All brokers want their agents to be successful; but, who measures success? Often, we become so hung up on systems and efficiencies that one reliable support channel for new agents frequently gets overlooked: the mentorship program.
When implemented properly, a mentorship program lays the foundation for agents to choose their own path to success.
Defining Success by Your Standards, Not the Individual’s
Consider what an agent needs to begin his or her real estate career: guidance, knowledge and a glimpse into everyday tasks so that he or she can relate to real-world experiences in the field.
Keep in mind that success and goals are individually defined. Some have a goal to help acquaintances and only sell one or two homes a year, while others set a huge sales volume goal. It’s not up to one person to determine if another is successful or not. It’s with this understanding that we’ve formed, and found success in, our mentorship program.
Assigning Mentors to Mentees, Not Matching Them
The evolution of our program began when we had one mentor that everyone had to rely on. The mentor was running her own business and becoming overwhelmed, causing the mentees to hesitate when they should have been reaching out.
Since a mentorship’s foundation is pairing two people together to create an environment conducive to learning and trust, the results were unfavorable.
Now, our program approaches the process differently. The very core of what we do at HomeSmart is giving our agents the education, tools and support to succeed, easily translating into building a mentorship program that’s valuable, not counterproductive.
Honing in on individuality, mentors and mentees are paired up based on teaching/learning styles and personality.
Enrollees begin with a behavioral assessment test to identify their strengths and weaknesses. The mentee is then interviewed about personal goals and expectations, followed by the mentee personally interviewing mentors matched through the test. The mentee can confidently make the final choice, creating an experience perfect for them.
Determining When the Mentorship Ends, Not Being Flexible
Empowering our agents to embrace their definition of success means being flexible with their time in the program. This is divided into two segments: length of time and program path.
Some mentees have preceding responsibilities, while others can dedicate more time to power through. Offering one set of time parameters to complete the program would fail those agents whose lives didn’t parallel our plan. Instead, our mentees work through at their pace, and once they’ve closed three sales transactions with the help of their mentor, they’ve completed the program.
Flexibility for our mentees is also given in their personal education choices. We have a professional development course that complements the program, and enrollees can choose to use it or not. We want our mentees to thrive, not be stuck in a program that pushes them away.
Ignoring Change, Not Embracing It
When we analyzed the program, we broke everything apart and asked difficult questions. The program is constantly evolving and improving because it isn’t rigidly structured. It needs to be flexible to bend with an agent’s needs.
As real estate changes and markets shift, agents coming in vacillate, too. We’re constantly looking forward and back so that we can find better ways to communicate and elevate the mentees’ experiences. Otherwise, we’ll fall behind the times.
Jennifer Ridenour is the consulting broker and agent development manager at HomeSmart International.
For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.