Prior to joining Exit Realty in 2009, Sonya Sanders worked for a couple different companies that she said were fine, but didn’t offer much in the way of encouragement. After she joined Exit and got to know broker Shawn Sorensen, her whole perspective on real estate changed.
“Her dream was to help agents reach their goals, whether that’s your business or your personal goal,” Sanders said. “She changed my perception of what the real estate industry is, and what it could be. And she allowed me to flourish, to the point where I am now a mentor.”
Sanders shared her story as part of a panel at the California Association of Realtor’s (C.A.R.) WomanUP! virtual conference on Wednesday where the discussion centered on how mentoring can changed the real estate game for an agent. Along with Sanders, Aisha Allen of Brown and Brown Real Estate and Shelley Zavitz of Hasson Company spoke with moderator Pat Heller of Compass.
Zavitz noted that her first real mentor was her creative director at her first job at a radio station, and her experience working with him has stuck with her to this day.
“What he did for me was pour [out] all of his knowledge [to me],” Zavitz said. “I’d say if you’re mentoring somebody, mentor abundantly.”
“Because we can’t live in competition — we need to live in abundance,” Zavitz added.
All three women noted the selfless qualities mentors tend to possess, while simultaneously acknowledging that mentors also reap the benefits of a mentor-mentee relationship.
“[It’s encouraging] knowing that others want to share the information that they have to help others succeed,” Allen said. “In our office, it’s important that our clients are first and it’s not about the dollars we make. Being able to see this selflessness in my mentor has helped me to grow more.”
“A lot of people think when you’re a mentor to someone that they’re the only one who’s getting something out of it, and I’ve found it’s the total opposite,” Sanders said. “It helps me feel like I’m contributing and that I’m being part of the community. If I lift you up Shelley, and you lift up Aisha, and Aisha lifts up Shelley, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.”
The women concluded that the practice of paying it forward helps everyone.
“If you ever have an opportunity to help somebody, a chance to reach back, it really matters,” Zavitz said.