The Real Estate Encyclopedia
The Astonishing Impact of the Mentor
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Limitless Potential

It is not guaranteed by a diploma from an Ivy League school. It is not the result of hard work and effort– unfortunately, these alone are not enough. And while it may often keep good company with intellect, it does even more so with humility.

Yet, to the one who is teachable, eager to learn, and persistent in seeking the rare mentor capable of instructing them to reach their full potential, to that one opens an almost limitless door of potential. Armed with privileged information, special relationships, and a high degree of respect by virtue of their dedication and association with their mentor, they can do battle with the fiercest of competitors and experience great victory, even in defeat. To the ready and willing apprentice, a world of opportunity awaits.

Take a broad view of the real estate industry today, and then survey the top 100 most successful agents in the world. When asked the question, “What is the key to your success?” the vast majority will offer up a similar story: during their career, they stumbled upon a particular person, teacher, or philosophy that changed their thinking or perception in a radical way. This may have happened once and for a short time, or several times, and for a longer period of time, but the influence was always ideological at the core, and the role of the influence was, by far, that of a teacher/mentor. iSucceed Mentor Sandra Nickel readily admits, “Were it not for my original mentor and broker, David Kahn, I’d have washed out of the real estate business a long time ago, just like 80% of new agents eventually do. Thanks to David, I’ve not only survived, but thrived, and that’s why I so enjoy being an iSucceed mentor: it allows me to ‘pass it on.’”

iSucceed Mentor Ken Deshaies explains it this way, “Mentoring has made me better at what I do. We all do things on the fly in this business, and often learn as we go. But, to purport to instruct others, we need to tighten up our research, to analyze what we do and how we do it, and to summarize it in a way that communicates and leads to positive action. iSucceed has offered me this great opportunity to be a better Realtor, a better consultant, a better instructor, and overall a better person. I have now become the conduit of that offer, hopefully, to thousands of others who hear the message and use it to improve their lives.”

This, then, is the true potential of mentorship – radical, positive life change. Real estate mentoring simply means providing guidance, advice, direction and wisdom to younger, up-and-coming professionals. It is the resurrection of industry standards and the genesis of dazzling real estate successes – a simple commitment to guide others along the path of true success.

National Mentoring Month

January is a month dedicated to the powerful idea of mentoring. Read on to learn it’s nature, purpose, and mutual benefits. Mentoring is a process by which one person with much more experience in a particular field of interest (for example, baseball, quantum physics, theology, ballet) spends time with another person who shares that passion transferring their knowledge of – and passion for – the subject matter with the less informed person. In the most ideal scenario, for mentoring to have its best and highest effect, several fundamental factors must be present:
  • The mentor and apprentice must share a passion for the topic being taught and learned.
  • The mentor and apprentice must spend a large degree of time in each other’s presence, teaching and learning.
  • The mentor and apprentice must agree that mistakes are never failures, only more sources for learning – better teachers.
  • The mentoring must be performed with no strings attached, but the apprentice must make a firm commitment to the mentor to remain accountable and continue learning until the mentor decides the apprentice is “ready” for his/her apprenticeship to conclude.
Although these four elements may seem simple to achieve in theory, with all the demands on our time in 21st century America, sometimes it’s necessary to explore more creative solutions to mentoring.

RE Mentoring in the REAL World

Learning by example is perhaps the most important facet of gaining new knowledge, and this concept is central to the ongoing success of mentoring. The mentors themselves are rewarded by being able to give back to the community, as well as to hone their own skills and knowledge in the process. Many top real estate agents embrace this concept, and have found effective ways to mentor newer agents. Some allow interested agents to shadow them, although this often carries a heft price tag. Others perform team training on a weekly basis for their own agents, and still others join mentor groups where professionals of a high caliber mentor each other.

But what about the agent who is relatively new? The agent who has closed a few deals –but is determined to succeed and wants to take things to the next level? Often limited in financial resources, short on experience, but long on commitment and enthusiasm, it’s these agents who are prime candidates for putting to use the benefits of mentoring.

The Wheel – Already Invented

If you’re a new agent, finding a mentor can be as simple as scanning your office or circle of acquaintances for likely candidates. Peer into your future: where do you see yourself five or ten years down the road? Who do you see around you who has already been where you want to go? When you find a potential mentor, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Does he or she know your industry inside and out?
  • Is his/her personality compatible with yours?
  • Has he/she already achieved what you seek?
iSucceed Mentor Eva Keagle offers her perspective on mentoring, “With the tremendous influx of new agents in Real Estate I believe that it is essential that successful individuals in our profession take the lead in educating and providing guidance to new agents. Just being there to answer questions or acting as a “sounding board” will not only help the new agent, but also act as catalyst in establishing lifelong friendships – both personal and professional. While there are literally thousands of books and periodicals that have been published on the subject of mentoring, nothing can take the place of just sitting down with a person to listen to their concerns and discussing the subject – one on one. By becoming a mentor, you have that opportunity – the opportunity to help someone and most importantly make a difference in their lives. Mentoring is a very effective tool to accomplish this.

As the Internet becomes more and more accessible and convenient, iSucceed has enjoyed success helping entrepreneurial “sage-seekers” who realize that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time they come up against anew challenge. Now they have the collective experience, strategies, and wisdom of over 175 of the industry top agents backing them up. iSucceed Mentor Nelson Zide remarks, “The power of a mentor group comes from the fact you have other like-minded business people out there supporting each other and holding each other accountable; which you can’t get any other place. iSucceed’s power comes from knowing there’s a group of people out there where you can get help from, people who’ve gone before you and made the mistakes you don’t need to make.”

The Joy of Mentorship

One of the more fulfilling and surprising aspects of mentoring is that it is never a one-way road. Your investment of time and energy in life of another is paid back, sometimes in tangible ways, often in even more fulfilling ones. If you successfully mentor a real estate agent and then cut them loose into the wild blue yonder, take pride. You’ve done a few fantastic things, at the very least:
  • Raised the bar of success in your field
  • Created a lifelong friendship with a valuable friend
  • Developed a deeper understanding of yourself
iSucceed Mentor Sharon Simms is completely dedicated to mentoring her children in her own professional footsteps. She explains, “Mentoring is the best way to get started in real estate. Book learning and basic courses are one thing, but pale compared to following a top real estate agent around – seeing how they handle clients and properties, what they say on the phone, how they plan, how to handle challenges. Sharing commissions with them for business you find is a very small price to pay for their experience. As to being a mentor – it takes a huge amount of time, but can be very rewarding. It’s very important to match the mentor and the mentee. The most rewarding mentoring to me has been mentoring my daughter, and now my son – to see myself replicated and more, because each adds their own talents and insights to create a better agent. In the process, the mentor is also the mentee, as new observations and approaches improve our skills as well. What joy in seeing someone blossom, becoming professional, competent and excited all at the same time!”

If you have a passion to mentor someone, but just haven’t quite made the leap, look around you: do you see anyone who reminds you of yourself in years past? Who displays the drive, passion and intellect that lifted you to a position of authority or success in your earlier years? Don’t fall into the trap of tending toward the obvious candidates. Look deeper. Scrutinize and take the time to look at character, perspective and behavior: the innovators and the fresh thinkers will provide the foundation upon which progress will be built. Mentoring can give them the foundation they need to achieve that greatness.


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