Monday, October 6, 2008

The Lie of Mentoring

Frequently in the process of interviewing new or prospective agents, they mention that they have talked to Broker X who, while running a small brokerage, will make them a fabulous deal on their split and throw in their personal services as a mentor. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Answer: it is.

Understand, they have no formal training program. This is a cop out. But what a great thing to be personally mentored by the BROKER him or herself! Not.

This is the most famous scam in the real estate world. Let me tell you why.

In the first place, they run a small brokerage. They still have to list and sell. If a choice is to be made between training you and going out and getting a listing or showing a property, whom do you think will win? Not you.

My second favorite thing about "mentoring" is that you get to be their personal gofer. You know, "go-for-this", "go-for-that" ? It will be wonderful experience for you to learn to pick up somebody's dry cleaning so that they can look good on their next appointment. If you are practicing to be someone's personal assistant, this will stand you in good stead. However, if actually being trained as a real estate agent is your goal, this isn't going to help.

I also prefer that you not learn all their bad habits. Not that you won't develop some on your own but at least start out in a situation that is teaching tried and true methods. Start with a clean slate, in other words. I am constantly amazed at what "experienced" agents/brokers in this market do not know and I can only imagine what they pass on in this selfless act of "mentoring".

So, you might not get the "fabulous" split at a full service,structured, education conscious brokerage, but what you might get will be far more valuable. Remember, a transaction may make you a living but a skill will make you a fortune.

1 comment:

Sean M. Carpenter said...


A very good point. I know this happens in the real estate industry and sudder to think it probably happens in other industrys as well.

I guess I understand the trust and responsibility that I give to my doctor, accountant or other professional comes from knowing that they were professionally trained and educated, using systems and methods that are triend and true - not tired and trite.

Agents owe it to themsleves to get the best training and support so they can deliver the best skills, tools and systems to their clients.