…And tips for what not to do in a broker interview.
New agents are commonly told this about interviewing with brokerage firms: “You are interviewing the broker, not the broker interviewing you. They want commissions… the more agents, the better!” While this is somewhat true, it is not 100% fact. I’d like to explain why……
In my role at the brokerage firm I am employed at (yes, I get a bi-weekly paycheck), I often get the honor of sitting in on interviews with potential recruits (that’s you). I’m there to help answer questions the potential agent may have, but I am also there to help to determine if we are interested in this person who is “interviewing” us. That’s right, unlike a lot of boutique real estate firms, we do not hire EVERYONE. While they are checking us out to see if we offer the services they want and need, our company culture and commission splits, we are checking them out as well to see if they would be a good fit for OUR company.
Like I said, this is not true for ALL brokerage firms, but it is for ours. There have been SEVERAL times after a prospective agent has left a meeting with us that my owner and I looked at each other and shook our heads, agreeing that person would not be a good fit at our brokerage. It happens.
So, what is it that happens in an interview that makes us decide that an agent would NOT be a good fit for us? There are several things.
So, here is a list of what NOT to do when interviewing brokerage firms.
- Show up without an appointment. Most brokers are busy. Show your professionalism by calling or emailing a request to ask to schedule an appointment. It’s best to have these meetings in the broker’s office so you can check out the office atmosphere at the same time.
- Show up late. IF you are going to be late, call, text or email immediately. Not calling and showing up late shows a complete disrespect of someone’s time. I was taught a little saying when I was younger: “if you are five minutes early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re five minutes late, don’t bother showing up.”
- Dress too informal. You don’t need to be in a suit and tie, but please do not wear sweatpants or workout attire, this really does not give a great professional first impression.
- Have no idea what your goals are. Know your goals for your career/business. Not having an answer to this question makes us think you are not serious about this business or your success. You had goals of getting your license, be prepared and know your next goal which focuses on your success. How many houses do you want to sell in your first year? How much money do you want to make in your first year? How many people do you want to help in your first year? Have numbers ready, even if they are not exact.
- Don’t ask questions. Come prepared (either in your head or written down) with a list of several questions to ask the broker. This shows interest in the brokerage and the business and will help you to truly narrow down the perfect broker of choice. I listed several great questions to ask in my previous post, “Finding the Perfect Brokerage Firm for YOU.”
- Not being prepared to answer questions. A good broker is going to do more listening than talking, so be prepared to answer questions, they want to learn about you and your plans for YOUR business.
Some questions you may be asked (besides about your goals) include:
1. Why are you interested in real estate?
2. Why do you want to be a real estate agent?
3. What are you looking for in a brokerage firm?
4. How will you build a client base?
5. How do you plan to find leads?
6. How do you handle conflict with clients/other agents?
7. How comfortable are you with technology and social media?
8. Where do you see yourself and your business in 3/5/10 years?
- Leaving your phone on and looking at it in the meeting. In ANY meeting, you should give your undivided attention to the person you are meeting with. Turn your phone off or put it on silent before entering the office.
- Lack of confidence. It’s very easy to tell when someone lacks confidence. In the real estate business, you need to be confident in your abilities to get the job done. Stand tall, give a firm handshake (when this coronavirus is over), make eye contact, and speak proudly of your accomplishment passing the exam and excitement to get started.
Now that you know what “not to do” when interviewing brokerage firms, I do hope you will keep this in mind and remember that most of them are interviewing you too. I also recommend interviewing at least three or four different brokerages so that you can see the differences in their style, and the services that they provide, so that you can find the right fit for you and your business.
These same tips apply to those who are already with a brokerage and are looking to make a switch to a new firm.
Don’t forget to read my previous post, Finding the Perfect Brokerage Firm for YOU for tips on helping you make this decision.