When Sharon McDonald joined Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty Mentor Program in the Del Mar office several years ago, led by Realtor and Luxury Fine Homes Specialist Jason Fogelman, she knew immediately that her real estate career had reached a whole new potential.
“Anyone starting in real estate knows that it’s not all roses,” says McDonald, “It’s hard work, but participating in Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty’s Mentor Program, has given me all the tools, big and small, not to mention the support, so that I am beyond prepared to assist my clients throughout the entire transaction process.”
Fogelman agrees. “Our goal is to create successful agents who will have a long, prosperous career.” In 2015, according to Fogelman, he and his mentor team sold $48.2 million dollars in residential sales, $58 million in 2016 and are aiming for over $70 million in sales for 2017. “We are not the only real estate agency to offer a Mentor Program, “ says Fogelman, “but I have no doubt we’re one of the most successful.”
Why is the Pacific Sotheby’s Realty Mentor Program so successful? Research, repetition and accountability.
“I’m constantly researching the local areas, from zip codes to neighborhoods, to floor plans, to type of homes,” says Fogelman. “I’ve been able to define what has the fastest/highest turnover and point the new agents in that direction as well as teaching them to be open and direct with their sphere of influence.” He adds that the Mentor Program creates a formal, structured path to find new clients. “This is the hardest part of this job for a new agent, not to mentioned seasoned agents, finding clients.”
Of course, once a new client is found, the work only just begins. Unlike many professions, real estate is ever changing from contracts, industry rules, regulations and local and state laws and governances. McDonald says this is where the Mentor Program was especially helpful. “This program was good at giving us a list and skill set to understand a process and sequence of events, even the emotional experiences that often happen throughout a transaction. We are so prepared, we have memorized dates, have a clear and precise checklist, even down to simple etiquette that makes a difference to every client and the people we work with.”
According to an article in the June issue of The Atlantic magazine, mentorship programs often are unsuccessful because many companies use old ideas of how jobs and careers work. Fogelman says if he can start an agent on the right path from the start, doing what needs to be done that other agents are uncomfortable with, such as simply asking for business, they have a much stronger chance of sustaining a long career in real estate. But Fogelman isn’t just one to talk to his agents, he also participates.
“During the program,” says McDonald, “ Jason sat in all of our listing meetings, going over sales materials, and made sure that we knew the property, neighborhoods, community, comparative sales, and every piece of information so that we knew more about the home than the owner.” Fogelman added, “I ride shotgun on every transaction in the mentor program. If there is a problem, or a negotiation going sideways, I’m able to step in as the new agent’s seasoned partner, and problem solve to keep the transaction together or help with negotiations.”
Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty offers several Mentor Programs throughout their offices, each led by successful and experienced agents and managers. For more information on the Mentor Program and joining the team at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, contact us at email@example.com