In real estate (as an agent, seller, buyer, investor) whoever you choose to learn from make sure they are qualified to teach you. Are they "in the market" everyday? Are they actively helping others buy and sell in your market? Are they registered as a member in their Multiple Listing Service? When was the last time they closed on a transaction?
Rely heavy on your "real world" experiences, or on someone that has personally learned in the field buying and selling homes for themselves and is helping others do the same. This will help you make better decisions about selling and buying properties.
As a real estate agent, work with a manager that knows how to help clients buy and sell homes from RECENT experience, someone that has been "in the market" and has had to resolve issues about escrow, well inspections, appraisals, short sales, negotiating and much more.
Someone that knows the tools of today and is using them. Ask yourself if they are willing to and can they teach you to be better, more insightful and more compassionate to your client's needs. Are they using the real estate systems that they are promoting to you on a daily basis for their own needs? Are they consistently improving them and sharing those improvements with you?
As a buyer, seller or investor work with an agent that will help you in a sincere, truthful manner, not just give you typical advice viewed through rose-colored glasses.
Not every transaction works out but with the advice and guidance of an authentic, benevolent real estate agent (manager, mentor, counselor) you will learn faster, you will have an exponential success curve and you will definitely save money by avoiding potential losses and unnecessary systems that do not work. Most importantly, you will be happier because you are growing in the field of real estate. You will be "in the market"!