Real estate market continues to boom in 2020. People are hungry for big houses, beach villas, and apartments at the top floors or prestigious apartment houses. And then you have a bunch of others who simply look for the best bargain. Whether you’ll represent a buyer, or a seller, you’ll enjoy a hefty commission.
You’ll take anything from one to five percent of the final price of the house (the exact sum depends on the country of sale, and the policy of the real estate company you represent), which, considering the current prices of properties in both US and Europe, is a substantial amount of money.
But what will happen once you meet an owner, or a manager of a popular real estate agency? What questions will they ask you while you are trying to secure a job with them? We will look at it in this article. Enjoy!
Market conditions play in your favor
Let me tell you something before we look at the questions. Everything in this world (or almost everything) is a question of supply and demand. The market is booming, agencies need new people, but they do not receive that many applications. They will still try to choose the best candidates, but the pool of candidates isn’t deep enough for them to be too picky in their selection. What does it mean for you?
It means that you can expect a relatively easy interview. A few questions that will test your motivation, communication and sales skills, and a few behavioral questions, testing your attitude to various situations that happen in a job of a real estate agent (dealing with an angry client, making cold calls, price negotiation, dealing with competitors, etc). Let’s have a look at the questions right now.
Why did you decide to apply for this job?
Try to address two things in your answer. One, why you want to work as a real estate agent. Perhaps you had the same job in the past, perhaps you are an excellent salesman and feel tired of your current occupation, looking for something hew. Or you happen to see the opportunities the market presents and want to enjoy your fraction of the juicy pie.
Try to talk with enthusiasm. They should feel that you do not belong to these people who apply for a job in real estate agency simply because they can’t get any other, better and more secure occupation.
Second thing you should address is your choice of employer–why you applied with their agency, and not with someone else. Try to pick something that makes them special in your eyes. It can be anything from a great reputation and strong brand to favorable offer of properties and recommendation from a friend.
It can sometimes take weeks or even months until you sell a property. How do you plan to motivate yourself in this sort of competitive and challenging environment?
You have a few options for a good answer. One is saying that you understand that real estate is a game of numbers. Once you make your calls and visits, once you show enough houses to enough people, the sales will come.
They may come in January, March, or December, but they will come. Therefore you won’t be bothered by the seasonality, and will focus on your yearly results. Another is saying that you understand it takes time to build name for yourself in the business, to start getting recommendations from your existing clients, and simply to make the ball rolling.
You are patient and you believe in your skills. You won’t get discouraged by a slow start–because almost everyone starts slowly in this business.
How do you plan to attract new clients to our company?
You can speak briefly about your advertising strategies, or about a huge address book you have at your disposal. Another alternative is referring to a strong brand of an agency (if they have such a brand), and believing that you’d benefit from working under them, once you are approaching your peers, their friends, or friends of their friends.
In average, Americans move to a new house every 13 years. So if you have a good reputation and a thick address book, you can find enough clients just within the circle of your connections.
Imagine that I am a client, considering to purchase the office where we are right now. Try to sell it to me.
Role play is a common (and effective) tool in real estate agent interviews. They may ask you to sell them your mobile phone, a pen or a notepad (that happen to be on their table), or even the entire office.
Many job seekers are scared of similar tests. However, remember that they do not expect to hear a perfect sales pitch from you. They are aware that you do not have all important information, that there is no time for preparation, etc.
What they want to see, however, is whether you have some courage, and aren’t afraid of making a sales presentation. You can approach the exercise in two ways:
- Try to extract more information from the potential buyer, asking them about their preferences. Then try to match the info with the properties of the office you try to sell them.
- Point out some excellent things about the office (location, traffic connection, view, AC, neighborhood, networks, anything), and at the end you can even offer them some bargain…
Do not neglect the importance of non-verbal communication. Keep an eye contact, stay positive, make them feel important. If you achieve to do this, you will pass the role play.
Do you prefer to work independently, or as a part of a group?
You should be able to work on your own. Surely, you will have an opportunity to use the offices of the agency, and you can get some inspiration from your colleagues, but at the end of the day that’s not where the money is made.
You’ll be alone on the phone, on the streets, and in the houses of potential clients. In the most important moments, such as when trying to close the deal with the potential buyer, you can’t count on anyone’s help. Ensure the interviewers that you prefer to work independently, that you do not struggle with motivation and do not need supervision.
* Special Tip: Download all questions in a simple one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
Other questions you may face in your real estate agent interview
- How do you imagine a typical day in the office?
- Do you have a car?
- Tell us about any relevant working experience you have.
- What are your obligations as a Real Estate Agent? Are you familiar with industry best practices?
- Describe the process of inspecting and appraising a property.
- How do you feel about working in the evening, or on Saturday?
- Do you have any questions?
Conclusion and next steps
Job interviews in real estate agencies do not belong to difficult interviews. Unless you come up with terrible interview answers, or refuse to do the role play, they will give you a chance to prove your abilities. At the end of the day you’re paid on commission basis, so except of some expenses for your training and a chair in their office (if they offer one), your employer isn’t risking anything.
The market itself will do the screening. If you are good, devote enough time to the job, and everyone prospers because of it (including your employer), you will stay. If not, you will be gone in a year or two. That’s the reality of this profession…
May also interest you
- Sales interview questions – Learn how to ace an interview for any kind of job in sales.
- How to answer interview questions – It is not only about what you say, but also how you say it in an interview.
- Fifteen most common interview questions – Test the waters, learn what matters for the interviewers and how to answer the most common questions.