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Erin Sturges
Fathom Realty – Greensboro/Winston-Salem
Greensboro, N.C.

Region served: Triad area of North Carolina
Years in real estate: 10
Years mentoring: 2
Best time management tip: Do the tasks you don’t want to do first.
Key to staying motivated: Set specific goals, revisit them often and reward yourself when you reach them.
No. 1 tip for staying profitable: Find systems and products that work for you and stick with them. There is no technology that can compensate for a lack of knowledge, skill or prospecting.
Best way to facilitate a smooth transaction: Communicate in a polite, professional way—and always be kind.

What inspired you to become a mentor in the Fathom Realty mentoring program? 
In 2010, my first year as an agent, I went months without a closing after showing hundreds of homes. Then, I finally found the dream home with one of my first clients, but she lost it in multiple offers. But the agent that had the winning offer told me, “You are working really hard for your buyer and you are doing a great job. You are going to be a great agent.” He was so kind to me, and that was the inspiration I needed to keep going. So many agents have provided resources and encouragement to me over the years, and I hope I can be that for new agents at Fathom Realty.

How has the pandemic affected the mentoring program? 
We used to meet face to face with mentees on a weekly basis, but the pandemic has forced us to move to Zoom. I miss the face-to-face interactions, but virtual meetings are actually more efficient. Now I can easily show my mentees how to search for restrictions or permits, fill out forms and upload contract documents we are working on.

What are some of the most important lessons you teach your mentees? 
First, learn how to qualify buyers and sellers. The most important scripts you need to know are qualifying scripts, not objection handling scripts. If someone is objecting to your services, they probably aren’t ready, so put them in your database and move on. Next, read the contract. Most of the answers to questions you may have are right there in the fine print. Also, embrace the difficult transactions. They are the ones that teach you the most and make you a better agent.

Please share your favorite success story or proudest mentoring moment. 
I have so many! I think every first sale is so exciting and such an accomplishment, but I also love to see my mentees become more comfortable with communications and negotiations as they complete the program. I love it when they start asking really hard questions that I have to think about. That’s when I know that they’re “getting it” and will be successful.

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John Voket is a contributing editor to RISMedia.