A Final Word About Mentors

Finding a mentor must be a deliberate and conscious process for you. But engaging someone to be your mentor is not always as straightforward as marching into his or her office and asking, “Will you be my mentor?” Mentoring often implies a huge commitment to people, and the person you choose may not even understand exactly what you’re asking. So, consider taking a more indirect approach with someone you think you can learn from but who might not be comfortable with the label.

Think of it in terms of building a relationship with someone you admire and respect. Be confident in asking potential mentors to join you for lunch or coffee and be sincere in telling them how much you admire them and how much you think you can learn from them. Be generous with your thanks and share how valuable their advice has been, and use this as an opportunity to ask for counsel again. Make sure your mentors know they are helping you better define your goals and shape your plans, and that you appreciate their interest. At some point, you may even thank them for being great mentors to you and they’ll be surprised to hear you use that word.

Source: Adapted from Your First Year in Real Estate by Dirk Zeller (Prima Lifestyles, 2001)

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