Newly licensed agents frequently ask me, “Is it easy to be hired once I get my license?”. If you’re wondering the same thing, read on because you need to understand how recruiting works in the real estate industry.
Getting hired is very rarely a challenge. Real estate brokerages are always looking for licensed salespeople and brokers to join their team. What real estate recruiters look for are mainly intelligence, an ethical and honest character, and a coachable attitude. If you’ve got all three, we are open to discussing your hire with the company.
I encourage you to look at the interview process with your potential broker or manager in a less traditional way. Instead of preparing to be interviewed as a potential hire, prepare your set of questions for the manager. This way you will be ready when it is your turn to ask the questions (and you will also see if this impresses or intimidates the manager – a great way to get a feel for the company’s culture).
You want to be sure that the culture of the company supports the way you prefer to run business. You also need to know how the brokerage trains or coaches on business development, and what kind of availability the manager provides to the associates when they need advice or broker-level interaction.
Here are 10 Key Questions to Ask on a Real Estate Interview
1. Do you provide training?
Newly licensed Realtors have specific training needs. They need to be provided with hands-on coaching on all elements of real estate business ownership, starting with the most elementary “best practices” as well as receive a thorough comprehension of contracts and forms. Mentorship programs, coupled with an extensive new agent training series, is usually the best way to provide a well-rounded education to newly licensed agents.
2. What costs will I incur?
Obtaining your license was the first step towards starting your career. In order to practice real estate sales, you typically need to join your local, state and national Boards or Associations of Realtors, gain access to your Multiple Listing Service, and obtain marketing elements. You may also need to enroll in an Errors and Omissions Insurance policy. The manager should be able to provide you with a breakdown of all costs you can anticipate before providing services as a Realtor.
3. Where and how do you provide advertising for the associates?
Print advertising popularity is on the decline, so how is the company providing alternative ways to capture leads and route them back to you? Company-hosted lead capture websites, web and print marketing, floor time and open house availability all come into play to provide you with contacts. Keep in mind that ultimately, the most lucrative real estate businesses are built through referrals of personal friends, family and past clients and colleagues.
4. Will I be able to host open houses for other agents’ listings?
Some brokerages’ associates work together as a team to offer open house hosting opportunities to newer agents in need of buyer leads. See if the company’s agents pull together to provide opportunities like this to newbies.
5. Please show me examples of marketing materials available to me.
You will need to see for yourself what type of marketing service is provided through the company’s design department, if they have one. Determine how often you intend to use graphic design services for postcards, business cards, online advertising, etc. and get an idea of what the company expects of you and how they provide you with the resources you need to get your marketing handled.
6. I want to concentrate my marketing efforts on a certain neighborhood. Is that territory open for me to market in?
You may prefer to target market a specific area of homes, only to learn that that particular area is being heavily marketed by other agents. Be sure to make your marketing intentions clear from the very beginning to avoid awkward situations down the road, and to work out a marketing plan with your manager that meets your goals.
7. What is your company’s market share compared to the top 10 real estate companies in this area?
When a company’s overall success and market share is highly competitive with other local companies, you will benefit from stronger corporate support and resources, great brand awareness and a solid professional reputation.
8. What is the average income per year of full time agents in this office?
Get a realistic business plan, knowing how many houses you’ll need to sell on average to earn a comfortable income. Knowing what the company considers as “average” will give you a snapshot view of what is expected of you, and what the company is prepared to coach you towards.
9. Does this office work as a team, or does each agent operate pretty well on their own?
This takes us back to the culture of the brokerage. Are the managers passionate about coaching? Do they take the time needed to train new agents exceedingly well? Perhaps the company thrives off of already-established agents with training and experience already under their belt, and the new agent training program isn’t everything you need it to be. See if you can sit in on a training session and find out for yourself.
10. What commission level are you prepared to offer me?
Do yourself a favor – don’t ask about commission until the very end of the interview. Your commission split may be negotiable and dependent upon how the manager has determined what your business growth rate will likely look like in the next six to 12 months. Asking this question too soon in your interview can be detrimental; you may unknowingly set yourself up for disappointment when you force the manager to provide you with a low-risk response before either of you have a chance to understand what you can offer to each other.
When you have gathered all the information you need to make an informed decision, let the final deciding factor be your “gut feeling.” Did you walk away from your interview with excitement… or anxiety? Did you choose to overlook some things out of your hope for a perfect fit? Did all of your questions get answered thoroughly, or were some responses vague? Check in with your intuitive side by asking yourself for a quick “yes” or “no”, and carefully weigh that answer before you sign an agreement. This new career move is an important one, and you owe it to your future success to pick the support system that is the right fit for you.
by Brooke James