Q: “Denise, I have been asked to mentor a new agent. I am flattered and have wanted to give back, but I don’t know exactly what to expect. I don’t want to overextend myself but I do want to be fairly compensated for my time. What do you think?”
If you have been asked by your managing broker to mentor, your company may already have a framework in place for a mentorship program. That would be the first place to start in terms of learning expectations for support and resulting compensation.
What that framework probably doesn’t cover is the gray area – what happens when this new agent is faced with writing an offer in a multiple offer situation and offers are due the next morning at 9:00? What happens if the agent is in deep negotiations after the inspection and your mentee’s sellers are being completely unreasonable? What happens if their buyer wants to write a contingent offer on a weekend and you are out of town?
If you have the opportunity to be picky about choosing an agent to mentor, I would have an informal interview with him or her. In order to have a successful mentorship, you want to make sure that you both are a good fit for each other. Do you have similar workstyles? Communication styles? If this person is all text and you are all live on the phone, is there a way to bridge that communication gap? What if you are a morning person and they are a night owl? What if your idea of filing is newer piles and older piles and they never have anything left out on their desk? What if you are always on time and they always have an excuse for being late? What if your personality is promoter and they are analytical? While there is room for successful Odd Couple mentor/mentee relationships, you don’t want to drive each other crazy.
One of my favorite sayings is “agreements prevent disagreements”. Take the time to address, in writing if possible, expectations for availability, the problems you can solve as opposed to what the managing broker can solve, communication, and compensation if these aren’t already addressed in brokerage paperwork. Don’t be afraid to talk about these issues up front. It doesn’t mean you are being difficult; it means you care about a successful working relationship.