Feature article

Engaging a mentor

Gain valuable insights and advice with a mentor who’s right for you.

Your success as a real estate agent is determined by many different factors. Your personal brand, sales ability, local knowledge, and how you interact professionally all play a role in determining your on-the-job success. 

A mentor won’t only share their knowledge with you, they’ll show you the ropes so that you too can achieve success. They’llalso help you apply critical thinking to your business decisions, to help you work smarter and better. 

Choosing a mentor 

Before you begin searching for a mentor it’s important to consider the skills and strengths you’d like to fine-tune. 

A mentor doesn’t necessarily need to be from the same industry as you. Sometimes, it’s better to have an advisor on-hand who can bring experience from other business environments both challenge you and focus your thinking. 

If you’re just starting your career, you may want some specific real estate guidance from an industry expert. Or you may want to hone your social media skills, in which case you’d look to get somebody who’s digitally savvy. 

You simply may not know what you need, in which case you’ll benefit from somebody who can help you to review where you are and where you want to be. 

It can help to have more than one mentor, especially if you fear that you’re taking up too much of your mentor's time, or you’re looking for guidance on different topics. However, ensure your mentors have a complementary approach so you’re not getting conflicting viewpoints. 

How do I find a mentor? 

Now that you know what you’re looking for in a mentor, it’s time to reach out to people you already know and professionally admire, or foster new connections to find someone with the strengths and skills you’d like to learn. 

Mentors can be found via various avenues including: 

  • Friends and family. 
  • Colleagues and bosses. 
  • Local professional organisations (Chamber of Commerce). 
  • Industry organisations. 
  • Social media connections (LinkedIn). 

If you don’t succeed at first, keep looking – you may not hit the jackpot the first time but don’t let this deter you from your mentor hunt. 

How do I approach a mentor to ask for help? 

Getting your chosen mentor over the line is all about buy-in, and you’re already in the best industry for that! 

Explain how you’d appreciate the chance to use their expertise, and how this would be beneficial to them: 

1. Do your research – know a bit about the person and their career. 

2. Explain the reason you’re contacting them. 

3. Talk to them about your career and your future goals. 

4. Explain why you’d like them to be your mentor. 

    If they agree, propose and agree on regular meetings going forward. 

    More often than not, a person would be humbled if you ask them to be a mentor – it’s recognition that they’re respected for their expertise and gives them an opportunity to share their insights with somebody who’s willing to learn. 

    Do I need to pay my mentor? 

    In many cases mentors don’t expect to be paid. In saying that, showing your appreciation by offering to buy lunch or a coffee and a muffin during your meetings, and the occasional thank you gift, goes a long way towards a long-term mentorship. As does keeping your mentor updated with successes their advice has led you to achieve. 

    Discuss your mentor’s expectations from the get-go so you both know where you stand. And respect their time by not overbooking them, especially if they’re not being paid – their time is valuable! 

    Things to remember on your mentor-mentee journey: 

    1. When the going gets tough, keep going – take constructive criticism on-board. 

    2. Your mentor is giving this to you to help you succeed, they’re not doing it to drag you down. 

    3. Commitment is key – make sure you and your mentor are in this for the long haul. Ensure you put in the time and the work required to make the relationship succeed. 

    4. Things change – as you grow in your career your needs will change as your skills and experience develop.