As a new real estate agent, you have been doing all of the “right” things to launch your career. You’re networking. You’re learning about your market. You’re working on a prospects list. Still, getting started in real estate can be challenging, especially in the first year or so. Finding a real estate mentor and cultivating a successful relationship could help you out tremendously by enhancing your ability to launch a long, successful real estate career.
The first step to mentorship is probably the toughest. You may know plenty of admirable, successful real estate professionals who could be prospective mentors. But how do you find the right mentor for you? And further, how do you get that person to want to help you? Read on for tips on finding a real estate mentor and building a solid relationship that will help steer your career in the right direction.
How real estate mentoring works
Not everyone understands what mentoring is, or how to find a prospective real estate mentor and develop a relationship with that person. Here are some common myths about mentoring:
- Myth: The mentee needs to wait until he or she is found by a mentor.
- Myth: Mentoring is all about the mentee.
- Myth: The mentor relationship is a one-way association.
- Myth: The mentee needs to go right out and ask for a mentor.
- Myth: The mentor will teach the mentee directly.
A real estate mentor is an adviser. He or she offers advice and feedback when it is needed. This is not an apprenticeship wherein you will learn a trade. Don’t look for a mentor hoping they will teach you everything you need to know to be successful. Instead, it is important to look for someone with whom to create a long-term relationship. You can’t be mentored in a few weeks or months; it is a process—not an internship. And it has to develop naturally.
Successful North Carolina real estate agent Ryan Fitzgerald, owner of Raleigh Realty, is a huge proponent of harnessing the power of a mentor-mentee relationship for success. He also firmly believes in making the relationship a two-way street: “My suggestion is to start by giving back—ask them ‘how can I help you grow your business?’ Once you start helping them, they are going to be much more open to taking the time out of their day to help you.”
Finding a real estate mentor
You don’t want to look for someone who simply has the job you want, or the success you would like to attain. Find someone with whom you share similarities, someone with the skills and strengths you would like to hone. Don’t be in a hurry; it may take some time to find the right person. You might consider more than one person before deciding on who you ultimately want to approach.
Let the relationship evolve naturally
Don’t force the mentoring relationship, but let it evolve. Keep your expectations in check. Like other relationships, it has to grow over time, based on mutual trust and respect. Forcing it risks ruining a potential mentoring relationship before it can become established. Take the time to nurture it.
Don’t go when the going gets tough
At some point, you are going to get some critical feedback from your real estate mentor. This is a good thing, because it means the relationship has become comfortable enough for him or her to call you out on something. Remember: Your reaction when that happens is crucial to your growth. Do your best to accept the criticism gracefully and heed your mentor’s advice. After all, getting better at being a real estate agent is your goal—and nobody ever said it would be easy. This is what will ultimately make you grow as a real estate professional.
Commit to the mentor relationship
Mentoring takes real time and real work, so once you make the commitment, stick with it. You and your mentor should both be in it for the long haul. Finding a real estate mentor, cultivating a strong mentor relationship, and adding it to your career strategy will help ensure that your real estate career is a success.