Earlier this year REBAA launched a new initiative to support buyer’s agents who reach out for help; from new buyer’s agents starting out to any REBAA member who feels that some peer support would help them succeed. We spoke to one of this year’s mentees, Jess Ellam from Waterman & Waterman Property Advisors in Adelaide, to see how the program is benefiting her.
Q1: How long have you worked as a buyer’s agent and what was your prior work history?
A: I have been working on and off in the real estate industry, mainly as a personal assistant alongside sales agents for the past 13 years, the past seven years with Waterman & Waterman. I recently requested to focus solely on becoming a buyer’s agent and would like to work towards doing this full time.
Q2: Why did you decide to volunteer for the REBAA Mentoring Program?
A: It was exactly what I needed to give me some guidance moving towards the above goal. Having someone to bounce questions off and give me some of their experience and guidance is what I felt would help.
Q3: What is the frequency of your involvement with your mentor Cate Bakos?
A: We touch base over the phone for a chat approximately every month. However, Cate has made me feel welcome to email or call whenever I have any questions and this has been very helpful. Cate also caught up with me recently while she was in Adelaide and I am going to Melbourne next week to spend the day with her, so I can see her in action and gain some more experience.
Q4: How is the program helping you in your day-to-day work?
A: Asking Cate questions if I come across something I am uncertain about. I have been able to send her a quick email and she has always been very helpful with her responses.
Q5: What are the sorts of questions/issues you seek guidance on?
A: How can I get more business and promote buyer’s agents in Adelaide. Also getting advice and ideas from Cate’s experiences. How can I be doing certain things better!
Q6: Who do you think would benefit the most from this program?
A: Someone who is working in the industry and is thirsty for more insight from a successful and more experienced industry peer. On a personal level, I have definitely gained the most from having an experienced and very successful buyer’s agent as a mentor!
Q7: Can you give an example of how the program has helped you in your professional development?
A: Cate and I have been in contact for around three months, and in that time, she has shared strategies on how to grow new business, build relationships within the industry and with clients. This program is giving me the confidence to pursue this as a career.