Today we look at five traits that any mentor should have. Not just in real estate mentoring, but in any mentor-mentee relationship.
- They are accessible
The most important aspect of choosing a mentor, is to have someone that you have access to on a consistent basis. Real estate is a time sensitive business. When you are trying to get a property in contract, it is important to be able to move quickly before someone else steals the deal by getting the property locked up in contract before you. It is also important for your mentor to be accessible in order to teach you first hand things like evaluating properties or negotiating with sellers. When we are learning a trade, it is crucial that we experience things first hand instead of just reading about it in a book. The key to knowledge is applying what you learn. If you have no experience walking a property to determine its market value, and your mentor is not around to show you, then how would you ever know what price to offer? This is probably the number one reason that the National mentoring programs fail most people. Armando Montelongo and Than Merrill are most likely not going to personally answer their students emails or phone calls!
- They know how to teach what they do
It is not enough to be good at something, if you plan on mentoring your craft to a newbie that wants to get into the business. A good mentor also has the faculties to communicate their knowledge to you effectively. Having written information is important, but a good mentor should have video tutorials, practical exercises, and boots on the ground events to take you and other students out in the field. These should be a progression as you learn more and more of the business. There has to be a structured educational system in place that extends over a long period of time.
- They are successful and experienced in the same market you want to learn in
When someone is successful in Real Estate, there is almost always one market they are more knowledgeable in overall. It is possible to become successful in multiple markets as the general information for Real Estate is basically the same for any market. As a newbie, it would be very difficult in learning across multiple markets when starting out. So it would be imperative that your mentor is teaching you in the primary market where they found their success. This is another problem that the National mentoring programs are usually guilty of.
- They are not just an educator, but are currently investing
Practice makes perfect! And we all know that if someone is “out of practice”, their skills begin to diminish. Not only is it the same for real estate, but real estate is an industry that changes over time. Markets fluctuate effecting housing prices, determining niche inventory, and sometimes spawn new legislation. For this very reason, a good mentor is someone that is current on the market because they are always investing themselves. It is important your mentor practices what they preach.
- They teach you on a one to one basis and not just put you in the same “mold” with a group of people.
Not everyone learns the same way or at the same pace. A good mentor understands this. So it is important to get that individualized training with your mentor. This is also important because there are different strengths and weaknesses that everyone has. Your mentor should know your past experiences and what areas you need the most help in. The National Mentor programs are designed to put every student through the same education and training. So with the National Programs they put everyone in the same mold and teach information for every market. This makes it almost impossible to become successful in your own market as all markets have significant differences. Not to mention there is no day to day support, no one to talk to. So you will not have anyone that can answer specific questions in your market.