Mentorship in action

Finding a mentor can be a career-defining move for new agents, allowing them to leverage the years of personal experience and resources of an established professional.

The home-selling process can be overwhelming for agents new to the real estate industry. In an environment where even the smallest mistakes can have a large impact, many agents learn their trade through the grueling process of trial and error.

Even with the seemingly unlimited amount of information available online, it is difficult for inexperienced agents to decipher valuable advice.
 It is easy for new agents to become frustrated, even to the point of giving up. Having a mentor can ease the pain of this learning process, and help new agents avoid costly mistakes.


Finding a Mentor

For Steven Terry, head of REO for FORCE broker Mark Hagan at Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors, having a mentor played a key role in the development of his largely successful REO business.

“I began my real estate career when I moved to Detroit in 2005. I didn’t know anyone in the area. I found Mark by looking up top-producing agents in the MLS.”

Hagan’s veteran team had been growing for about 20 years at that time, and Terry was eager to learn from some of the best in the area.

“I came in as a buyer’s agent. Mark helped me learn to use my high energy, along with my retail and manufacturing sales expertise, to become a top-producing real estate agent.”


Things You Can’t Learn Online

The majority of what Terry learned, he explained, was not something he could look up online or read in a book. Rather, Terry was able to tap into Hagan’s years of experience and gain valuable knowledge on buying qualifications, dealing with difficult clients, and closing deals— three critical components that are known to stump new agents.

“Mark taught me how to manage my expectations, and how to keep a positive mindset when issues come up – something a lot of new agents struggle with,” Terry said.


Leveraging Resources for Greater Success

When the subprime mortgage crisis hit, Terry was prepared for the abundance of work he received. During this time, Terry explained, Hagan’s resources became critical in handling the large volumes of REOs that were pouring in.

“One thing that no one ever mentions is having cash to run an REO business—so it’s helpful to have someone who’s dedicated to helping you grow your business— whatever it is we might have to pay out of pocket, whether it’s re-keys, maintenance, closing costs, etc.”

During this busy period, Hagan also supported Terry in expanding his team. With Hagan’s help, Terry was able to add two assistants to his team, allowing them to maximize their profits by taking on more listings.


A Lasting Relationship

Though his REO inventory has declined in recent years, Steven says he continues to learn from his relationship Mark, and appreciates all of the training that he has received from his mentor over the past decade.