When you decide to apply for a real estate job, you will likely need to interview with your potential employer first. They might ask you a variety of questions related to the field to test your knowledge. When you research the possible questions they may ask and prepare your answers, you will likely feel more confident during your interview. In this article, we will review real estate interview questions and sample answers, as well as tips to prepare for your interview.
General questions for a real estate interview
Though your interview is likely to focus on questions that specifically relate to your skills and experience as a real estate professional, you may encounter more general interview questions that help an interviewer to gauge your personality. Here are some common general questions you may be asked:
- Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- Why should we hire you? What makes you stand out?
- What did you like most about your last position?
- What are your top three skills?
- What skills would you like to learn and why?
- How would your coworkers and clients describe you?
- What questions do you have?
In-depth questions for a real estate interview
Much of your real estate interview is likely to focus on your previous selling experience, your training and skills and the techniques you employ when helping clients find their new home or property. Here are common questions you may encounter at a real estate interview:
- What has been your favorite selling experience?
- What is your favorite part of working in real estate?
- Why should you be hired as our newest agent/broker?
- How do you create a client base?
- What are the most important resources buyers should be using? Why?
- How to do you manage both in- and out-of-office tasks?
- What types of technology do you use to improve your selling and showing process?
- What qualities do you believe make up an effective real estate professional?
Real estate interview questions and sample answers
Here are some questions and sample answers you can use to prepare your own effective responses during your interview:
- How many homes, on average, do you sell each year?
- How do you use the internet and social media to sell homes?
- How do you stay organized to make sure you make every appointment and are always on time?
- Talk about a time where you had a hard time creating a relationship with a tenant, owner or investor. How would you have handled that differently?
- What’s the hardest part of keeping your clients focused on home tours?
- What qualities make you a good real estate agent?
- What questions do you ask clients to make sure their needs are met?
1. How many homes, on average, do you sell each year?
Selling property is one of the primary roles of a real estate agent. Your answer shows what your experience is in the industry. This answer is your chance to demonstrate how many homes you have sold and what type they were. Even if you have not sold a large number of homes yet due to being new in the industry, you can always highlight the positive aspects and talk about the most impressive examples you have.
Example: “I sell an average of 50 homes each year, including mid-range and luxury homes. I have experience selling in this market to new and growing families and am very familiar with the neighborhoods in the area. I use my expert knowledge to make homebuyers feel comfortable and confident during their search.”
2. How do you use the internet and social media to sell homes?
Social media is a common way real estate agents sell homes. This is where potential buyers are looking to find houses, so having experience with these networks is essential. You can answer this question by talking about how you make sure all listings are online with thorough information. This way buyers have all the information they need to book a showing.
Example: “I use my website, Facebook and Instagram to sell my homes. To ensure the homes look beautiful online, I always hire professional photographers to take photos of the houses. Last month, one of my listings got 50 shares on Facebook and 30 comments on Instagram."
"In addition, I also invest in monthly social media ads that directly target my ideal homebuyer. I’ve found this marketing strategy has increased my sales by 10% over the past nine months.”
3. How do you stay organized to make sure you make every appointment and are always on time?
As you get more clients, you will likely have more appointments each day. Creating an organizational system is crucial so you attend every appointment and are on time for all of them. You will often let the selling agent know what time you and your client will visit the home and they will block out that time for you. When you have multiple showings in one day, you should consider finding a system that works to increase your timeliness.
Example: “I use multiple methods to stay organized during the week, such as using a calendar. I sync my computer to my phone and set reminders to go off 30 minutes before I need to leave for each appointment. I also color-code some of my appointments to indicate the clients I’m currently working with to make my appointment prep just a bit easier. I coordinate those colors to the files and emails I have on that client to ensure all of my information is easily found.”
4. Talk about a time where you had a hard time creating a relationship with a tenant, owner or investor. How would you have handled that differently?
