Studies consistently show that 90% of people report positive outcomes from having a mentor. Within corporate structures, studies show that employees with mentors were promoted 6 times more often than those not in a mentoring program. In addition to increased business, those with mentors also reported higher career satisfaction, career commitment, and positive job attitudes. So my question is, do you have a mentor?
WHERE I BEGAN WITH MY MENTOR
When beginning a career in real estate, you don't know what you don't know. At least, that's how it was for me. I was 19 years old working as an unpaid intern for a top-producing agent named Steve Epstein. Fast forward many years, Steve is now my business partner, close friend, and invaluable mentor.
A MENTOR WILL LAY YOUR FOUNDATION
Overcoming the smallest details of a business feels like climbing Everest to the beginner. A mentor will help. What should my website look like? Where do I get business cards? How should they be formatted? When am I going to close my first deal? Should I invest in this or that marketing? Five minutes of picking your mentor's brain will save you a year of trial and error and a lot of misspent money.
PROVIDE THE BEST FOR YOUR CLIENTS
During your first few deals, you cannot possibly look your clients in the eyes and tell them they are getting the best representation in just you. You may be intelligent, driven, and an expert negotiator from a previous career; but you are not as good as another local agent that has been in the business for 10 years. That is, unless, you incorporate a successful mentor. That way, your client gets the horsepower of a successful agent combined with the tenacity of a new agent. Suck up your pride and allow a seasoned agent to mentor you during your initial transactions.
OSMOSIS OF KNOWLEDGE IS UNAVOIDABLE
Some of the most important information I have ever learned from Steve has come from simply being around him. Listening to his end of phone calls and being present for client meetings has fine-tuned certain verbiage and negotiating tactics that I use every day. Being CC'd in emails has opened my eyes to hundreds of deals worth of experience before I ever closed an escrow myself. They say that you are the average of the five people around you; I recommend making a successful mentor one of them.
THEY PROVIDE HELPFUL CONTACTS
Your mentor will have more contacts than you do -- utilize them! If you need a lawyer, home inspector, plumber, escrow officer, or even just a recommendation to a good restaurant to take clients, ask your mentor. I'm too busy to reinvent the wheel and you should be too; ask your trusted mentor for their recommendations.
YOU WILL LEARN LIFE LESSONS
This will change from person to person, but let me give you a few examples of pieces of wisdom from Steve that have blessed my life:
- Have fun every day, you'll go nuts if you don't
- Don't let difficult deals negatively affect you
- Fire bad clients, life is too short to deal with certain people
The list goes on and on, but my point is this: it would have taken me a full career to learn certain lessons about life and business. Instead, I learned from a man who has already had a long career and took his advice to heart.