Twenty (20) Years in the Business Does Not a Mentor Make

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Twenty (20) Years in the Business Does Not a Mentor Make (30DC25)

Every now and then we run across the real estate agent that boast "I've been doing this for 20 years" as if to say, look here Rookie I stopped learning years ago so there is nothing you can tell me about this business.  There's a certain tone that is really saying "just sit back and take notes and watch my smoke."

When someone makes an unwarranted point of pointing out their longevity in the business it always makes me wonder if they feel that they'll garner instant respect.  Is an auto pilot announcement really warranted or should their actions be reflective of your unspoken claim?

I have never had a mentor (directly) but I've taken notes in the background.  I've watched performers with positive energy, a master plan, good habits that consistently reap results, and I've adopted some of the best practices of these producers.

I don't make the claim that I've never had a mentor as some sort of statement that I'm "all of that" even without having had a one on one mentor relationship.  Not having a mentor may have been my saving grace in that now my knowledge base is broader than any one person could have ever provided.   And as I have only been in the business for 5 years, I am still a mentee being educated by mentors that are available at my beck and call. I'm not pigeoned holed into being paired with a single person, affiliated with a single company. 

I can learn whenever I feel like it.  I can pick and choose the best practices for me and my business from multiple sources .

We're in a business that is constantly changing and selecting a mentor requires evaluating that person and listening for cues that will let you know if they are changing with the times or stuck in a time warp.   Is the mentor open to new ideas and willing to incorporate some of the old school lessons with the new school.  Does the mentor seem like the type that will allow you to bring something to the table by way of knowledge and/or youth if that's the case.

I have not mentored anyone and may not be in a position to do so at this moment.  But what I will always bring to the table is an open mind and a mind that is willing to absorb new things like a sponge or surround myself with people who will or are willing to do likewise.  Even if I don't agree or initially grasp a concept, does not mean I'm not willing to go out on a limb and give it a try.  I do believe that there are no rewards without some risk.

My name is Charita Cadenhead and I've been a real estate agent for 5 years.  Although I am a broker/owner, I don't know everything there is to know and the funny thing is that I don't know of anyone who does.

If you are seeking a mentor, I know where you can find one or many:  www.ActiveRain.com

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 09/16/2010 08:16 AM
  2. Susan Morrison 09/16/2010 02:01 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
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Rainmaker
242,725
Phil Stevenson, CRMP
PS Financial Services 305-791-4874 or 888-845-6630 - Miami, FL
Reverse Mortgage Expert in Miami and Florida

Charita, 20 years of "experience" is not 20 years of "competence."  It's easy to have a license for 15 years and work full time somewhere else, and then act like you know everything.  Great post.

Sep 17, 2010 02:48 PM #83
Rainmaker
330,006
Jon Quist
LONG REALTY - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Like most other posters I learn something everyday, and I've been doing this since April 1996.

In my previous business life, even when "young" for my job, management still considered my personality as one that lent itself to mentoring. it didn't hurt that I was one of the "Whiz kids" at the time.

In real estate I don't know that I'd feel comfortable doing mentoring though. Hard to pass on experience when no two transactions are the same.

Sep 17, 2010 02:53 PM #84
Rainer
218,573
Robert Amato
Bob Amato of Empire Home Mortgage Inc - East Meadow, NY

Charita,

 Although we have never met in person or chatted on the phone, I consider you my mentor. That is why I am here, to learn. I check in everyday, read some blogs, post some comments, put up a joke of the day to get people to smile. Each and every person here on active rain who posts, blogs or explains, I consider my mentor. I am sure that I am someones mentor also.

Sep 17, 2010 03:11 PM #85
Ambassador
686,039
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Eric we need more people to help other grow and those who are experiencing the glory days right now are the one that are helping to pay it forward.  You are a prime example of how those who are fairly new to the business can take hold of the knowledge that is available to you and build a business based on that knowledge and the proper application of it.

Shari rookie can teach just as well as veterans.  Afterall, the rookies are using tools and resources to make a killing in the business.  There is something to be said for that and credit should be given where credit is due.  I certainly applaud you.

Ty and those are the ones to watch out for (or run from).

