Expert Advice with Ian Hosking Richards.

In order to successfully help others with investing in property, you need to possess a range of skill sets. Specific property expertise is a given, but that aside, one of the most valuable attributes of a mentor is the ability to listen.

Most successful investors love to talk property, myself included. It’s like you have all this amazing information that you want to share with anyone who will listen. However, investing is not just about property information.

Ask Questions

Everyone is different and they need a plan that is individually tailored to them. When I first meet with an investor I ask lots of questions. I can only start the mentoring and education process once I have a very sound understanding of where they are coming from.

Stay ‘Big Picture’

A good mentor must resist the temptation to be too specific to start with. Avoid answering questions regarding ‘hotspots’ etc until you understand more about the aspiring investor. I want to know why they want to invest, what their ideal timeframe is, and exactly what financial expectations they have, as well as any specific concerns about property investing. The detail only comes after these important steps have been achieved.


Most investors are nervous and can be quite overwhelmed by the prospect of investing in property. As a mentor you need to have the ability to put their concerns into perspective and inspire them to take that necessary leap of faith that will start them on their property journey.

‘Check in’

Sometimes mentors can assume that everything is going well and fail to notice that their aspiring investor is not fully committed. It is important to periodically ‘check in’ with your investor to see if they are still engaged with the process and still open to your guidance.

Don’t Debate

Being asked to be someone’s mentor is very flattering. It seems churlish to say no. However, unless you are dealing with someone who genuinely appreciates your help, and is open to guidance, then it is better to give an excuse and politely decline. People who have strong opinions, and come to you for help, but spend the first 30 minutes telling you about where they think are the best places to invest, and what they think is important, rarely make good students. If you feel that you are not a good ‘fit’ as a mentor, say so, otherwise you will inevitably just end up debating and arguing with them, and that is a complete waste of everybody’s time. A mentor is not there to convince, they are there to inspire and guide.


Being a good mentor is like anything else, the longer you do it, the better you get. After almost 20 years of mentoring hundreds of investors, it comes naturally to me. If you have the passion for helping others, and the experience to add value to another investor’s property journey, I would encourage you to have a go. Just remember the golden rules to listen first, then mentor and educate. Don’t debate, and if you feel that you are not the right person to mentor a particular student, politely decline. And if you are looking for a great property mentor, but no-one springs to mind, please contact me and I will put you in touch with someone who will be able to help you.

Happy investing!


Ian Hosking Richards is a successful property investor with a portfolio of over 30 properties. He is the CEO and founder of Rocket Property Group, a leading independent real estate agency that helps hundreds of people each year enter the property market or grow their existing portfolios. 

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Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.