Real estate is an ever-changing, innovative and competitive industry — one that is filled with much uncertainty yet can lead to a wildly successful and exciting future. For me, navigating these waters as one of the youngest Realtors in Kansas City would not be possible without the help and guidance of a diverse group of mentors.
Here are six key things I suggest you look for if you are considering expanding your valuable circle of key influencers.
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1. Find people you can connect with on a basic level.
Most of us have heard the saying, “People work best with those they like and can relate to.” Well, this holds true for us in our professional capacities, because we are people, too!
One of the vital components of a successful mentorship is making sure you both have things in common other than sharing a passion for real estate. Whether it is a mutual interest in a specific activity or a hobby, shared interests help you build rapport with your mentor.
2. Strive for a diverse group of influencers.
A key characteristic I’ve noticed among many successful agents is their ability to adapt to a multitude of situations and clientele. Making a point of having a diverse group of mentors, including both men and women, seasoned and fresh agents, can help you become more well-rounded. You’ll learn to see things from other perspectives, how to implement new technologies and what key success activities that held true to the industry 10 or more years ago still continue today.
3. Prioritize people who provide honest feedback.
Those who provide you with constructive feedback will help you to grow the most by identifying your current strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge can be used to identify ways for self-improvement and how to become more successful as an agent or broker. However, it’s not enough only to provide feedback; you’ll want someone to hold you accountable and challenge you to develop your weaknesses into strengths, both of which can provide future opportunities for business growth.
4. Mentors should be willing to share valuable knowledge.
A mentor should be someone you can meet with, call or email — or just spend some time picking his or her brain from time to time. Mentors take pride in teaching what they know based on past experiences and will accept you wherever you currently are in your professional development. They’ll share some of their best practices, what worked and what didn’t work, and ways in which you can grow your business. A truly great mentor will continue to check in with you and provide ongoing support to ultimately help you achieve success.
5. Look for influencers who practice what they preach.
It’s easy to find people who “talk the talk.” You need to make sure they “walk the walk.” It’s hard to seriously consider and listen to those who say one thing and do another. Just as clients hold us as professionals to standards of consistency, you should do the same for your mentors. Make sure that they do what they say and say what they mean.
6. Your circle should help complete you.
A key thing top producers in a variety of business fields have in common is their ability to focus only on the things they are really good at. Everything else is delegated. From a mentorship perspective, in what areas is your business lacking? Could you use help with negotiating tactics? Are you lacking a technological presence? Whatever your weakness is, find someone who is an experienced expert in that field and leverage your relationship with them as a potential mentor.
Whether you are just entering or well-established in your real estate career, having at least one mentor can do wonders for growing and sustaining your business. This person will provide you with valuable experiences and constructive feedback, and ultimately will help your personal and professional growth.
Anthony West is a real estate agent at Moffitt Realty and an entrepreneur in Kansas City.