Interviewing Real Estate Agents: Example Questions and Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 18, 2021 | Published January 13, 2021

Updated March 18, 2021

Published January 13, 2021

When working at a real estate firm, you may have the opportunity to interview candidates for real estate agent positions. Your ability to prepare for interviews and engage with real estate agent candidates will enhance your hiring decisions. By reviewing examples of real estate agent interview questions, along with interviewing tips, you can find the best ways to prepare for and conduct a real estate agent interview.

In this article, we cover who interviews real estate agents, explore why it's important for the interviewer to prepare, list tips for conducting real estate agent interviews and provide a variety of example questions to help you properly evaluate a real estate agent candidate.

Related: How To Conduct a Job Interview

Who interviews real estate agents?

There are a few professionals who have the qualifications to interview a real estate agent candidate at a real estate firm. Typically, the firm's real estate broker is responsible for conducting interviews because they have the most experience. However, in the absence of a real estate broker, realtors or real estate agents with multiple years at the firm can also fulfill the interviewer role.

Related: Real Estate Brokers vs. Agents

Why is it important to prepare for interviews with real estate agent candidates?

It's important to prepare for interviews with real estate agent candidates for several reasons. Here are a few ways you can benefit from preparing as the interviewer:

  • Allows you to establish important questions and topics: By determining the qualities needed for a real estate agent at your firm, you can develop a list of questions that help you learn more about a candidate's previous real estate experiences, local real estate knowledge and personable traits.

  • Shows candidates you respect their time: Preparing for an interview by creating questions, reviewing candidate qualifications and verifying interview details helps convey your potential qualities as an employer to a candidate. This could determine whether a qualified candidate chooses to work for your firm over another firm.

  • Ensures a productive interview experience for both parties: When you take the time to prepare for an interview with a candidate for a real estate agent position, you have the opportunity to maximize the information you learn about a candidate and their qualifications. This helps you make quick decisions about who to hire for job openings.

Related: 13 Tips for Interviewing Candidates

Tips for interviewing real estate agents

There are a variety of ways to make sure that you lead productive interviews with real estate agent candidates. Here are some tips to consider for before, during and after interviews with real estate agent candidates:

  • Review the candidate's resume and cover letter right before. Reviewing application materials is especially helpful if you have multiple candidates to interview. It allows you to refresh your memory about a candidate. Your ability to ask questions about experiences or qualifications on a candidate's resume makes them feel valued and provides you with additional information to evaluate their candidacy.

  • Review company information to answer candidate questions. Even if you've worked for a real estate firm for a long time, it's important that you go over standard knowledge about your workplace. This could include reviewing the total number of employees, real estate specialties, commission rates, employee benefits and general workplace culture. By reminding yourself of these facts, you can provide more informative answers to candidate questions about the firm or job position.

  • Start the interview with casual, introductory questions. It's helpful to start the interview with standard candidate questions to help the candidate, and yourself, feel more comfortable going forward. These questions include "how are you?" "How has your day been so far?" "Can you tell me a bit about yourself?" or, "How was the drive?"

  • Practice active listening throughout. Active listening is verbal and nonverbal cues that convey your attention to the speaker. Examples of active listening include nodding, small verbal acknowledgments, eye contact, smiling, taking notes or leaning toward the speaker.

  • Find a balance between asking technical questions and interpersonal questions. As important as it is to learn more about a candidate's real estate background and career goals, it's also important to gain insights into their personality and relative core skills that could help them complete their real estate agent job duties. These could include interpersonal communication, time management, optimism, problem-solving or attention to detail.

  • Give them the chance to ask questions about the firm. After you've asked all the questions on your list and any additional questions, you should conclude the interview by allowing the candidate to ask questions of their own. This is important as it allows you to sell your firm to the candidate so they can decide what your firm has to offer. Their ability to ask questions can affect whether they accept a job offer from you later on.

  • Provide them with a time-frame for follow-ups and next steps. Transparency is essential when interviewing real estate agent candidates as they may already have job offers or have an interest in working for another firm. By providing them with a specific date or time length (XYZ weeks), you have the opportunity to keep a candidate from taking another job before you make your decision.

  • Take detailed notes after each interview. Taking notes after each interview helps interviewers document their thoughts about candidates so they can refresh their memory when making final hiring decisions.

