What's the Difference Between Mentoring & Coaching?

Oct 28, 2022
Coaching versus Mentoring

A lot of new real estate agents are told that they need a mentor. Why? Because that is what the agent before them did. Real estate is a very "hand-me-down" industry. The thought is that an experienced agent will give you the tools and expertise to achieve the success you desire. 

Sometimes agents confuse coaching with mentoring (and vice versa) and end up feeling frustrated that they are not getting their expectations met. So let's take a moment to explain the difference between the two.


A mentor is someone that has already achieved a goal that you want. A mentor shows you the path that they took to get there. And, maybe even a couple of shortcuts that they realize now with hindsight. You might find that their path does or doesn't work for you to follow in their footsteps to get to the goal.

What a mentor doesn’t do is get too involved with how you work. They also don’t walk with you into action. They are busy with their own business. They provide a path and the knowledge from their experience, which can be helpful. Yet they don’t make sure that you have the internal skill set to take the journey.

Economically, you will pay a more significant price for a mentor. Typically, mentors charge 25% of your commission for their knowledge and time and it's usually limited to your first three transactions. Also, most mentors do not "cap" the amount they are paid and you may find yourself paying a significant commission if you close a high-dollar transaction.


A coach is someone who meets you wherever you are and works with you to clear the obstacles preventing you from achieving your goal. Moreover, a coach can help you see a goal that you didn’t even know was possible. They help you tap into your potential and walk with you on the journey toward your goal. They make sure you have the right mindset, motivation, vision, action steps and focus to get what you want.

A coach is an expert in helping to clear out the obstacles keeping you from the future you want and fostering action to create both tangible and intangible results. 
Although coaching may involve training, high-producing agents get the most out of coaching by focusing on clarity of purpose and accountability for actions and results.

Economically, coaches typically charge 10% of your commission and work with you daily and weekly to stay on course to your goals. Real Impact coaches have a cap on fees of $12,000 yearly and can only earn that amount if they help you achieve $120,000 in commissions.

When Gary Keller, founder and CEO of Keller Williams, was asked which path he prefers for an agent, he responded with, [Productivity Coaching provides] "Better potential results for agents."*

Real Impact Coaching provides 6-Transaction Launch/Capper Coaching for new agents and 12-month Success Coaching for experienced agents wanting to expand their success. We focus on more than your first few transactions. Our focus is on your growth and trajectory to create an impactful career in real estate.

Personal email from Gary Keller to Mark Simpson on 3.21.21 when asked his thoughts on coaching versus mentoring.