The Importance of Having a Mentor in Real Estate

Gary AshtonJuly 13, 2022

Two,Businesswomen,Working,On,Computer,In,OfficeIt’s no secret that real estate can be a lucrative career choice. However, before jumping into the industry, it’s important to understand the importance of having a mentor. A mentor can help beginners avoid common mistakes and give advice from their own experiences. There are a lot of things to learn in real estate, and having someone to help guide you can be invaluable. So if you’re thinking about making a career change, consider going into real estate—with the right mentor, it can be a great choice!

The Washout Rate for New Agents is High—A Mentor Can Help You Avoid Drowning

It’s easy to underestimate the amount of work it takes to become a real estate agent. That’s why roughly 80% of new agents quit within their first year. It’s not enough to just be knowledgeable about the industry—you also need to be good at sales, marketing, and customer service, not to mention a proactive go-getter who’s ready to take on what amounts to a new small business enterprise and generate leads instead of waiting for them to come to you. And if you’re not, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and give up.

A mentor can help you avoid becoming a statistic by showing you what it takes to succeed in real estate. They can introduce you to helpful resources, give you useful advice, hold you accountable to forming good business habits, and be a sounding board for your ideas. And if you ever feel like you’re in over your head, they’ll be there to help you get back on track. This one-on-one support can be the difference between a successful career in real estate and an early exit.

There’s also the moral support angle to consider. It may seem cheesy, but having someone in your corner can make all the difference in the world when you’re ready to give up and go back to your old career. The heavy lifting is still all on the mentee’s end, but it’s nice to know that you’re not alone and someone wants you to succeed—especially when things are tough.

How Do You Find a Real Estate Mentor?

Serious,Business,Man,Team,Leader,Coach,Mentor,Talk,To,DiverseOne of the easiest ways to find a mentor is to join a real estate brokerage that has a mentorship program. Many brokerages, especially larger brokerages, have programs in place to help new agents transition into the industry. These programs typically pair new agents with more experienced ones and provide resources and support.

Of course, if your brokerage doesn’t have a mentorship program, there are still plenty of ways to find a mentor. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you’re searching for a mentor that’s a good fit for you:

You Have to Be Proactive About Finding a Mentor

Many people who are new to the real estate industry mistakenly believe that they just have to sit around and wait to be “picked up” or “discovered” by a successful mentor who will take them under their wing and teach them the ropes. However, this is rarely the case. In most cases, it is up to the individual to be proactive about finding a mentor. This involves doing your research and reaching out to individuals who you respect and admire.

Find a Mentor Who’s Successfully Using the Lead Generation You Want to Use

Smiling,Millennial,Diverse,Colleagues,Discussing,Online,Work,Together,,Happy,CaucasianAnyone looking to improve their skills in a certain area would do well to find a mentor who has already achieved success using the methods they want to learn. A mentor can provide guidance, support, and advice based on their own experience, helping you to avoid making the same mistakes they did and setting you on the path to success. For example, if your goal is to generate most of your leads online, find a more experienced agent who runs a successful website and pick their brain. They will be able to tell you what strategies have worked well for them and help you to develop a plan for achieving similar results.

It’s important to choose a mentor who is a good fit for your individual needs and goals. Reaching out to a potential mentor based purely on success is not always the best idea, as their methods may not work for you in the long term. For example, if you’ll burn out by prioritizing cold calling, don’t expect to get a lot out of a mentorship with an agent who uses cold calling as their main business model. Instead, look for a mentor whose methods are compatible with your own strengths and weaknesses. This way, you can learn from each other and build a lasting relationship that will help you both grow and succeed.

Don’t Start the Conversation By Asking To Be Mentored

A good mentor-mentee relationship is built on trust, communication, and mutual respect. It’s important to remember that a mentorship is not a one-time meeting or lunch; it’s an ongoing relationship that requires time and effort from both parties. Because these relationships require a significant commitment, it’s common to spend a while “testing the waters” to see if the potential mentor thinks the mentoring relationship is worth investing in.

