When I first started looking into real estate sales as a career, I met with several agents, friends of mine who I respected and looked to for guidance, especially as I formulated my plan for success. One common theme in our discussions was the importance of mentorship; finding a brokerage offering the right kind of program teaming seasoned agents with novices. We’ve all heard those stories, the ones where the old real estate salt sits you down and tells the tale about how, back in the day, his broker found him an empty desk, threw in a white pages and said ‘Start dialing, kid.’ Some agents, new license in hand, find themselves planted in a similar scenario. Many make it work, some do not. Our company’s policy requires agents to attend additional clock hour classes before beginning their new careers.
I knew I wanted more than just a helping hand. As luck would have it, I pursued and was hired by the first broker who interviewed me. Her philosophy about mentorship gave me confidence I would be able to develop the tools necessary to get off to a good start. Whether veteran or rookie, we are all held to the same standard of care, a daunting reality when you realize you have the interests of your clients in your hands. Having a good mentor means a new agent is not alone, rather he or she has available all the support and tools the experienced agent has to offer.
My mentor, now one of my closest friends and confidants, had five years in the business when we first met. His sales record was then and continues to be stellar. He shared with me his successful methodologies, guided me in structuring my day and, most importantly, supported me through my learning curve. Stop and consider the broker’s logic in implementing a mentoring program. It is the managing or designated broker who shoulders the ultimate legal and fiduciary responsibility to the client and public. What better way is there then to insure new agents avoid pitfalls than to put in place a system of checks and balances on their work? My mentor accompanied me on my listing presentations, reviewed the offers I had written, sat in on my first buyer counseling sessions, invited me to his open houses to learn those ropes; essentially watched my back at every turn. Now, this is not to say that every such partnership is a success. Personalities clash and some people simply have differing expectations. Regardless, I cannot think of any reason an agent entering the business would not want to have such support available. I certainly would not have done it any other way.
Tomorrow, I am meeting with my new mentee. Naturally, I will share with him those systems I have developed in my own business helping me stay on track and to build. I hope that, some day down the road, he will view his own mentoring experience in as positive a light as I have mine.