How To: Interview for a Position at a Real Estate Firm

by Staffer Team

Real estate brokers-in-charge are nearly always in the recruiting mode. If they have desk space available, many will take on almost anyone with a valid license and a desire to work. Don't wait for the broker to advertise for salespeople - make the move yourself.

Some firms may require that you commit to a full-time job in real estate, and not hold a second job; while others will hire agents who work part-time. A few allow agents to be associated with the firm, even if they don't work on a regular basis. This allows someone with a salesperson's license to remain on active status as they are technically under the supervision of a broker.

How to Select a Real Estate Firm

Consider interviewing with several firms before making your final decision

Use these tips to help determine the right agency for you:

  • Notice which for-sale signs are common in your desired work location. Consider them as a potential employer as a result of their strong presence in the local market.
  • Pick up local real estate publications such as free magazines and examine the ads that stand out.
  • Check your Chamber of Commerce or Visitor's Center. Search for firms that provide handouts to potential residents. Find out if they are promotions for individual agents or for the agency in general, which benefit all agents.
  • Browse the television, radio and other mediums to see what agencies dominate those areas.
  • Ask a few local agents which agencies they recommend. Recognize that the agent may favor their own firm.
  • Check the internet for popular real estate sites such as Zillow and RedFin to see which real estate firms are selling properties.

Maintain Control of the Interview

In real estate interviews you want to convince the interviewer that you are the best person for the job as well as interview the broker to determine their suitability as an employer.

Consider these points to discuss with the Broker-In-Charge

  • What type of training is offered for new agents?
  • Does the firm have a designated trainer?
  • If part of a franchise, are there local or regional training sessions for new agents? If so, who pays for the training?
  • How many new agents has the firm hired during the past year? How many of those agents are still with the firm? A revolving door of agents is a red flag.
  • Does the firm pay for any portion of property ads?
  • Does the firm have a bulk mail permit?
  • Does the firm provide computer equipment to agents, or are you expected to bring your own to the office?

How to Evaluate a Real Estate Firm

Consider:

  • What commission rate do they offer? Are commissions paid on a sliding scale, with the percentage you earn increasing as you bring more income to the firm?
  • Are commissions paid immediately upon closing?
  • Does the firm pay a higher percentage for in-house transactions?

Ask to review a sample commission settlement statement, so you can see exactly how commissions are recorded and distributed.

Find out if the firm carries errors & omissions insurance for its agents, or if you're expected to purchase this liability insurance yourself. Additionally, find out if you are covered under worker's compensation.

Multiple Service Listing Fees

You may be required to join a local multiple listing service (MSLS) to work for the firm. Ask about the expenses associated with each membership.

Make a list of questions before your interview and add any others you feel are important. Getting the answers to your questions before you start working helps you make the best choice for a rewarding long-term position.


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