The etymology of the word mentoring comes from the Greek mythology. The first references are found in Homer´s masterpiece, The Odyssey.
Mentor was the friend of Ulysses, Homer´s protagonist. The idea of mentoring appeared from the former´s name.
The essence of mentoring is reflected and presented on the well-know Greek tragedy. Ulysses asks Mentor to take care of his son´s training before his departure to Troy.
In this way, Mentor converts into a reference model for Ulysses´s son, Telemachus and he takes care of his training in case he would become the king of Ithaca. As his counselor, master and friend of Talamachus, Mentor has the task to send some knowledge to the son of Ulysses and watch over the main interests.
In other words, mentoring has been used since many years ago and it has become a system and model of passing on the knowledge in a constant way.
However, the today real estate mentoring should not be confused with any other model from the antiquity.
When we speak of real estate mentoring, we do not allude to religious mentoring or to any other current that is not scientific.
The stereotyped link between a master and a disciple that exists in our days has nothing to do with the actual mentoring. The link between a master and a pupil practiced during medieval era is also irrelevant.
Of course, the role of the guru or the wise master is situated beyond normal persons, due to his wisdom or interior enlightenment, but it has nothing to do with the actual real estate mentoring.
Throughout history, different definitions of mentoring appeared and keys how to interpret it. There are many perspectives of professional approaching inside this specific sector of the real estate mentoring.
Anyways, mentoring has as main target the creation of fixing and strengthening mechanisms, so the professional agent could show all his power (personally and professionally) inside the real estate sector.
The link created between the mentor and the pupil must be based on confidence and must become the means of analysis and reflection. The actions to be implemented must be established by both of them and according to the specific necessities of the real estate professional.
The mentor plans and proposes, while the dynamics of the process is regulated by variables that appear from this process. Those variables can become the changing factors of the previously planned strategy. In this way, it is also very important that the link generated between the mentor and the real estate professional to be mentorized.
THE MENTORING PROCESS MUST BE DYNAMIC AND FLEXIBLE, BASED ON THE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL NECESSITIES OF THE PERSON AND FOCUSED ON THE EVOLUTION OF THE ESTABLISHED LINK.
These are the most extended definitions of mentoring.
“Mentoring consists in developing, taking care, sharing and providing help on the relation that a person invests time in it. It is the know-how and the force to strengthen the development of another person in the area of knowledge and abilities and give answers to the life´s critique necessities in order to prepare the person for a better productivity and success in the future.” (Gordon F. Shea).
“Mentoring is supporting and encouraging people to use their own knowledge with the purpose of maximizing their potential, developing their abilities, improving their performance and converting into the person they want to become.” (Eric Parsloe- The Oxford School Coaching and Mentoring).
“Mentoring is a process of informal transmission of the knowledge, understood by his receiver as relevant for his work, for his personal development and professional career. Mentoring studies the informal communication on persons during a sustainable period of time between the speakers (mentors) and the receivers (students).” (Bozeman and Feeney).
Mentoring inside the real estate sector in Spain.
Inside the actual background of the real estate sector in Spain, mentoring becomes a very effective tool for the professional of this sector. Mentoring allows us to change the perspective, to become more productive and makes easier the achievement of better levels of management efficiency.
Real estate mentor transmits knowledge and he stimulates the development of the professional´s abilities, so he will become a following agent inside the business background due to his new behavior.
The individual necessities of each member of the real estate must be based on the general necessities of the company. They should go hand in hand and we should find the linking points in order to strengthen the business development of the real estate.
Real estate mentoring is focused on the individual´s achievements, on both the personal and professional objectives and not on presumptions or beliefs. The target of the mentoring process is converting the professional agent of the real estate into a productive, effective and proactive leader.
Mentoring must be implemented according to the specific necessities of the agent inside the real estate sector and it must attend to the real estate business necessities also.
Planning must be personalized and structured for each individual according to some specific necessities. It should also be flexible so the work realized could adapt to the constant changes on the sector.
Informal real estate mentoring in Spain.
Generally, but not always, when a new member rolls in the real estate team, another member of the real estate with more experience becomes the organizational guide.
A more experienced real estate professional transmits the code of the internal functioning to the new member.
Although we cannot speak of this as a proper real estate mentoring, it is something similar, because there are the sender of the knowledge of the internal functioning of the office and the receiver.
For a real estate in Spain, it is a very important that a new member gets to know the organizational functioning of the office as soon as possible.
The integration and adaption process of the new real estate agent is essential, both for the professional as for the real estate. Assigning a guide to the new member of the real estate brings benefits to all the members of the real estate and affects the business in a positive way.
Differences between real estate coaching and mentoring.
The main difference is that they have different objectives and the professionals have different roles inside the organizational level.
Normally, the professional of real estate coaching is part of the company and the real estate mentor is considered as an external professional who provides services for the real estate.
However, the real estate coach can also have the role of mentor inside the real estate and work on the necessities of the owner of the real estate or real estate manager.
However, we need to take into consideration the fact that social environments define the business and organizational models applied by a real estate. Among them we can find models in which the mentors are part of organization and the coach not. In other words, we would be talking about the inverted model cited before.
Normally, a real estate in Spain applies both models and the figure of the real estate mentor, but we need to highlight that that the figure of the real estate mentor is not taken into consideration at the moment of planning an organizational model.
Real estate mentoring focuses on the environment. This is the reason why all definitions and ways of working are focused on different realities and cultural necessities.
If we are to analyze the real estate mentoring in Spain we need to take into consideration the social and cultural variables and value the fact that they combine with the specific necessities of each real estate.
Real estate mentoring is not a working model confronting the real estate coaching. On the contrary, they are related and linked to some points. A person can use both disciplines for developing and solve the necessities and lacks, but he can use only one of them.
However and related to the theme of real estate environment, even the mentorized professional usually try the real estate coaching in the first place.
In Spain, the real estate mentoring has not become a very extended resource yet, comparing to other countries where the real estate mentoring is something frequent.
However, mentoring will finally become an organizational resource for a real estate in Spain.
HOMER, Odyssey. Translation after Carlos Garcia Gual. Madrid: Alianza Publisher (2004).
SHEA, GORDON(1994). Mentoring: Helping Employees Reach Their Full Potencial. Amacom.
BOZEMAN, B. and FEENEY, M.K (2007). Toward a useful theory of mentoring: A conceptual analysis and critique. Administration and Society, Vol. 39, 6.