A seasoned mentor can make a huge difference in your career as a real estate professional. Keep reading to learn why you should want a mentor, and how to go about finding one.
Why Get a Mentor?
There are plenty of mega-successful real estate professionals who did just fine on their own. More often, however, it’s much easier to succeed when you have a trusted adviser who has already been through everything you are experiencing. This can help you sidestep common pitfalls and fast track your career. To find the right person, however, you need to understand what a mentor is and what it isn’t.
In essence, a real estate mentor is an established professional who has more experience than you and is willing to provide guidance to help you succeed in your professional career. While it may sound like an official term, mentor can mean a lot of different things, depending on the situation. In some instances, it can be a boss who provides on-the-job guidance. In others, it can be a friend who lets you bounce things off of him or her when you are having lunch. More often, mentors are established professionals who remember how hard it was when they were starting out, and want to help eager young talent make it in the business.
On the other hand, a mentor is not someone you should call when you need something. You should never approach a mentor with trivial issues or to complain about a bad day. Mentors are busy professionals with a wealth of expertise. They are not there to support you emotionally or to help you with directional life decisions. A mentor’s main role should be to offer big-picture guidance on key issues that directly relate to your long-term professional goals.
Finding a Good Mentor
If you do a quick internet search, you will find plenty of people offering to provide real estate mentorships for a fee. If you’ve done your due diligence, you may determine that some of these offers involve reputable professionals that can provide real benefits. On the other hand, many times these types of offers will only provide basic knowledge about the industry.
To find a good mentor, you will need to do some legwork in your local area. Unfortunately, mentors don’t just walk around with signs around their necks that say “I need someone to mentor.” To find one, you will need to really look hard.
Most real estate professionals connect with mentors by networking at industry events. Some are also able to find mentors at Real Estate Investor Association (REIA) meetings, while others make connections through online forums and communities that bring seasoned professionals together with talented upstarts who are hungry to learn everything they can.
Whatever the case, when you approach someone about becoming your mentor, make sure to come off professionally, while demonstrating your drive to succeed long-term. After all, a busy professional does not want to waste time mentoring someone who ultimately gives up his or her pursuit of a career in real estate.
In some cases, real estate professionals will provide mentorships in return for internships or fees. If you do decide to pay for a mentorship, make sure to vet the real estate professional, and see if you can talk to former mentees to see if the relationship benefited their careers.
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