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Still deciding which company to join? Move those with mentoring programs to the top of your list. Why? Because, while we learn a lot in real estate school—what we don’t really learn are the nuances of sales. The connectivity with people. The natural cadence of a listing appointment. That’s where it’s handy to have a “buddy.”

Many companies these days get this. They understand that the sooner you are up and running and earning commissions, the happier you’ll be, and the more value you’ll bring both to the organization and to the community. From onboarding systems, to new agent training, to putting agent mentors and protégés together, savvy brokers want to shorten the learning curve for newcomers as much as possible.

While most call these lifeline-agents mentors, I prefer to call them buddies. Mostly, because it reminds me of when my son was just a little guy and they’d have to line up in school and hold the hands of their buddy when they were leaving the classroom, getting on a bus, etc. To me, the name invokes people sticking together to safely navigate new paths. I like that idea, don’t you?

Your real estate buddy, because of the relationship, is going to be rewarded monetarily for working with you. Because your success will benefit them financially, you should have no qualms about asking her or him as many questions as you need to. After all, you can’t be a success without asking questions.

These are typically seasoned (and most definitely patient) agents who have been there and done that, and live by the motto, “there are no stupid questions,” which is good, because there will definitely be times when you feel like your question is, well, questionable!

Pay close attention and you will learn a lot from your buddy as she or he helps you to negotiate your first few transactions. What you learn in a classroom is totally different from what happens in a live situation. With your real estate buddy right there next to you, you’ll get help with those first few deals—and with whatever tricky situations may arise.

Your buddy will also assist you in generating listing appointments. Make sure whomever you choose as your mentor is a strong listing agent so that you start your real estate path off in the right direction. Many new agents are immediately drawn to working with buyers. They find it more comfortable and less intimidating than taking listings; however, the key to long-term, exponential success in this industry means mastering your listing skills. It’s a foundation builder.

Your real estate buddy will actually go on listing appointments with you. When you go on the first few listing appointments to talk to homeowners about hiring you, no matter how much you’ve been trained, you’re going to feel out of your element. Your real estate buddy will be there helping you through the conversation.

What’s your relationship with your real estate buddy? Who’s responsible for what? Every company is different, but here’s a general overview of how some mentoring programs work: 

Seller Buddy 

With the first listing that you get together, you will generate the listing appointment yourself, you will go the appointment together, and your real estate buddy will deliver the whole listing conversation to the seller. Once the homeowner hires both of you, the real estate buddy does all the servicing—writing the ads, doing the broker’s open house, and so on. The buddy will spend all the money in promoting that listing. You will tag along and act as an assistant on that particular listing. It’s a learning experience.

With the second listing you get together, again you get the listing appointment yourself, but this time you do the servicing yourself. You’ll split the expenses 50/50 with your buddy, even though you’re doing all the work. Your real estate buddy will be there for support. If you have questions about how to do something, he or she will be there for you. The buddy goes on the listing with you and does most of the listing appointment.

With the third listing you get, you’ll again generate the listing appointment and you’ll both go on the listing appointment, but now you should do all of the talking and marketing.

With the fourth listing, you do everything yourself. The real estate buddy really doesn’t do anything. You get the appointment. You go by yourself. You do the servicing. You spend all the money. Your buddy is just there, basically, so that you can ask questions of him or her.

You’re going to pay your real estate buddy on each one of these listings, but the payments will change as the responsibilities shift—and they are going to. In the beginning, the first listing, with the exception of you getting the appointment, your real estate buddy is doing most of the work; therefore, he or she is going to get most of the commission when the house sells. With the fourth listing, you’re doing all the work, but your buddy is still there to support you, so they’ll take a percentage. With your fifth listing, you’re totally on your own, so you don’t share anything with anybody except your broker.

Buyer Buddy

If you include responsibilities for buyers in this job description between the two of you, generally you would do everything for the buyer leads. You’ll choose the houses to show, show your buyers properties and if they like one, they’ll buy one!

It’s like anything else. You get what you pay for based on the difficulty of the job. The more talented you are, the harder it is to do a job. If you can do it well, well you get paid more. That’s listings. Working with buyers is very easy. You’ll select the houses, take the buyers out and you’ll show properties. Now you’re going to ask your real estate buddy, “Which houses should I show them?” You’ll just ask the basic question, and your buddy won’t be investing a tremendous amount of time because he or she is only answering you, not showing the property.  When you take buyers out, if they like a house, you’re going to have to write a contract on it. You’re going to have to present that contract to the homeowners. Your real estate buddy will be there for you. The best thing is that, on the first transaction, or even the second one perhaps, your real estate buddy presents the whole thing for you and you just watch, listen and learn.

One question you might have is, “How long do I work with a real estate buddy?” The answer: until you feel comfortable that you can manage on your own. You’ll be the judge of when that moment will be, but I’ll make a suggestion. When you’ve gotten four listings and two sales, you should be reaching a new comfort level. Speak with your buddy and your manager about where to go from there!

You’ve got this. I’m here to help, with a passionate community of Power Agents® “Buddies” that can be there for you as well. Learn more at

Darryl Davis, bestselling author of “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate” and owner of Darryl Davis Seminars, has trained and coached over 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe for more than 27 years. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system, The Power Program®, which has helped agents double their production over their previous year. For more information, and the new agent tools that can help take you to your Next Level®, please contact or visit