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We recently surveyed licensed real estate professionals and asked them what’s working best in their business, and what’s working least. We analyzed the data from over 1,000 responses and found that for agents with less than three years of experience, social media is driving much of their business, but they’re struggling with lead generation. Inversely, experienced agents with 10-plus years under their belts are having the most success with lead generation, but fall significantly short when it comes to using social media.

It’s an interesting dichotomy, and not all that surprising. Most of the younger agents entering the profession know their way around social platforms, understand best practices, and can leverage the tools quickly and efficiently. For seasoned agents, especially those who have never had to rely on social media before, it can be overwhelming, as well as a burden. One respondent with 25 years in the business even shared, “Social media is foreign to me. I think I need to find me a teenager to walk me through it.”

While a teen in your family may be able to show you the ropes, we’ll offer up a more beneficial solution: Form a reverse mentorship with a younger real estate agent.

The Benefits of a Reciprocal Mentorship
This version of mentoring sees that both sides learn something beneficial and doesn’t follow a traditional mentor/mentee relationship. There are several benefits of this non-traditional set-up:

  • It can close the knowledge gap for both parties. If you’re stuck on how to leverage social media, your partner can help. If your partner struggles with creating leads, you can help him or her navigate best practices.
  • It empowers both established and emerging real estate leaders.
  • It can be simple. The mentorship can take place within your existing company structure through informal meetings.

How to Form a Reciprocal Mentorship
For a reciprocal mentorship to be beneficial, several factors must be in place:

  • Identify a good partner. The relationship needs good chemistry between both participants, so don’t choose a partner on a whim. Have a few conversations with potential candidates to ensure they have the skills and knowledge that you need and are willing to build a relationship with you.
  • Define your expectations and agree on the rules across both parties. What are each of you trying to get out of the relationship?
  • Have an open mind and cultivate trust. The idea behind this type of mentorship is to help push you into an area that is new to you, so you must have an open mind and trust your partner for it to succeed.
  • Be willing to learn. In a mentoring relationship like this, both parties play the mentor and the mentee, so you both must genuinely want to learn from the other.
  • Communicate effectively. Both parties must be willing to communicate their ideas and feelings openly.
  • Measure the progress. Check in on a regular basis to ensure you’re both happy with the relationship and that you’re both benefiting.

Tom Davidson is the general manager of Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Davidson has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate industry. From sales training and product development to growing the business, his multi-faceted background encompasses crucial functions to a successful career in the field. To learn more, visit