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What makes a good mentor?   

Looking for a mentor to help you get started? Consider the following:

  • Find someone you respect and trust. Look for integrity and character, the most important qualities in a mentor.
  • Seek someone interested in a relationship. A mentor needs to be open and willing to relate to you, since you’ll eventually discuss both professional and personal issues. 
  • Focus on a mentor who has the time and the willingness to spend with you. A lack of time is the No. 1 reason people give for not wanting to mentor others, says Barry Spencer, vice president of business development with Leaders Legacy Inc., an Atlanta company specializing in training mentors. You can help by being flexible and fitting into your mentor’s schedule.
  • Look beyond your door. Although a top real estate practitioner may be a great mentor, you can also learn about business principles, and perhaps get a new perspective, from an outsider.
  • Don’t expect the mentor to be a magician. Mentors can give you new insights, but they won’t solve all your personal or business problems. A good mentor will direct you to other sources of assistance for special problems.
  • Opt for openness. Good mentors let you into their world, sharing both professional and personal triumphs and failures.
  • Don’t expect instant results. Mentoring is a journey. As long as you’re learning something you didn’t know before, the mentoring relationship is working. Persevere. “Mentoring takes as long as it takes,” says Spencer.

Read more: For a detailed discussion of relationship-based mentoring, read David Stoddard’s The Heart of Mentoring (Navpress, 2003) or check out the Field Guide to Mentoring at REALTOR.org.

SOURCE: Barry Spencer, vice president of business development with Leaders Legacy Inc., an Atlanta company specializing in training mentors