Are you about to go into a brokerage interview? Time to brush up on your real estate interview questions!
First: Don’t panic. A brokerage interview isn’t a personal test — and there’s no wrong answer to most real estate interview questions.
Sometimes, it helps to tackle an interview from the perspective of whether or not they deserve you.
Today, I will look at some critical real estate interview questions you should be able to answer — and some that you should be ready to ask.
7 Real Estate Interview Questions A Brokerage Might Ask You
If you’ve ever had a job interview, you’re already familiar with these questions. Your interviewer will want to get a feel for you, your experience, and what you could bring to the brokerage.
1. Why did you want to become a real estate agent?
Let’s be honest: Sometimes, the answer is “money.” But it’s more than that. What does money enable? Maybe you want better finances for your family, hobbies, or travel. What does being a real estate agent empower you to do?
Brokerages understand that everyone comes to the career from a different place. But they want to know what drives you — they want to know what you care about.
2. Why do you want to work for this brokerage?
Show you’ve done your research. Explain how your background makes you a great fit. It could be that you specialize in their area — they do commercial real estate, and you do commercial real estate. It could also be that you fill a gap — you specialize in first-time buyers, and they don’t have anyone in that niche.
Don’t dig too deep. Be honest, but not negative. Don’t disparage a previous brokerage you’ve worked with — even if the experience was horrendous. Reputation is everything.
3. What are your top skills? Conversely, what are your greatest weaknesses?
It can be hard to talk about yourself. Write your top qualities as a real estate agent in advance so you’ll be prepared. Practice with friends and family — be confident about talking about yourself. If you don’t know what to say, ask your friends and family what they think your best aspects are. This is the perfect time for flattery.
Focus on the skills that you have that aren’t universal. Got a flair for photography? Are you amazing at making connections? Be specific to show how you are different from other candidates. Every candidate will say they “work hard” (and not all will). But not every candidate has a background in drone videography.
Many feel that “greatest weaknesses” is a trick question. But any brokerage using this question as a “catch” isn’t one you want to work with. Instead, consider what the brokerage needs to know to help you succeed. Say something like, “I am working on my organizational skills and would love to find the perfect CRM.”
4. What are your goals in working with this brokerage?
Consider what you want your career path to look like. This is the perfect time to dig into your wants and discover whether the brokerage fits you. Never forget that you are interviewing the brokerage as much as they are interviewing you.
As for the brokerage, they generally want to find out whether your goals mesh with them. If you just want a temporary sponsoring broker while you learn the ropes, they need to know that so they don’t make long-term plans regarding your work there. That doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable to them; it just means that the calculus changes.
5. What has been your favorite experience as a real estate agent?
If you’re a new real estate agent, your favorite experience might be from school. If you have some experience, you might have the perfect story about a buyer or a seller. Think about the things that drive you. The brokerage wants to know more about your values and mission- what you care about and why you became an agent.
6. How many transactions do you complete each year?
If you’ve been an agent for a while, the brokerage might want to ask how many deals you land. Talk about how many deals you land and the quality of those deals. You may only be starting — you might only have a few deals. So, talk about what you learned about those deals and how you want to pursue deals in the future.
7. How do you use social media and the internet to sell homes?
Long gone are the days when everything was face-to-face. Brokerages now want digitally-savvy real estate agents. If you have active social media profiles, you’re already more valuable.
Talk about your website, Instagram, Facebook, and other channels. Mention your best engagement examples. For instance, this is the time to share if you have a five-figure Insta following.
5 Real Estate Interview Questions You Should Ask Your Brokerage
Have you ever panicked when an interviewer asked you what questions you have for them?
Everyone has. But these questions are important. You should ask just as many questions as they ask. Don’t be afraid to question them thoroughly. They will love that you are interested.
Practice these questions before your interview if you need to build your confidence.
1. How many new agents does your brokerage take on every year? How many does it lose?
This gives you an idea of the volume that your brokerage churns through. Some brokerages specialize in bringing in new brokers and training them. Others are fairly exclusive. If a brokerage is losing a lot of agents, that’s a red flag.
This question tells you much about the brokerage’s culture and trajectory. If they’re expanding their team, this shows growth and innovation. However, there could be a good reason if they are having trouble keeping agents.
