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    As a real estate agent, you’re always looking for new ways to make connections and to build your brand. One unique way to do so is by becoming a mentor.

    There’s never been a greater need for mentors. Whether it’s mentoring an intern, or grooming an up-and-coming associate, taking someone “under your wing” can be life-changing for both the mentor and the mentee. It’s also another avenue for finding new business and making valuable referral connections.

    For an agent just starting out, finding a seasoned individual to shadow can make a big difference in your career development. You have the benefit of learning from another’s mistakes, tried and true work habits, and marketing best practices. As a mentee, you have the opportunity to join an extended network of professionals where you can build strong relationships as you grow your brand.

    It takes a special kind of person to be a mentor. It also takes time. For those who’ve been in real estate a long time, a younger mentor can be an inspiration. You’re not only able to share your knowledge and experience, you may even learn some new tricks like how to better leverage social media and incorporate emerging technologies into your marketing efforts.

    But, before you take the leap, it’s important to ask what makes a good mentor? What characteristics are required to help mold and shape a professional career in real estate?

    • Passionate – A good mentor is someone who is truly passionate about helping others. They understand the power of the relationship and are committed to the development of individual talent.
    • Available – They have the time, or are willing to make the time, to provide the guidance and support needed to be successful.
    • A good teacher – They are accomplished and successful in their life and job and are able to instruct based on first-hand experience.
    • Articulate – Communication is critical to building trust and encouraging an honest exchange of ideas and skills.
    • Has integrity – In both business and in life, a strong moral and ethical compass is required to steward another’s development.
    • Manages change well – Change is the hardest thing that any of us face. We are naturally resistant to it. A good mentor sets the pace and displays an attitude that is comfortable with change.
    • Emotionally mature – Just as honesty and integrity are crucial, emotional maturity is also a prerequisite for a mentor. A good mentor sets an example in how they handle the ups and downs, successes and failures that a mentee is bound to experience.
    • Provides honest feedback – A good mentor observes agreed upon milestones and is never afraid to provide a meaningful and honest assessment under all conditions.
    • Are willing to say if the relationship is not working – No one likes to admit defeat, but there are times when a mentor must be willing to say that things are not working out. Perhaps the relationship is not a good fit, maybe the mentee is not a suitable candidate for the role or career. A good mentor will be able to deliver such an assessment as appropriate and in a timely fashion.

    A great mentor sets an example, teaches both hard and soft skills, and supports an individual by providing honest, direct and supportive advice and criticism. They pave the way for personal and professional development and can make a real difference in the lives of those they choose to mentor. Being a mentor can also open up new doors by expanding your network and building on your professional reputation.

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