One thing that can make an enormous difference in your career success as an agent is whether or not you have a high-quality mentor who can help you navigate the ins and outs of real estate. In fact, many agents discover that they operate very well if they have more than one mentor to tap for questions and advice.
Your real estate broker may be one of your first mentors, and if you really want to hone your skills and become the very best agent you can be, then you should also seek out other mentors who can help round out your experience and education. But how do you find a mentor? Here are the steps you should be taken consistently in order to keep a good number of mentors in your world as an agent.
Assess Your Skills and Ask For Help
Even though humans do have a tendency to overestimate their skills at just about everything, we also tend to be pretty good at knowing where we are strongest and where we could probably use a little bit of remedial assistance. It isn’t a mark of failure to understand that your financial planning could be better, that you aren’t very familiar with marketing tactics in real estate, or that thinking about negotiating makes you feel a little bit nervous.
When you know where you need the most education and training, it’ll give you a better idea of whom in your mentor network to approach. You’ll know who’s best suited to answer which questions and who might not be an expert in certain areas, and you can ask them for advice accordingly.
While Taking Stock of How You Can Help, Too
Most people tend to think of mentorship as a bit of a one-way street between the mentor and the mentee, but that absolutely does not have to be the case. There might be a lot you can do to help your mentor, both to thank them for the ways in which they’ve helped you and also to signal to them that you yourself are a resource and an asset to their business.
Perhaps one of your mentors keeps talking about learning the ins and outs of the latest social media platform but hasn’t had time to do it, and you could sit down with them and offer an hour-long hands-on tutorial. Maybe they need a landing page or listing description written, or someone to look over their website for typos. Your skills are likely just as varied as the mentors you’ve encountered, so think about what you can offer them — then offer it.
Talk About Your Challenges
Even the best mentor in the world can’t be expected to help a mentee solve a problem that they don’t know the mentee is currently juggling. It’s almost never the easiest thing in the world to be vulnerable with someone, especially someone you respect and whose respect you crave in exchange, but don’t lose sight of the end goal, which is to be the very best real estate agent that you’re capable of becoming. You can’t do that if your mentors don’t know about the problem client who’s been giving you headaches and exactly why the client is upset with you.
When you’ve reached a point in your relationship with your mentor where there’s been some reciprocal exchange of education and resources, it’s acceptable to approach them and ask them for their advice with a specific challenge that’s bothering you.
Take Feedback to Heart
Look, nobody likes to hear that they messed up; it’s human nature to shun that kind of feedback. Nonetheless, we have to hear it if we want to improve. One of the most valuable things any mentor can do for you is to provide straightforward, unbiased feedback about how you’re doing and where you could be better. And one of the smartest things you can do when you’re put in the position of listening to this feedback is to really listen, ask questions, refuse to get defensive, and apply it when and where you can.
Believe that your mentors will notice how coachable you are. It will make them more inclined to share more wisdom with you in the future if they know that you take their experience and advice seriously.
Some agents might dismiss coaching as an unnecessary expense, but smart agents think of it as an investment in their own future. Even if you have the most amazing network of mentors that has ever been seen in the history of real estate, you could still benefit from a coach — someone whose entire job and career is to make you better at yours, to call you on any excuses you’re making, and to hold you accountable to your goals. Many mentors can do some of these things some of the time, but almost no mentor will do all of them for you consistently, and when you reach a point in your career when you’re finding that you need deeper evaluation and fine-tuning of your strategies and efforts, a coach might be the next logical step for you.