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Mentoring Program


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How to Start a Mentoring Program

Mentoring programs in real estate management are an effective way to gain a competitive edge as they use existing resources to develop leadership skills and promote employee engagement. Refer to the tips below on how to start a mentoring program at your management company:

Mentoring Program Benefits
  • Increases retention and engagement
  • Promotes a culture of knowledge sharing/collaboration
  • Grows and promotes leaders from within
  • Minimizes geographic/departmental borders
  • Maintains institutional knowledg
  • Honors experienced employees

Define Program Goals.
Do you want to decrease leasing staff turnover? Develop site managers? Create a positive culture? The mentoring program will be shaped differently depending on your specific goals. Either way, ensure top leadership support to garner the attention and enthusiasm necessary for success.

Develop a Framework.
Some programs are driven by individual employee goals while others focus on leadership defined success factors and set agenda items. Structure is key, but the program should offer the flexibility required for individual growth and align with the company culture. At a minimum:

  • Assign a program coordinator
  • Establish a business case
  • Outline and communicate expectations clearly, including duration

Determine the Mentoring Model.
For a traditional one-on-one relationship, think strategically about the matching process. Will pairs be randomly assigned? Or, can participants state a preference? Other models include group, peer, or mixed-level mentoring as well as eMentoring and “speed mentoring”.

SUCCESSFUL MENTORS ARE
Willing to Help Others, Good Listeners, Available, Aligned with Company Goals, Transparent, Approachable, Looking for New Challenges

Provide Ongoing Support and Guidance.
In addition to a formal kick-off meeting, offer a variety of resources and support. For example:

  • Hold a property-wide training seminar on successful mentoring relationships
  • Organize a brown–bag lunch for all proteges or all mentors to discuss best practices
  • Suggest a field trip to another property to gain new perspective
  • Invite representatives from maintenance, leasing, management, and so forth to present a day-in-the-life overview and discuss key touch points
  • Develop case studies about real property issues and role-play responses/provide coaching

Solicit Feedback.
Track progress against program goals by scheduling periodic check-ins with participants. Be sure to distribute surveys and ask for feedback on how to improve the program.

Resources

Download a copy of this How to Start a Mentoring Program Checklist.