Questions to Ask Potential Mentors

To help you determine which of the potential mentors you’ve identified would best suit your needs, you should ask them the following questions:

  • What are the essential skills to achieve peak performance in real estate sales? The keyword here is “skills” and the question will assess prospective mentors’ knowledge of real estate sales. They understand it’s more than “You have to like being around people.” The answer includes insightful information about prospecting, scripts, effective lead follow-up techniques, managing revenue, and controlling expenses.
  • What are some of the obstacles I’m going to face? Look for someone who is several levels above your experience, but not the most experienced person in the company. The most experienced person might have been at it so long that he or she can’t remember what it was like for a rookie. You need someone to help you identify obstacles you’ll encounter in today’s real estate market and has real-time experience in overcoming challenges.
  • What resources are available that will better ensure my growth and success? Working with a mentor exclusively is not the answer to improving your skills. Look to them for guidance on books, tapes, scripts, coaching, workshops, seminars, professional associations, professional development opportunities—anything that could be of help and interest to you in moving forward in your development. Their recommendations could be an interesting new bestseller about leadership or a suggestion that you join a local Toastmasters club to build confidence in your speaking abilities.
  • What experiences have helped you develop the desired skills to excel? This should be one of the most interesting conversations you have with potential mentors. What were the most interesting challenges and opportunities they faced that help them build their focus, work habits, and judgment? Did they have a mentor who helped them reach certain goals and the next level of success? What are the most amazing successes they’ve enjoyed and most dismal failures they’ve survived?
  • Why did you decide to enter real estate? They will likely share a little of their personal history and philosophy about life that led them to a career in real estate. Was their driving interest the profession itself, the flexible schedules, the potential for “big money”? The answer will tell you a lot about their values.
  • What are your goals and how do you plan to achieve them? If your potential mentor can answer this question with a clear explanation of his or her goals and well thought-out plan, then you know you’ve found the right person because that’s exactly the approach to your new career that you should develop.
  • What are some ways you distinguish yourself from your competitors? Knowing how to find your niche and then be a unique asset to a targeted audience is an important step toward achieving professional success in the real estate industry.
  • How can I help you achieve your goals? The other person might not be expecting your offer but will likely see the value of engaging you in their aspirations. After all, you’ll learn more by helping them than you will by tackling projects on your own.
  • Can I share my goals with you? What do you think of my goals? Will you help me achieve them? This is the crux of the conversation. The answers to these questions will give you the feedback you need—about your goals, about the potential mentor’s willingness to get involved, and about his or her ability to effectively guide you. You will quickly learn if he or she is right for you. The person either has a passion to invest in others or doesn’t.

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

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