Carolyne that's a shame that people close their minds to taking in new information.

Well Roger I am 50 years young so you've got a point there and you bet, I'm going to make the very best of it.

Phil 20 years experience certainly does not equate to competence.  I sure am glad that I don't run into these kinds of agents often.

Jon although no two transactions are alike, there would still be lots that you could teach (developing good prospecting habits, agent to agent courtesy, how to property conduct a listing and buyer presentation, etc).  I could go on and on so you may want to rethink that and then pay it forward.

Robert that's the beauty of ActiveRain:  everywhere you turn, you learn.

 

 

Sep 17, 2010 03:41 PM #86
Rainmaker
266,652
Carrie Sampron
Home Smart Realty Group - Highlands Ranch, CO
ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R

Charita:  I believe we've approached real estate in a very similar manner.  Learn from those you respect and admire.  Thanks - Carrie

Sep 17, 2010 05:34 PM #87
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686,039
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Carrie it's amazing how great minds think alike isn't it:).

Sep 17, 2010 06:52 PM #88
Rainer
4,533
Racquel McDermott
Soria Real Estate - Burlington, WA
Racquel McDermott, Non-Compete Designated Broker

Charita, That's what I LOVE about real estate....always learning, always more to learn!

Racquel McDermott, REALTOR, Burlington, WA (RE/MAX Territory NW)

Sep 17, 2010 07:40 PM #89
Rainer
46,963
Lisa Hickling
Brampton, ON

One true mark of a great mentor is the ability put yourself in the place of your protege. That is, helping someone to constructively apply keypoints of your experience. If all you have to offer are quotations of personal stats then you're a reporter not a coach.

Great post Charita! My best wishes to you as you continue to grow in knowledge and application. I only hope to do the same.

Lisa H.
Greater Toronto Area, Ontario

Sep 17, 2010 11:58 PM #90
Rainmaker
214,410
Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore - Clarkston, MI
Southeast Michigan Real Estate

I like the stories of old timers. Part of my success over the 19 years I've been selling has been listening to the old timers and learning. And 20 years with an average of 50 sales/year gets a person many more learning opportunities than 5 years at 50 sales/year. You can't assume a person stopped learning at year X.

Sep 18, 2010 01:12 AM #91
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Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Rachel, it comes with the territory.

That's a very good point Lisa.  I'll have to remember that. Thank you.

Oh Jackie the intent here is definitely not to discount the many years of experience of the veteran agents.  I think many of us can underestimate those years of experience.  And you are also correct that we can't assume that a person stopped learning, but as soon as some open their mouths, they'll let you know at what point they stopped listening and learning.

Sep 18, 2010 05:32 AM #92
Rainer
37,492
Denise Pudim
Kear Realty, Inc. - Chillicothe, OH

Great post!  I have been at this less then 1 year, but at my brokerage, my fellow agents embrace my thoughts and ideas and never make me feel like I have nothing to offer.  What a blessing to work for such an agency.  You can never know enough! It is nice to give back after all they have given me for knowledge.  ActiveRain is also a part of my daily learning, and I try every day to get them to sign on!

Sep 18, 2010 08:00 AM #93
Rainmaker
214,410
Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore - Clarkston, MI
Southeast Michigan Real Estate

Charita- You may not have meant it the way I took it, but you hit a nerve here. I hit MY 20 year mark next year. I also haven't experienced bad agents lording their experience. I don't see an agent talking about their years of experience as any different thanputting Broker after you name in your signature line. Or GRI or CRS or ABR...

We have some agents in my office who have been selling since before I was born and they are a wealth if information. I was also raised to respect my elders, so when I do hear someone blowing smoke I just nod and smile and later flush what they said. But I figure anyone who has been around that long deserves some respect.

Another reason this post (and many of the comments) hit a very raw nerve, is it seems like a few months ago probably 25% of the featured posts were critical of experienced agents- referring to experienced agents as dinosaurs, behind in the technology department, all of us over price ALL our listings, blah blah blah. Usually the comments are more derogatory than the original post.