2. What are the benefits of working with this brokerage?
Brokerages have vastly different capabilities. Some brokerages provide a full suite of technology, tools, and training. Other brokerages are relatively hands-off. You should know what benefits the brokerage provides, not just in terms of software but also benefits like health insurance plans.
It’s always a trade-off. Cheaper brokerages won’t have as many benefits, but you’ll get more cash. More expensive brokerages will have a lot of benefits, but you’ll walk away with a little less for each deal.
3. What is your commission model?
You probably already know the basic numbers if you’ve gotten this far. But commission models can vary; for instance, there may be a cap on the commission they take or a tiered commission percentage.
Ask more about how much they charge. Ask about any other fees they may have, such as optional fees for specific software suites and services. You want them to be as transparent as possible when discussing your income.
4. What in-house services can you provide?
Do they provide in-house staging services? In-house photographers? What support can you expect from your team? When joining a brokerage, you need things like mentorship and tools. The services they can provide are just as important as your benefits (like healthcare) because they make it easier for you to provide value to your clientele.
5. What would you expect from a new agent?
Every brokerage has its vibe. Learning what things will be like — and what’s expected — from day one can help you suss out what your working life will be like.
Asking this interview question will give you a better idea of the firm’s current priorities and what they consider a good agent. They may be working on a specific project they’re trying to build out — or it may just be business as usual for them.
Tips For Acing Your Real Estate Interview Questions
Finally, if you’re still a little nervous, it could be that you need a little more preparation. Here are a few tips for your next interview.
- If you’re offered water or coffee, take it. It builds rapport and gives you a moment — if you’re ever hesitant about answering a question, it allows you to delay.
- Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Maybe you don’t know your exact revenue numbers. Estimate and tell them that you’re estimating — you aren’t expected to know everything.
- Clarify later. If you’ve ever had a moment of “I should have said this!” don’t delay. Send an email. You can always say something like, “You asked me about a time when I had a difficult client. I just remembered…” It increases your interactions with the interviewer.
- Give yourself more options. Connect with multiple brokerages. When you know you have other options, going through a bad interview isn’t as stressful.
- Schedule your interviews at the right time. Most of us have a time when we’re “on it.” If you’re a morning person, schedule interviews in the morning. If you’re an evening person, place it in a later slot.
- Ask for feedback. Ask for feedback even if you don’t land a spot in a brokerage. Most interviewers are more than happy to give it. Don’t worry — it isn’t something like “We didn’t like you.” Instead, it will be something you can work with, like, “We loved you, but there was another candidate with an additional year of experience.”
It’s all about practice. If you fail an interview, schedule another one immediately. “Failure” isn’t a failure, though — it just means it wasn’t the right place for you.
Conclusion: Getting Ready For Your Next Interview
Always remember that an interview is a chance for the brokerage and the agent to get a feel for one another. It’s your chance to see whether this is the right place for you and where you can grow your skills, experience, and success. These real estate interview questions will help you prepare, but it’s about attitude.
They aren’t likely to ask you many questions about the real estate industry, market trends, or in-depth inquiries about your real estate sales. Instead, they will want to know about your general philosophy and drivers.
Don’t focus so much on making a great impression — although that does help. Instead, ask yourself whether this would be the right place for you. Your relationship with your brokerage is going to be a close one. It will be a large part of your life. If it isn’t the right fit, you’re wasting your time.
Finally, a little bit of rehearsal and homework pays off. The more you prepare for your interview, the more relaxed you’ll be during your interview. A single bad interview isn’t the end of the world — it’s just an opportunity for improvement.
Jot down some notes about your history using solid statistics and real numbers. Rehearse a few example questions so that you feel more prepared. If you’re nervous, schedule a “mock interview” with your family or friends. But remember that the interview process gets much easier the more you interview. Interview with multiple brokerages before you decide on one.
The same way you would in any other professional setting. Don’t get overly concerned with details at this stage. The interviewer is already impressed with your accomplishments; otherwise, you wouldn’t get an interview.
Be honest and enthusiastic about what brought you to this field. Sometimes the answer is simple: You want the freedom to be with your family. You don’t want to tell them, for instance, that you want to work fewer hours — that isn’t realistic. But they’ll understand if you tell them you want the flexibility to be your own boss.
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