Wednesday, August 31, 2016

StepStone Mentoring




Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs. Oprah Winfrey had Maya Angelou. Woodie Guthrie had Bob Dylan. Luke Skywalker had Yoda. In all walks of life and all industries from high tech to the arts, the value of mentorship relationships have long been recognized as a key component to success. Real estate is no different. 

Last night we had dinner with some old friends and business partners to celebrate the recent closing on a project we collaborated on. We had a good time recalling all the projects and properties over the years, the horror stories and the home runs. The reminiscing reminded Dan of where we started and he told them how, when we met them early in our investing career, we were literally buying stuff at garage sales and selling it on Ebay to make ends meet.  Our friends, people who spent time mentoring us, raised their glasses and toasted our success. It was a nice moment for us all. 


We have had many mentors in our career. I still rely on many of them. However, now, more often, we find ourselves on the other side of the coin providing mentorship to those around us. And we have plenty of folks to mentor. Last week we officially added our 100th agent to the StepStone team. I find mentoring my agents to be an extremely satisfying experience.  Their questions keep me on my toes, helping them with skills keeps mine sharp, guiding them in their business helps me see where I need to refine my own. There is a Buddhist proverb that rings very true for me: "If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your own path". 


As much as Dan and I enjoy mentoring our agents and business partners we recognize that sometimes we can't be everything to everyone, particularly with a quickly growing brokerage and a demanding schedule. So, over the last few months, we have been working on a mentorship plan for StepStone Realty to ensure that each agent has the opportunity to work with a mentor, someone they can call upon when they need help navigating their agent and investor duties.  We are proud to have recruited some agents, folks who's level of integrity is high, who have proven that they can close deals, handle difficult situations and who have an interest in helping others, to provide mentorship to our new agents. 


Beginning today, every inexperienced new agent that joins StepStone (inexperienced is defined as having closed less than three agency transactions) will be assigned a mentor to work with through their first 3 agency transactions and who they can call upon for investing consulting/partnering opportunities. In return for their time and attention, the mentored agents will pay their mentors $500 on their first three closings. Of course, Dan and I will still consider ourselves a mentor to all our agents and partners and will actively work with our mentors to guide and assist our agents. But, we hope that this program will offer an extra layer of support and connection. If you are an inexperienced new agent and would like to participate in the program please reach out to Angie and ask to be assigned a mentor. 


We are confident that, by creating these mentor relationships, our community will grow stronger as we lean on and learn from each other, our new agents will be more successful on their initial endeavors and have a firmer sense of confidence when navigating new experiences, and our mentoring agents will enjoy the satisfaction and success that comes with mentoring others. 

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