How to Make the Most of Your Mentorship (no matter which side you’re on)

Whether you’re a mentor or mentee, there are a few key steps you should take to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your advisor relationship. Recently, Alex Wang sat down with Taylor Hirst of Navigate Realty and Hannah Nguyen of Portfolio Real Estate to discuss the importance of mentorship in real estate. 

Meet Taylor Hirst | Agent, Navigate Realty
Taylor has been a real estate agent for three years. Her mentor, Navigate Realty Founder, Kelli Griggs provides Taylor with the experience and guidance she needs to build a successful real estate career.

Meet Hannah Nguyen | Agent, Portfolio Real Estate
Less than two years into her real estate career, Hannah found her perfect mentors at Portfolio Real Estate. Founders Samantha Tov and Judy Cuong have helped Hannah achieve tremendous personal and professional growth.

Now let's dig into Alex’s chat with Hannah and Taylor and pinpoint tips that’ll help you get the most out of a mentorship, whether you're the mentor or the mentee.

Chemistry counts!

● If you’re mentoring, choose a mentee who impresses you. 
Beyond personally liking your mentee, it’s important to believe in your mentee’s abilities and potential. 

Taylor can remember the moment when she landed on Kelli’s radar: “I was pulling out all the stops, doing what I could. Kelli called and said, ‘You almost won with the worst type of offer. I don't know how you've done it, but I wanna talk to you.’”

● If you’re a mentee, find a mentor you connect with. 
An ideal mentor is someone you like; someone you’re compatible with who shares your values.

Hannah was looking for mentors that truly cared about her community. “It’s not about commission split,” she says, “it’s about the relationships and doing real estate for the right reasons.” She found exactly what she was looking for with Portfolio Real Estate Founders Samantha Tov and Judy Cuong.

Taylor found her ideal mentor and career fit with Kelli Griggs, Founder of Navigate Realty. She opted to join Navigate because she felt understood and valued by Kelli. Taylor says, "She really wanted to see me do well."

Never stop learning

● If you’re mentoring, teach your mentee to lead - not follow.
You don’t want to create a carbon copy of yourself. Although initially, your mentoring relationship may require a lot of structure and guidance, it should eventually shift from a student-teacher dynamic to mutual collaboration. Referring to her relationship with Kelli, Taylor says, “We share the big wins. We share big losses. We learn, and we move forward.” 

As someone who found a great mentor, Taylor explains that real estate is learned best by experiencing it, but it helps to have someone experienced guide you along the way. She says, “The test we took didn't prepare us for what real estate really is. It's actually being in the trenches, doing the activities, being busy doing real estate. And I love to try and help people learn that.” 

● If you’re a mentee, be coachable. 
Being a good student takes more than smarts and a willingness to learn. It also requires being receptive to new ideas and open to constructive criticism. Having the willingness to adapt, change, and learn from your mentor will result in rapid growth. 

“I was getting ready to show homes, and I had these really long eyelashes on,” recalls Hannah. “[My mentor was] like, ‘You should be yourself. You should be authentic. You don't need to put on dramatic eyelashes to show homes.’ When she said that, I was like, ‘I have to have thick skin doing this.’” But Hannah decided to heed her mentor’s advice. She ripped the eyelashes off and went to her showing!

Honest feedback and open communication—without fear of judgment or repercussion— lays the foundation for a strong mentor-mentee relationship. 

Thanks to Hannah and Taylor for their insights - and to Kelli Griggs, Samantha Tov, and Judy Cuong for serving as mentors to these amazing up-and-coming agents!

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