A real estate veteran reveals why young agents should find a mentor, and shares his top tips on how to spot a good one.
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In a recent episode of Real Estate Business’ Secrets of the Top 100 Agents, Graeme Hyde, chief performance officer at Stone Real Estate, gave some crucial advice for up-and-coming agents, having also forecast that the future of Australian property is bright.
“If you’re between 20 and 30 years of age joining the real estate industry, I think there are some really exciting opportunities ahead,” the executive affirmed.
“I’ve always said that real estate is the biggest roller coaster ride in the world, but it’s the best ride in the park, without a doubt,” he shared. For newcomers to the profession, Mr Hyde advised finding a strong team to help you navigate the highs and lows of the real estate ride.
In an industry where experienced agents abound, what separates out a good mentor from the rest of the pack? Mr Hyde shared the top five traits that young agents should look out for when choosing a mentor.
When seeking a mentor, Mr Hyde stressed that “you’re not after a boss and you’re not after a friend”. Instead, a mentee should be after “somebody that you look up to and respect”.
The chief performance officer advised that success comes down to envisioning a specific career goal and then working backwards to figure out the next steps.
A mentor should be able to help answer two key questions: “How do I get to that point?” and “What do I need in order to be there?” The closer someone is to that ideal endpoint, the more accurately they will be able to advise agents looking to follow in their footsteps.
2. Always raising the bar
According to Mr Hyde, good mentors aren’t just there to be a cushion. He observed that the best mentors also keep you accountable and “push you that little bit more”.
He reflected that it’s tempting to become complacent and settle with moderate success, thinking, “Well, if I don’t get that sale, I don’t get that sale, because I’ve actually earned pretty well this quarter.”
In the “long-term game” that is real estate, the executive noted that the most successful agents keep their expectations high and refuse to sink into laxity.
Lows are an inevitable part of the real estate ride, and the chief performance officer acknowledged that “we’re all going to have times that listings are hard to get”.
“You miss out on a listing, or a sale falls through over nothing that you did wrong.”
In moments of disappointment like this, Mr Hyde highlighted the importance of having an experienced agent on your side who can say: “You know what? That’s okay. Let’s dust off, jump back on the horse. Let’s jump back on the phone today and make another 20 calls.”
This positive mindset can make or break an agent, and is a vital skill that an experienced agent can pass on to a mentee.
4. Shared values
The executive suggested that a role model should ideally share “the same cultural and ethical standards as what you have as a person”.
Personal fit is as much a part of mentoring success as professional experience, and shared points of connections can help forge “a sustained real estate career”, rather than a transactional relationship where your colleagues “just employ you and say, ‘There’s your desk over in the corner.’”
“We’ve all seen it happen before” that somebody comes into a new office and then quickly moves on because “it wasn’t a good fit”, Mr Hyde said.
For authentic and sustainable mentor relationships, getting the fit right is essential.
5. Puts the team first
As the chief performance officer reflected: “A lot of leadership is really about empowering others with the resources and the knowledge and the skills to be the best they can possibly be.”
This means that a skilled leader is “somebody that is prepared to put others first, before themselves”. He explained that this generosity is a crucial asset in leaders because it makes “people want to be part of that team”, rather than having to be “talked into it”.
The ability to “nurture and cater for people’s needs in the business” is an integral trait of a great real estate mentor, Mr Hyde stated.
Listen to the full conversation here.
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