Two years into her real estate career, Judy Black, an agent with Cato Realty in St. Albans, N.Y., still didn’t have her own professional website. She relied on her profile page on her brokerage’s website, with its limited functions and capability, to market herself online. Black was looking for guidance on how to expand her customer reach when she participated in NAR Spire, the National Association of REALTORS®’ mentorship program. Black’s mentor, Sabrina Lowery, broker-owner of Legacy Realty & Management in Atlanta and a 20-year real estate veteran, walked Black through setting up her own .realtorTM website—and JudyBlack.realtor was brought to life.
“I would give her a little technical training because that is my superpower,” Lowery says. “I said, ‘What about a website? Do you have your own website?’ When she said no, it went on the agenda.” (Watch Black and Lowery’s mentorship journey in the video above.)
This is the kind of peer-to-peer counseling many new agents are craving in an uncertain market. The real estate business has swelled with newcomers over the last few years, and now those rookies are facing the first housing downturn of their careers. They need advice from more seasoned pros about how to stay the course. Finding a mentor is an effective way to learn how to navigate the real estate space and build business. Regardless of age, ability or experience, peer-to-peer networking is often the most valuable resource when it comes to asking questions, solving problems or improving skill sets.
NAR Spire, which launched in 2021, aims to help real estate professionals in underserved areas grow their business. In addition to one-on-one mentorship opportunities and tips on business operations, the program offers participants live educational events and an online platform to connect. “Through Spire, it is our hope to lead new and blossoming members through their own processes of professional growth, advancement and transition,” NAR CEO Bob Goldberg wrote in a 2022 column for The American Genius.
Mentors, not just mentees, can pick up new skills from a mentorship program. Michigan broker Michelle Gordon says she realized mentoring was a chance to build her legacy by simply fostering good habits among those who will carry on the real estate profession after her. What does Gordon get out of the relationship? “Time and my weekends off,” she jokes. But more seriously, she says, “I get a sense of accomplishment. I stay fresh, young, current. I even learn new marketing ideas since most of my mentees are millennials.”