Now I need to leave- take my geriatric butt to one of my overpriced listings to show him how his house looks in the MLS book :)

Sep 18, 2010 08:35 AM #94
Rainmaker
459,971
Jeana Cowie
RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Paramus, NJ
Broker Associate, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES

Charita, Good post. I have been disappointed with some of the veterans in the business, but some of them can be mentor-worthy. I've been in real estate for 17 years (don't hold that against me:) and I learn everyday from everyone, agents, sellers, buyers. We have to continue to evolve or become extinct. I think the public deserves someone with quality experience, not quantity. There are agents with 25 years who have been part time, or really don't know alot about the business. Their 25 years might really = 5 years.

My mentor (she was in the business 15 years at the time) showed up drunk at a seller presentation with me - that was when I realized I needed to "rough it" on my own. I couldn't believe it....

Sep 18, 2010 09:51 AM #95
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686,039
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Denise it is a blessing to have everyone embrace your ideas.  It doesn't matter if you've only been in this business one year.  A good idea is a good idea.

Jackie perhaps you did misunderstand (or maybe not).  I'm no angel and I don't pretend to not understand something that I don't agree with.  Having said that, I simply just CAN NOT imagine that you've been in the business 20 years and have not encountered such a person as is the topic of this post.  But that's only ME and my limited imagination.

I don't care how many times I run into these agents, I am going to give them my undivided and uninterrupted attention as they give their "20 year" speech and upon departing, I'll take away what I deem useful and table all of the rest.  If you took this personally, I'm sorry.  Now I need to leave before I say too much.

Jeana I'm willing to bet that there are far more that are mentor worthy than not.  Sometimes people mentor and don't even know it.  As for your experience with your mentor, I know it must have been embarrassing at the time, but I'm sitting here right now LMAO.  Excuse me for being human but that is funny as hell when you look back on it.

Sep 18, 2010 10:24 AM #96
Rainmaker
309,018
Margaret C. Taylor
Century 21 New Millennium MD - Mechanicsville, MD
St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent

I appreciated being 'assigned' a mentor as soon as I came in the office.  It meant from day one I wasn't alone and knew where i could go with my questions.  Soon I learned most agents would be willing with a quick answer but to problem solve it was good to have my mentor.  Margaret C.

Sep 18, 2010 04:53 PM #97
Ambassador
686,039
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Margaret I believe having a mentor is the absolute best route to go.  Had my circumstances been different, I probably would have had a mentor as well.  You were very fortunate and I hope you are paying it forward.

Sep 18, 2010 05:01 PM #98
Rainer
24,640
Dawn Rupersburg ABR, CRS, AHWD
Coral Shores Realty Inc. - Ocala, FL
Coral Shores Realty, Full Time Realtor

I just cringe when someone starts the conversation with all their years in this business.  It tells me  this person is going to be lazy.  I mean who cares how many years you have in the business if you don't get off your butt and do your job.  Were here to work together and take care of the public.  

"I've been doing this for 20 years" as if to say, look here Rookie I stopped learning years ago so there is nothing you can tell me about this business.

Sep 18, 2010 11:12 PM #99
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686,039
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Dawn I hear your frustration. Lazy, to me, is a pretty strong word so I don't know if I would say that, but I wrote the post so I definitely "get" that some of the veterans assume some liberties that aren't warranted.   Trust me, I'd be the first to admit if I'd come across a veteran who didn't want to get it together and hold up their end of a deal.  To me, that would be run neck in neck with not living in the NOW.

Sep 19, 2010 07:13 AM #100
Rainmaker
217,841
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

When I hear "I've been in the business for x years", then I usually expect there will not be room for discussion or negotiation.

I'm in WashingtonDC, and many times, I also hear "my client has a law degree from <a school>", or "I'm a lawyer", and again, I feel there will be little room for discussion or negotiation.

 

If you flip those statements, the entire world opens up "I've been in this business for x years, but maybe you can teach me this new approach" would be nice.  I sure hope that's how I can be in the future.  Because don't we all find we can learn from all sorts of different people?

 

Sep 19, 2010 11:40 PM #101
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686,039
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Claude we can all learn something from someone else (young, old and in between).  The oldies should show an interest in what newer agents have to offer.  I thought that type of resentment went away with the 80's.  Good point.

Sep 20, 2010 08:37 PM #102
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