Related: How To Choose the Format of an Interview

Example questions to ask real estate agent candidates

When interviewing real estate agent candidates, you should divide up questions into different categories to learn about their technical knowledge and personality. Here are several example interview questions to ask real estate agent candidates regarding personal traits and professional experiences:

Professional knowledge and experiences interview questions

Real estate agents should have a strong understanding of industry terminology that they learned about through previous education and professional experiences as a real estate agent. Asking questions about professional knowledge and experiences helps you determine a candidate's passion for real estate and their training needs if hired. Here are some examples of questions that highlight knowledge and experience:

  • Can you describe the general negotiation process for home purchases or sales?

  • Have you ever helped a home-buyer determine their mortgage options?

  • How many properties have you helped clients purchase, sell or rent over the course of your real estate career?

  • Can you tell me the difference between a listing agent and a buyer's agent?

  • What's one area of real estate you wish you had more experience in?

  • What does the term DOM stand for?

Marketing interview questions

When working for a real estate firm, some real estate agents are responsible for marketing themselves and their services to the greater community. A real estate agent's ability to develop and distribute marketing materials can determine the volume of clients they receive. It can also impact your firm's business growth. Here are some possible marketing-related interview questions to help you evaluate a candidate's experience in that area:

  • Are you comfortable creating and operating professional social media accounts to promote your services?

  • Would you say you receive more client contacts through word-of-mouth, print or digital marketing efforts?

  • What methods do you use to inform the public of a new property listing?

  • How do you encourage members of the public to attend open-house events?

  • How do you generate client leads and what do you do when you contact them?

  • Can you tell me about a time you invested in a marketing strategy that didn't help you expand your client base?

Client relationship interview questions

A real estate agent's ability to connect with clients and provide them with positive buying, selling or renting experiences can help generate additional business through references and future real estate needs. Therefore, a real estate agent needs to have excellent customer service skills to maintain their client base. Review these client relationship interview questions to make inferences about a candidate's people skills:

  • Have you ever had trouble helping a client find a property? If so, what were the circumstances and what was the outcome?

  • Can you tell me about a time a client had unrealistic price expectations for a particular neighborhood? What did you do?

  • What methods do you use to effectively communicate with clients whose personality differs from yours?

  • What questions do you ask clients during your first meeting with them?

  • How do you communicate with your clients to confirm house showing times, dates and directions?

  • In your opinion, what is the relationship between a real estate agent and a home buyer or seller?

Local real estate knowledge interview questions

When interviewing candidates for a real estate agent position, it's important to gauge their knowledge of the local area and the state of the real estate market. Their understanding of different neighborhoods and typical rental or buying prices for an area allows them to narrow their property search and find the best options for clients within a quick timeframe. These are examples of interview questions that ask candidates to demonstrate their local real estate knowledge:

  • Based on what you know about this area, what is the best neighborhood to live in, in terms of pricing, amenities and proximity to attractions?

  • In your opinion, what makes our town the best to live in than neighboring towns?

  • What are your thoughts on the current housing market here?

  • What are a few downsides to living in this area and how would you help home-buyers overcome doubts about living here?

Research interview questions

A large part of a real estate agent's job is to make use of property listings and other sources to find properties that match client needs. Here are some examples of interview questions that help interviewers gain a better understanding of a candidate's research skills and tools:

  • What are your go-to property listing websites?

  • Have you ever explored a particular neighborhood to find available properties without an online listing?

  • How do you find pet-friendly properties for clients with dogs, cats or other animals?

  • When was the last time you used the real estate section in a print newspaper to identify properties for sale?

  • What resources do you use to make market predictions and help clients establish competitive buying or selling prices?

Situational interview questions

Situational real estate agent questions allow you to gauge how a candidate would react to different scenarios that present challenges to their job. Here are some examples of questions that highlight potentially confusing or challenging situations:

  • You have another house showing scheduled for a different client in an hour, but your current clients arrived late to the appointment and don't seem to be in a hurry. What do you do?

  • The seller disagrees with your client's asking price. How do you approach this situation?

  • A client insists on living in a specific neighborhood, but there currently aren't any listings available. What suggestions do you make?

  • A client demands you find a property with everything on their wish list. What do you do when you can only find properties that just have a few of their must-haves?

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