Some clients you talk to in the real estate industry will be more challenging than others. The interviewer might be curious to see how you handled them in the past. Keep your answer as positive as possible by focusing on the learning experience you had. You can also keep the story short and instead focus on what you would do differently.
Consider using the STAR interview response method to outline the “situation” and describe the “task” you had to complete, the “actions” you took and the “results” you delivered. This strategy can help you organize a brief yet illustrative response.
Example: “Once, I tried to help a client with very specific expectations and limitations. I was tasked with finding listings that had all of the amenities they wanted, which was difficult due to the limiting budget. I began by focusing on homes within their budget that compromised on amenities. When the client was not satisfied, I then showed them homes that had everything they requested but noted how different their budget would need to be.
“The client appreciated my help and candor. We worked together to identify their must-have items and their optional amenities. We confirmed a very strict budget to ensure all listings would meet as many of their wishes as possible while still being affordable.”
5. What’s the hardest part of keeping your clients focused on home tours?
You may work with clients who get excited to look at homes and walk away to explore the property on their own. This behavior may be frustrating to the process of highlighting specific features you intended to show them to help sell the house. Knowing how to redirect your clients can be a valuable skill to have to make appointments more productive.
Example: “I let the client look at the different rooms on their own for a few minutes and then ask them to come back to me so I can show them features that I know they will love. This technique allows me to have a better chance of selling the house when I save the best parts until the end.”
6. What qualities make you a good real estate agent?
Certain qualities can help you become a better real estate agent. Use this question to describe what areas you feel you are strongest in and how they relate to the field. One good quality you can state is strong communication skills. You can tell the interviewer how important it is to listen to a client so you understand their needs and wants. This can save you time when you only show them houses they have a better chance of buying.
Example: “Not only do I listen to all of my clients, but I take the extra step by looking at the homes on my own first. When I do a quick walkthrough of the potential houses, I can spot details they may like, increasing the chances of my client liking the home. For example, I may notice the master bedroom has a walk-in closet, which the client said was important. I feel that my active listening and empathy skills allow me to select the best listing to streamline the search.”
7. What questions do you ask clients to make sure their needs are met?
When you meet with a client for the first time, you will need to ask them certain questions to begin the house buying or selling process. You may have a list of specific questions that help you connect with your client on a more personal level and help you best determine their needs versus their preferences. Use this interview question to discuss the early part of your process and demonstrate how you connect with clients to personalize your service.
Example: “I typically begin a client relationship by having them fill out a general survey to collect necessary information, such as budget, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, home size, family size and many others. This process takes just a few minutes for clients and I use it to guide my initial conversation to further refine their listing options.
“After the survey, I ask them to describe their ideal home, what they believe they cannot compromise on and what three adjectives they would use to describe their dream home. These questions allow me to personalize my search and select homes that may have factors they didn’t think to consider, such as the type of plants in the yard and how much sunlight comes into the living room during the afternoon.”
Tips to prepare for a real estate interview
in addition to reviewing common questions and crafting potential answers, there are many other steps you can take to best prepare yourself for an effective interview, including:
- Research the company.
- Bring questions to ask the interviewer.
- Arrive on time.
- Dress professionally.
Research the company. Search the company’s website to get to know their agents, market and clientele. Consider reviewing their current listings and reading previous client reviews to understand who they sell to and how effective they are. This information can help you determine the skills and qualities you possess that make you a good fit and help you be prepared to answer questions about how you might approach a sale with their ideal clients.
Bring questions to ask the interviewer. Prepare three to five questions to ask the interviewer. These questions can help you demonstrate that you researched the company and are familiar with their market. They can also be your chance to show your genuine interest in the role.
Arrive on time. Being prompt to the interview can show that you have excellent time management skills and are dependable and respectful of others’ time.
Dress professionally. As a real estate professional, you are likely to dress in business casual or business professional attire when on the job. Consider dressing for your interview in the same attire you would when meeting a client.