October 28


11. 8 Real Estate Agent Interview Questions You Need to Ask When Hiring

By Brent Porter

October 28, 2018

Are you hiring in the real estate industry? Then you’ll need to know the right real estate interview questions to ask.

With about two million licensed real estate agents working in the U.S., you might find yourself interviewing a large pool of candidates. Asking the right questions in a real estate agent interview helps you narrow it down and choose the best person for the job.

In this guide, we’re giving you our top real estate agent interview questions to ask candidates. From the expected to the surprising, this will give you a comprehensive idea of whether the candidate is a good fit for the job.

Make sure you read this before you schedule your next interview!

Why Real Estate Agent Interview Questions Matter

Traditionally, interview questions have focused on simple, straightforward things. You might want to find out more about a candidate’s experience, or figure out if they’ll fit in well at your brokerage firm. Interview questions can do all that, and much more if you approach them in a strategic way.

Many of the best questions in an interview tend to be unusual, or at least unexpected. These questions help you test how the candidate will perform when they’re no longer in their comfort zone. It’s not always about the questions – it’s about how the conversation goes after they ask it.

In the world of real estate, you can expect that prospective home buyers will ask some difficult or surprising questions. Your agents need to be poised to answer those in a confident, professional way.

If they freeze up when you ask them a question they weren’t expecting, it doesn’t bode well for their ability to sell. Of course, asking about their experience is important. But pay attention to not only the content but how your interviewee approaches the answer.

This will let you see what they can do. Let’s take a look at eight important interview questions to ask.

1. How Do You Find Leads?

The agent you interview should have strategies for finding both buyer and seller leads.

Their answer might be similar to what you’re already doing for lead generation. If so, they’ll be easy to train since they’re already familiar with the processes you use.

But, it’s even better if they use new leads that your other agents haven’t tried yet. They’ll be able to train your team members on these new methods.

2. What’s Your Ideal Job?

Passion is important in all industries, and real estate is no exception. Your interviewee should have a dream job that involves real estate, even if it’s not the exact job they’re interviewing for. If their life goals are in a completely different field, they might not fully apply themselves to real estate.

3. How Have You Handled Work-Related Conflicts in the Past?

Of course, every employer wants to keep conflicts on the job to a minimum. Still, an agent might encounter a conflict with another agent or their boss at any point. What matters is how they approach these conflicts.

The more specific they can get when describing their approach, the better. Phrase your question so you’re asking for a specific example, not a generalized concept. This will give you the most information about the candidate.

In fact, you can learn a lot from what they see as a conflict. Some people will have definitions of “conflict” that may surprise you – in both a good and bad way.

4. How Have You Handled a Difficult Client in the Past?

Similarly, this question should look at specifics so you can see exactly how your interviewee responded to the situation. And you’ll also learn a lot about them from what they define as a “difficult” client.

They should be able to clearly define what made the client difficult and have a reasonable perspective on the situation. In their answer, they should also tell you what they did to make things work better with the client, and how the situation helped them learn new skills for the future.

5. What Kind of Feedback Are You Looking For?

A great real estate candidate will be interested in receiving feedback from management. If they’re open to feedback, they likely expect to learn on the job and be challenged. If they aren’t, they might be looking for an easy role with nothing new to learn.

This can also help you see how they’ll fit into the culture at your brokerage. If they want a different type and frequency of feedback from what you offer, they may not be a good fit.

6. How Do You Approach Marketing?

Before you hire a new agent, you need to know what they’ll do to build up their clientele. Asking them about their approach to marketing will help you see how prepared they are.

If they can’t outline the ways they’ve done marketing in the past, they might not be ready for the job. Look for a mix of traditional and innovative ideas. Hopefully, they’ll bring something new to the table.

7. What’s Your Ideal Place to Live?

Real estate is a location-specific business. If they don’t name the city where they’ll be working, they might not be the best candidate for the job. An agent who’s passionate about the area they serve is more likely to be knowledgeable.

8. What Sets You Apart from Other Agents?

Real estate is ultimately sales. If the interviewee can’t sell themselves when you ask this question, how can they sell a home to a client? Look for a combination of confidence and concrete examples in this answer.

Are You Ready for the Next Interview?

In interviews, the pressure is usually on the interviewee to be prepared, more than the interviewer. But if you’ve been asking the same real estate agent interview questions for years, it might be time to change your approach. Don’t forget to look for candidates that have questions for you, as well.

Personal branding is one thing that the best-qualified candidates all tend to have. To learn more about real estate branding, check out this post.

Brent Porter

About the author

Brent Porter brings a decade of extensive knowledge of the real estate industry across the real estate life cycle. He began his career with C-III Asset Management, formerly ARCAP, where he managed distressed CMBS debt and spearheaded loan workout strategies by means of modifications, bankruptcy, or foreclosure. While at C-III, he participated in the largest B-piece CMBS buy-out in the nation. He later transitioned to Hudson Americas Real Estate LLC, a global affiliate of Private Equity firm Lone Star Funds. There, he served as North America-Asset Manager where he was responsible for operational value-add and monetization of +100MM in distressed CRE assets including multi-family, office, and retail properties across the country and was promoted to Vice President. Most recently, he held the position of Director of Asset Management at Invitation Homes, an affiliate of Blackstone. While at Invitation Homes, he developed the platform necessary to purchase, rehab, and operate $10B in single-family real estate assets. He also brought the first single-family rental backed securitization to market, and helped to consolidate the SFR market under Invitation Homes

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