Redefining mentoring: There’s no one-size-fits-all



Most progressive real estate businesses have mentoring programs in recognition of the importance of sharing ideas, wisdom, experiences and more.

One of the most common misconceptions though is age.

Mentors need not be industry veterans, just as mentees need not be new to the industry.

In fact, for mentoring programs to deliver the optimum results, particularly in an ever-changing industry like real estate, identifying and pushing back against misconceptions is essential.

There’s a misconception that all real estate agents are extroverted, that they crave the spotlight, that they’re cocky, even.

Our mentors tell us something different, though.

Mental health is very much an issue of concern for the next generation.

Many worry about their resilience, their ability to withstand setbacks, to overcome challenges that they know are coming. 

They are wary of a delicately balanced economy.

They feel targeted by negative mainstream media.

Many know the theoretical path to success but feel unsure of the practical steps to take.

How these feelings manifest is predictable but concerning.

A lack of confidence.

Anxiety.

People second-guessing themselves.

The building of barriers, which are perception and not reality, can nonetheless result in a hesitance to progress. 

Some people will regretfully resign, thinking the issues they’re experiencing are specific to their job, only to encounter the same feelings and challenges in the next place.

These behaviours may be familiar to the current generation of agents.

But the challenges and pressures new agents face are different, triggered by a changing real estate environment. 

For this reason, what constituted effective mentoring in the past can’t account for the needs of the next generation.

Mentoring itself needs to adapt.

This depends on better preparing, and equipping, mentors.

“To succeed like I have, do what I did.”

This is the type of advice that’s become obsolete.

Instead of telling mentees what to do, mentoring today should be about empowerment. 

For a course of action to be right for the mentee, they must devise it themselves.

The mentor’s role is to help them clear the road map to get there.

Show them – indeed walk with them – down the path they know they need to take.

It’s a slight philosophical shift which can have significant implications for mentoring programs.

Three areas in which companies need to adapt their mentoring programs include matching, framework and evaluation.

At Laing+Simmons, we invest in a great amount of pre-work to help mentors understand their role.

We layer this with personality profiling we undertake with all our people, to match mentors and mentees not based on role, or years of experience, or geography, but on values and personality instead. 

It’s a new approach which is delivering more immediate advantages.

The matches build rapport and trust significantly faster.

Mentors and mentees reap the benefits earlier in the relationship and on a deeper level. 

With shared values and natural similarities, mentors are more effectively able to identify what a person needs to a specific detail.

We’ve discovered that, with this deeper insight, most mentors then get to know their mentee on a personal level and can better understand what motivates them.

They can then provide the support, guidance and advice they know will generate the best outcomes.

To do this, mentors need the right framework.

In creating our mentoring program, Elevate, we developed guide books for both mentors and mentees with a clear framework to follow.

It starts with a self-reflection process, which helps our people clarify why they want to be a mentor or mentee.

Our head of people and growth personally runs a session on how to get the most out of the program, on both sides.

There’s guidance as to when it might be appropriate for a mentor to refer someone to our employee assistance program for more targeted support.

A fit-for-purpose mentoring framework must be robust but fluid.

For instance, we run regular check-in sessions and seek feedback from everyone in the program every three months to ensure we are across everything we need to be.

With each round of new mentoring matches we facilitate additional education sessions, and these are reviewed each time they’re delivered.

With each round, we’re finding more and more people want to get involved, because they see the impacts on their colleagues.

So, again, we need to adapt.

Other leading real estate businesses are adapting their mentoring too.

Technology, AI, new regulation, evolving consumer preferences and shifting market dynamics – we all know the drivers of change. 

It’s about considering the impact of these drivers on the way we prepare and support the next generation of agents. 

The post Redefining mentoring: There’s no one-size-fits-all appeared first on Elite Agent.



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