The Power of Representation & Mentorship in Real Estate

The value of good mentorship can’t be overstated and is particularly high in an industry known for its low barriers to entry and high barriers to long-term success. Experienced and knowledgeable professionals who teach and support the development of a less experienced broker, influence the personal and professional growth of their “mentees.” 
In a world where nascent brokers holding freshly-minted licenses often get “lost in the shuffle” and drop out before realizing their full potential, an experienced mentor can often mean the difference between success and failure. This is particularly true in marginalized communities, where NAR is now working to help build bridges to the holistic real estate community. 
Through NAR SPIRE, the REALTOR® Association is helping individuals learn the fundamentals of the real estate industry, foster education, empower serious consideration of real estate as a career path, and encourage and promote the development of generational wealth through property ownership. NAR says the initiative provides learning and networking opportunities for both mentors and mentees; creates a sense of exclusivity among participants; comes with a certificate of completion; and encourages mentees interested in a sales role to pursue their licenses.

Helping REALTORS®, Clients and the Greater Community
Eddie Chang understands the value of mentorship. When this broker at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty in Bellevue started in real estate, a few tough years followed before an agent named Merrily Jacobs began to mentor Chang. “Having a mentor was incredibly helpful,” says Chang, “especially in terms of turning my productivity around.” 
Chang, who is participating as a mentor in The Mentorship Experience, says gaining traction in your real estate career is crucial. In particular, this is because new brokers take on “a very wide array” of responsibilities that they don’t even think about at the onset. “As a broker, you are responsible for the business, marketing, ads, leads and everything,” says Chang. “Especially when you are starting out, it can feel like you’re drowning in an ocean of things to do, with such a wide array of tasks.” Having someone experienced to help you stay on top of things can be critical. “I appreciate the opportunity to give back to the real estate community, especially in a way that has such a positive impact,” says Chang. “There are many new REALTORS® out there, and this is an opportunity to help give back in a way that benefits REALTORS®, clients and the greater community.”

Unlocking Untapped Potential 
Another Washington broker who is serving as a mentor in NAR’s new program is Samantha Enos, a real estate broker at Windermere Real Estate/Central in Kirkland. Prior to becoming a real estate agent, her background was in hiring, training, and mentoring teams.  “In 2020, we saw the rise of social injustice crimes against people of color, most of whom were black, and I felt compelled to do something,” says Enos. “I was excited to see how quickly NAR responded to the challenge and looked for solutions to help the forgotten and disenfranchised people that suffered from lack of homeownership and generational wealth through redlining, lack of loans and discriminatory practices.” Seeing the mentorship program as a great opportunity to give back, Enos says she raised her hand right away. “If I could help just one person in the BIPOC community find success in an industry that has been closed off to them due to lack of understanding, lack of resources, or fear of doing something new,” she says, “my time spent volunteering in this program would be worth it.” A huge proponent of mentoring programs, Enos hopes that her mentees will become future leaders and continue to pay it forward. “Spending time with someone and helping them unlock their potential,” she adds, “will benefit everyone in the long run.”  

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