5 Tips for Being a Good Real Estate Mentor
Many new agents are shocked by how difficult the real estate industry can be. From non-traditional working hours and uncertain income to the steep learning curve and difficult rejections, there are all sorts of obstacles that can stand in the way of success. A seasoned mentor can be a big advantage for inexperienced agents. Here’s how you can help new agents who are trying to find their way.
Be a good listener
While good mentors should be able to share valuable information, they must also be willing to listen. The value of listening is often overlooked, but it can result in important feedback while also strengthening the mentor-mentee relationship. When they are overly focused on teaching, mentors can have trouble remembering to listen to their mentees. Be sure to listen when your mentee talks about challenges, fears and goals. You should also be willing to ask if there is anything you could be doing better to help, since many mentees may be too timid to raise the issue.
Provide tough love
Mentoring isn’t only about handholding. While it is important to offer encouragement; sometimes you also have to deliver difficult truths. You can’t be a good mentor if you are afraid to point out mistakes. Avoid taking a condescending tone, but be ready to provide a little tough love if your mentee appears to need it.
Know what it will entail
Before you commit to mentoring someone, be sure you understand what will be expected of you. Being a good mentor means more than offering some tips and a few pats on the back; it’s about establishing a long-term relationship built on trust. According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), mentors should be prepared to:
- Identify/clarify the mentee’s objectives
- Devote plenty of time to mentoring
- Establish mutual respect while maintaining strict confidentiality
- Help identify problems and guide their mentee toward effective solutions
- Help mentees cope with work-related problems
- Create learning opportunities when possible
- Provide ongoing support for mentees after they reach their goals
Set aside time
Mentees can gain invaluable experience by simply shadowing established agents as they interact with clients and make decisions throughout the day. With that said, there will be occasions when a mentor will need to devote special time to address the needs of a mentee. Whether it’s every day, week or month, be sure to dedicate specific times where you will be able to focus entirely on supporting, educating and listening to your mentee.
Check in after 90 days
It is a good idea to sit down with mentees at about the three month mark to evaluate their progress and get feedback about the relationship. During the session, you should talk to your mentee about his or her strengths and areas where improvement is needed. You should also ask for feedback to help you hone your approach. Finally, take this opportunity to assess whether the mentee still appears enthusiastic and dedicated to the real estate business, so you can determine whether you should continue with the relationship or dedicate your efforts elsewhere.
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