It’s been almost a month since NAR’s Annual REALTOR® Expo, and there’s one thing that’s really stuck with me, more so than anything from previous conferences – mentorship.
Much of the allure in the real estate profession has to do with independence, freedom and the ability to completely be yourself. But successful agents don’t usually get to the level they’re at alone, or without some guidance and maybe even a little help. And what really savvy agents have discovered is that it’s not always about pursuing your own desires, it’s more important to “do what works” if you want to reach specific sales and income goals.
Mentors Accelerate Growth
I had the opportunity to moderate a panel of thriving young agents at this year’s NAR conference, and among the numerous business development discussions we ended up in, Mentors came up as one of the primary forces behind successful growth and obtaining sales.
It really got me thinking about how important it is to start out on the right foot. There are countless short-term and long-term benefits to having a mentor, but overall working with an experienced and knowledgeable agent drastically reduces your learning curve, teaches you hard and soft skills for working in the industry, and helps you avoid pitfalls all while offering you a support system during challenging situations and times.
So, today I want to discuss how you can find and select the perfect mentor for your business because it just might be the quintessential element missing from your formula to success.
Where to Find a Mentor
You might already know an agent who’s a great candidate to be your mentor – someone you aspire to be like and would love to pick their brain. However, finding a good mentor usually starts by getting involved in the places where highly successful people congregate:
- Online REALTOR® Networks
- Sales Meetings
- Association Leadership
These are all great sources to start building your network, but if you’re still struggling to find possible candidates, another great option is to ask your broker if there’s anyone in-house that specializes in mentoring that might be a good fit for you.
How to Pick a Mentor
If you get involved as I’ve noted above, it shouldn’t be too hard to find people who are skilled in the things you want to improve at. However, finding a mentor isn’t just about finding someone with specific knowledge or a skill set.
The best mentors are people who you’ve built a relationship with that match up to your goals, values and style of learning. All of the skills in the world don’t mean much if the person can’t relate them to you… or worse you spend the whole time butting heads.
Last, and probably most important, mentors tend to be good listeners. When you’re picking a mentor you should get the sense that they’re listening to you and your individual challenges before suggesting a direction. A great answer to the wrong problem is still a wrong answer.
How to Ask For Guidance
As you work with more and more people over the course of your career, you’ll learn to understand that relationships hold the most value for you personally, and professionally. As a mentee, it’s important for you to focus on building an honest – and most importantly – a transparent relationship with your mentor in order to get the most out of the exchange.
Once you have built up a genuine connection with someone, you can ask them for things, but remember to always be direct about your intent. Let the other agent know what you’re looking for, even if you’re just meeting for coffee… so you can pick their brain about working in real estate.
This can be as simple as:
“Alicia, you’re so good at marketing your brand and I’m really trying to improve. Could I possibly ask you some questions when you’re not busy? I’d be more than happy to take you to dinner or help you in any way I can as a thank you.”
How to Grow Your Mentor/Mentee Relationship – Multiple Mentors
It’s not all about picking just one mentor or asking for help from one person though. Over the course of your career you’ll have many mentors and if everything goes well, those relationships will likely stick with you for a lifetime.
These relationships should ebb and flow as you may need more or less help from each other as time goes on. But don’t get too far ahead of where you’re at right now, finding the one mentor that fits the needs of your career right now is most important.
If you’re looking for a mentor or have some experience to share I would love to see you get involved with our Agent Inner Circle Private Facebook Group where agents are asking questions and sharing their tips for success on a daily basis.