Expect a mentorship relationship to take a long time to develop, and treat it accordingly. Approaching a more experienced agent as a total stranger and asking for them to be your mentor first thing is likely to end in rejection.

How Do Real Estate Mentorships Work?

There are a few misconceptions floating around in popular perception about how real estate mentorships work. Here are a few things new real estate agents should keep in mind about what a mentorship will generally look like in practice:

Mentorships Aren’t a One-Way Street

African,American,Mentor,Teaching,Intern,,Pointing,At,Laptop,Screen,,ExecutiveA real estate mentorship can be a great way to learn the ropes from an experienced professional. However, it’s important to remember that a mentorship will be a two-way street. In order to get the most out of the relationship, you need to be able to offer something of value to your mentor as well. They’re giving you their time and will be less inclined to work with you if you don’t give something in return.

A good way to start off on the right foot is to ask your potential mentor how you can help their business. Perhaps they need an extra set of hands for showings or assistance with social media marketing. Whatever the case may be, offering to help out with specific tasks can show that you’re serious about learning and willing to put in the work. Ultimately, this will make for a more successful and beneficial mentorship for both parties involved.

A Mentor Won’t Teach You Everything Outright

Some new agents are under the impression that a mentor is someone who will teach them everything they need to know. However, in reality, a mentor is more likely to act as a sounding board, providing support and guidance but allowing the mentee to ultimately find their own way. This is, in part, because the best way to learn about the real estate industry is through experience. While a mentor can provide useful advice, there’s no substitute for learning from your own mistakes. A good mentor will guide, but not dictate.

Another reason that mentorships aren’t as simple as the mentor telling you “do X, Y, and Z” is that answers to real estate questions are rarely as simple as “yes” or “no.”  In many cases, the “right” answer to a question will depend on the individual circumstances. A mentor can help you to navigate these complexities and make informed decisions, but they won’t always have all the answers.

Also, consider that your potential mentor is also running their own business, and real estate already takes a huge commitment of time and effort. The stronger foundation you have going in, the more receptive a potential mentor is likely to be in helping you polish it up the rest of the way. You can also consider starting the mentor partnership off with a co-listing. This will help you learn the ropes while you both make money off of the deal. 

Mentorships Can Be Informal or Formal

Smiling,African,American,Businesswoman,Talking,To,Colleague,,Diverse,Employees,Brainstorming,In some cases, a mentorship relationship can be as simple as asking an experienced agent for advice every now and then. Other times, it can be a more formal arrangement with specific meeting times, expectations, and goals. It’s important to figure out what level of commitment your mentor is expecting (both to give and to receive) before you pursue the mentorship long-term. This way, there are no surprises down the road.

Formal mentorship programs offered by larger brokerages can be a great way to get started in the industry. A given brokerage’s training opportunities are one of the major things you should consider when choosing a brokerage. Formal programs provide structure and support to help both parties succeed. Having an established program also helps set expectations for both parties going into the mentorship. 

You Can Succeed in Finding a Mentor—And Your Mentor Will Help You Succeed in Your Career

If you go into your search for a mentor with the knowledge that you should search not only for success but for similarity in goals and business style, you’ll be able to find a mentor whom you can model yourself after. If you also go into your search for a mentor prepared to offer value in return for your mentor’s time and expertise, you’re likely to also get that mentor to agree to help you.

Remember, a mentor isn’t someone who will simply do all the work for you or give you all the answers—but they can be an invaluable asset as you navigate your way through the real estate industry. With the right mentor by your side, you’ll be better equipped to find success in your career.

About the Author

Nashville real estate agent Gary Ashton started his career in real estate sales in 2001 and quickly became part of the top 1% of agents in the country. His team has also become the #1 real estate team with RE/MAX Advantage, which consists of more than 180 Nashville real estate agents.

Last Updated: 7/13/2022

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