There’s always something to howl about

Why Don’t Most New Or Struggling Real Estate Agents Want To Be Mentored?

From time to time many of the contributors here have written about the concept of mentoring from one viewpoint or another. You may be a mentor, or have been well mentored, or both. Maybe neither. In fact, probably neither. My experience has been somewhat anomalous in that I was blessed, early on, with an abundance of first-rate, exceptionally successful mentors, who literally didn’t give a damn about my feelings. Tough? One of ‘em was a Marine, a survivor of the Battle of Guadalcanal. When he talked, you listened, then said, “Yes sir, thank you sir, may I please have another?” The guy was funny, but brutal. And boy, was he ‘colorful’. Many years later, after Jim had passed away, Dad told me that Jim bet him he could make me cry.

This year has been an eyeopener for me as it relates to mentoring. You’d think agents, especially the younger ones, would be eager to learn which way’s north on the map from someone who’s been there, done that, been knocked down, yet survived to thrive. As each year as gone by, fewer and fewer agents last longer than a week or so under a bona fide mentor. Most say they want to learn, but when push comes to shove, talk must be converted to walk, and they trip on their own BS. In the last month or so I’ve asked several experienced agents who, as policy, give of their time to mentor, if they’ve seen the same trend. Yes — it was unanimous.

Every single one of my mentors, and there were many, extracted a sacred promise from me to pay it forward. I’ll not live to be old enough to get free and clear of that obligation, though I try.

In the last decade or so, I’ve had several agents ask me to mentor them, as in, “Will you please mentor me?” Three of ‘em walked their talk to the end. All three currently thrive. Just a guess, but in the last three years or so, there’ve been at least 15-20 come to me, initiating contact, wanting to be mentored. They all fell by the wayside, and pretty quickly at that. And for the record, I’m not generalizing about their character, either way. Many, I’m sure, had their own reasons, possibly unrelated to real estate. Hell, they may’ve just not liked me, who knows?

My upbringing, plus, ironically my mentors’ teaching, force me to take the lion’s share of the blame.

Still, I give freely of my time, and love the process of mentoring. There’s nothing different in my approach now, than in years past, yet those mentored are simply not taking the bit, they’re spittin’ it out. It’s not that what I teach is outdated, as many here would aver, as I’m still walkin’ that talk myself.

Though I hesitate to say this aloud, it occurs to me that my way has everything to offer except anything close to a magic button. If that’s indeed the wrench in the works, I’m saddened.

A current project, under the radar, on which I’ve been workin’ is also sans any magic buttons. Yet as we near launch time, it appears, based upon close analysis of the targeted groups, that it should, more likely than not, be successful.

‘Course, the proof will reside in how furry my newly constructed wall becomes. My only worry comes from wondering if the wall is big enough. :)

Having been so long divorced from my hometown market (seven years), I’ve not been able to apply very much of my OldSchool ways. As written here before, that era has come to a welcome end. 2011 will tell us all if my M.O. is still effective. Yeah, right, as if there’s any doubt. :)


Fewer and fewer agents want to walk their talk. Results from my (Triumphant? Embarrassing bust?) return to the home market? They’ll be reported here immediately after the first quarter is over.

Can’t wait.

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    5 Comments so far

    1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Brown, Richard Lupia. Richard Lupia said: RT @BawldGuy New on BloodhoundBlog – Why Don’t Most New Or Struggling Real Estate Agents Don’t Want To Be Mentored [...]

    2. Meg Hurtado December 17th, 2010 11:14 am

      What do you think is responsible for the change?

    3. Jeff Brown December 18th, 2010 1:52 pm

      I’ve wrestled with that one. Surely there are those who decide it’s too much real work. However, I also suspect there’s more than a little confusion. Many wonder how much of OldSchool is still effective today vs all the ‘techier’ strategies. Of course, I use both, often successfully combining the two.

      Still, I think some of it lies in the fact that most agents haven’t, and probably never will understand the truth in the old saying — “Real estate is the highest paid hard work, and the lowest paid easy work there is.”

      What’s your take?

    4. Teri Lussier December 21st, 2010 1:30 pm

      >Fewer and fewer agents want to walk their talk.

      They don’t want it bad enough.

      Hell, even I can tell people how to do this, and what I hear are excuses in return. Fine. Makes it easier for me to walk that walk- less people to elbow out of the way. :-D

    5. Anita Clark December 26th, 2010 11:45 am

      I agree with Teri that they probably don’t want it bad enough, but I think it goes beyond that for many. I see a lot of new agents fall by the wayside because they a)have no other source of income b)have small kids/childcare c)non-supportive family d)unrealistic expectations