These and dozens of other considerations are in my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.
So, what about getting a mentor? Here are the pros and cons.
Getting a Mentor
What is a ‘mentor’? There’s not a clearly defined job function. Mentors are usually seasoned agents who offer to help new agents. They may
- Offer advice
- Allow you to shadow them
- Ask you to do parts of their business
New agents love the thought of a mentor, because they have so many questions. And, they think the mentor will be their ‘answer man’. But, I’ve observed that having an ‘answer man’ surely doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, it may impede an agent getting into action. How? An agent may think he needs more and more information before he will act. Then, he just keeps coming to the mentor for every question under the sun. And, the more the new agent knows, the more frightened he becomes. Plus, the advice received from the mentor may not be in the new agent’s best interest.
Get The Services in Writing
If you are considering a mentor, get in writing exactly what the mentor will do for you. (and what they won’t or can’t do for you!)
Here’s the question to ask yourself: Why is the mentor willing to help you? What does the mentor expect from you?
Joining a Team
Another consideration new agents have is to join a team. As you interview, you may be invited to join an office team. That means you’ll be essentially working for a ‘rainmaker’, a lead agent who generates ‘leads’ for those on his team. Of course, those leads cost money, and the rainmaker takes about half the income from the team member for the lead generation and other services.
Team Leaders Generate Leads for Team Members–but There’s a ‘Catch’….
Teaming helps agents obtain leads as they start up business. While agents earn the most in commission dollars when they generate their leads themselves, a new agent may need to pay for someone else’s lead generation to begin to develop business. There is a downside to this approach, however. Agents can become complacent and sit and wait for leads. They won’t generate—until they get tired of paying for someone else’s leads.
Positives: You may be able to jump-start your career with leads given to you.
Watch out for: Be careful to choose a rainmaker who really has enough good leads to distribute to you. Sit in on her team meeting to see how she manages the team. Find out if and how the rainmaker will train you. Find out how much turnover there has been on the team. Find out whether you can sell and list houses outside the team—and how much the rainmaker would charge you if you did. Read the contract the rainmaker asks you to sign and be sure you understand the consequences of your involvement. Evaluate how good a leader that rainmaker is. Some rainmakers are great salespeople, but lousy leaders, and so their team never ‘gells’.
Most team leaders ultimately expect their team members to generate their own leads, in addition to team leads. If you can’t meet the rainmaker’s expectations, you are terminated. Be willing and ready to take the responsibilities of team member seriously.
Be informed: Be sure to get the services and responsibilities, plus the commission structure of the team–in writing!
Your Experience with Mentors or Teams
What experience have you had? Let me know, so we’ll add your comments to my advice!