it?
Helen:  Yes, they can, Kevin. Absolutely they can. They have to want to do it. If people are going to go about their normal day spending all their money and not really taking care of their pennies, then no, but for those who are willing to make some changes, save, pay their bills, not overspend, even with all the APRA changes and ASIC changes and bank changes, all that is going on right now, I have quite a number of case studies here that I can talk about now, of clients who have been able to purchase property even with all of the changes going on. Just last week alone, we had three clients go and purchase property and sign contracts.
It can be done; you just got to be willing to do it, obviously, learn the process so that you don’t make mistakes, and then having a mentor to guide and navigate you is what accelerates that.
I have one client, Bruce, he’s Asian, and he came to me one time and he said, “Helen, I want to buy a property, however, my friends all keep telling me I should buy blue chip properties.” You’ve probably heard that yourselves.
Sarah:  Absolutely.
Helen:  Blue chip, 2 km to 10 km from the city, or maybe 2 km to 20 km if you’re in Sydney.
He said, “That’s what I’m going to buy.” He had $50,000 as a deposit, on a single income. So, he’s single, $80,000 a year, and he wanted to buy blue chip property. I said, “Okay, Bruce, what’s your strategy?”
When I talk about strategy, there are 13 key ingredients to formulating a strategy. It’s not “Oh, do I buy capital growth? Or do I buy cash flow? Do I buy blue chip? Do I buy a development? Do I buy and renovate?” It’s not that; it’s deeper than that.
It’s about your financial situation, and identify where you’re at in life, what are your goals? What’s your budget? What’s your lifestyle? What’s your financial position? How does the bank view you? How do you want to structure your assets? Do you want to buy in trust? Is it superannuation? What is it you want to achieve?
When you lay that all out on the table, it’s actually quite in depth, so it takes a little while to sort through that to formulate a strategy. But with Bruce, he said, “No.” Blue chip capital cities is all he wanted to do because that’s what everybody told him.
When we did for strategy with him, he actually realized that had he bought a blue-chip property, the banks would have lent him the money, of course, no problem. He would have bought one, but only one.
Because he did that strategy and actually went through the process, Bruce, even as a single guy on $80,000… And half way through all of this mind you, he was made redundant, he moved states and got a new job, and in the new job, he now earns $95,000. He’s now up to purchasing his fifth property. That’s like today, now. It’s not back in 2015 or 2012; it’s right now.
That’s just a perfect example of when you’re driven and when you want to do this… He made changes. He was the type of guy, single, going out every weekend, spending all of his money. He turned that all around. Yes, he still enjoyed his lifestyle, he still went out with his friends. He didn’t stay home watching TV all weekend. He enjoyed himself, but he was smarter with his money.
Now, he’s up to his fifth property, and I’m so proud of Bruce because he had to go against not only what his circle of friends and family were telling him but this belief that he had that blue chip was the only way to go.
Kevin:  In the full version of that interview, you can hear on the Your Investment Property magazine channel and also on the RET channel, that chat with Helen Collier-Kogtevs, more fantastic examples in there.
But more especially, I want to tell you about the offer that she makes, which is a free download where she’s written a paper on how to find a mentor and the benefits from having a mentor. This is a great read. It’s yours absolutely free. Just go and find the podcast on the website. Use the link. We’ll also be letting you know if you’re a subscriber about it in a special broadcast. Watch out for that, and make sure you pick up that special report from Helen Collier-Kogtevs at Real Wealth Australia.
Thanks Helen. Thanks Sarah. Talk Soon.
Sarah:  Thanks Kevin.
Helen:  Thank you.

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