In every industry, ongoing learning and training is an invaluable part of creating professionals who have a strong knowledge base and the capacity to provide clients or customers with what they need, when they need it.
Outside of formal education and qualification-building, having a mentor is the best way for people new to an industry or field to learn. Being able to watch how someone else conducts themself and conducts their business, teaches us about processes, procedures, values and work ethic.
Industry expert, Lisa B, explores how you can be a great mentor, even when the market is changing and the conditions are more challenging.
I believe there are a few essential qualities to becoming a good mentor, coach or leader, and many of those qualities are interrelated. I believe it’s also worth learning to master these so you can have an equilibrium in your office.
Be an inspiration
As a mentor, coach or leader, you need to be able to inspire others.
Inspire others to want to be part of your vision, inspire them to WANT to be on YOUR team. You need to ensure there is none of this ‘us and them’ mentality, it just doesn’t work and it’s not healthy for anyone.
You need to be able to set the scene and entice them to want to be a part of what you’re creating. Inspire them to want to be the best at what they do.
Be a listener
Being able to listen and communicate is essential.
Listen to what people need, and that doesn’t mean just waiting for them to finish speaking so you can say what is on your mind or throw in your opinion. Really listen — people know when you’re not actively listening and it can affect their capacity to respect you and feel respected by you.
It’s also handy to be able to read in between the lines so you can hear what they’re not saying, but need you to know!
Make sure everyone takes ownership in good times and bad.
Just the same way we can take ownership when the office is pumping, we also need to take ownership when it’s not. If sometimes we get off track, we need to regroup and reset the course, to get back on the right path again.
Provide advice and direction
When you’re starting in a new field, and often even if you’ve been in a field for quite some time, it can be easy to lose direction or confidence. As mentors, we need to be able to guide others on the road they wish to take, to listen and provide advice or encouragement.
To do this, we need to take the time to really know our team members. We need to understand their goals, their motivations, their hopes, their fears, and their dreams. If we can guide them and help them get through the tough times, we also have the privilege then of helping them celebrate their wins.
Remind them of their abilities
While teaching and imparting knowledge are commonly considered keys to being a good mentor, sometimes it’s less about telling them how to do something, and more about reminding them they can already do it.
In an industry like ours, especially as it fluctuates and changes, it is not uncommon to question our abilities or feel like the losses are piling up. As a mentor in these times, it is our job to re-motivate our people, to remind them of their wins and to emphasise the external factors that may be affecting performance.
Be consistent and set an example
Implementing a disciplined approach in your office comes partly from establishing systems and processes, and partly from showing your team how to follow them every day.
By setting an example, adhering to rules and processes, and generally just being consistent, you are teaching them to do the same and showing them what they need to do.
Great mentors praise!
Praise those who are working hard despite not getting the results. If they are doing the right actions the results will follow — being positive on their behalf will keep them positive.
Also praise those who get the wins on the board and encourage them to keep at it, to get right back out there and win again!
In short, a great mentor, coach or leader needs to:
- Always lead from the front.
- Have a vision.
- Have a plan.
- Keep people working on the plan.
- Keep an eye on statistics so they can monitor improvement.
- Dissect what their team is doing right and wrong. They need to do so without blaming anyone.
- Help the team see what they can control and what they can’t control.
- Be positive and hopeful. They are realists but they can also see clear paths to success.
- Train their minds to see the positives in everything. Because normally we worry about things that never happen. Worry if and when the time comes.
- Make sure their team doesn’t get caught up in losing the listing or the sale; help them get straight back out there.
- Have understanding and empathy.
- Make an individual’s results about the individual AND THEN how it fits into the office goals.
EAC Industry Reporter
Real Estate Coach and Trainer
0412 210 558