Mentoring 102: On-the-Job Mentoring
So, your mentee has landed her first commercial real estate position. She’s excited, engaged and ready to learn the ropes and land some deals. Despite her enthusiasm and drive, she feels overwhelmed and doesn’t know where to start.
This is where you come in.
In my last blog, “Why Mentoring Is Key to Future Success,” we discussed how a mentor assists with the initial career decision. As promised, this blog addresses how mentors can help young professionals start with necessary fundamentals.
This is important because like golf, if your set-up is poor, a bad swing will follow.
Fortunately, most real estate companies now use the team approach. Teams can consist of junior and senior members or of professionals with complimentary skill sets. This approach by its nature gives the novice both a focus and a mentor.
For small companies, less team opportunities exist, so individual mentoring becomes more important. As an example, here’s my personal situation: I recently hired a 23-year-old UGA graduate with one year of brokerage experience.
A raw talent for sure—but he’s hungry, eager, willing to work hard and ready to learn. It is my job to ensure he applies these attributes to the right activities and then to ensure he makes good decisions.
The activity part is easy—it is to:
- Pursue face-to-face networking—not only within the industry, but also outside of core business
- Familiarize yourself with markets
- Learn property fundamentals
- Know the value of information
The real value of the mentor comes in helping the mentee:
- Prioritize relationships
- Focus on markets or properties which represent the best opportunities
- Analyze market information and property details to determine if the opportunity satisfies our investment objectives
Using dialogue rather than dictation to help my mentee achieve these goals enables him to draw conclusions independently. And isn’t that the whole point?
My mentee will grow these abilities with time and experience, but if I can impart wisdom now, the road to success for him, and ultimately for us, is shorter. The mentoring relationship makes him productive more quickly, which results in more investment opportunities for our partners.