How to interview effectively

How to Interview Effectively

At this point, there’s no denying that recruiting and hiring great agents is one of the hardest parts of being a real estate broker/owner. Finding the right agents with the skills and drive necessary to help your brokerage grow can be challenging. That’s why so many brokers are turning to innovative appointment setting strategies to make the process easier. From ISA calling platforms, to prerecorded video interviews, to AI-assisted hiring, when it comes right down to it there are plenty of new ways to reduce the time it takes to find potential recruits and set appointments with potential new team members. That part is easy to outsource, but then it comes to where the rubber meets the road!  Interviewing candidates can feel like a catch-22; you need someone who will be the right fit and you want to hire only quality candidates but sometimes people interview well and perform poorly when the time comes to generate commissions!  So how do you know if they have what it takes before you put the resources into bringing them onboard. How do you know if they’re even interested in joining your team?  I know that this might not be your favorite part of being a broker, but trust me: It’s worth it! If you can interview more effectively, not only does an interview give you insight into their background and character, but it also allows them to see if your company is a good fit for them, too.

Ask questions first

When you finally invite candidates in for an interview, it’s tempting to dive right into the questions. However, it’s important to start the conversation with a few ice-breakers to break the ice. – Tell a short story -to help them settle in and then ask about their background! To start with stay away from specific questions about their formal education and pre-real estate work history. Instead ask one or two of the following such as: why they got into real estate, what is their favorite transaction they’ve had and why, ask what their favorite training is, what is there favorite experience to share with other agents, and then give them an opportunity to ask questions about your company. The next part is crucial.

Be an active listener

You have to listen to your recruits more than they are listening to you! This might sound like an obvious tip, but it can be easy to get caught up in the conversation and forget to really listen. Stay present – make sure you’re focused on their words, not just mentally preparing your next question. – Ask first and then take notes – this is a great way to stay focused on what your candidate is saying, while also keeping track of important information. – Avoid judgement – you should be looking for ways that the interviewee can better fit your company, but you shouldn’t be judging their entire character based on a single interview.

Listen for an underlying motive

We’re all motivated by different things, and a lot of those reasons are deeply personal. You likely want to know what your recruits motivation is for taking the job, but you also want to know what their underlying motivation is. – Money – this is a great example of a motivation that many people will start with but as you really start to dig in you will realize that it’s what money will allow them to do instead of just making more money.  That is what you want to really understand.  Many times, there are deeply personal reasons for wanting to get into real estate and if you can find what the recruit(s) really want it will help you know if they are a fit and what type of workplace it relevant in your market.

Be excited to share your motivation

Even if you do have all the information you need to make a hiring decision, the last thing you want to do is rush things and hire the wrong agents.  Good recruits spent time preparing for the interview and want to make sure your office is a good fit for them. Them know why you love the industry and what you office stands for will help them shape their opinion of why you may be a good fit to work together.  This will not only help you make sure you’re attracting the best fits but it actually makes the whole interviewing process easier if you can clearly articulate your own “why”. It will help the recruits feel appreciated and valued when there is a cultural match, which will help them stay positive about your brokerage.

Bottom line

While interviewing can be tough, it’s an important part of the hiring process so it should be treated that way. Use it as a time to get to know the agents in your market better and find the ones that are the best fit. It allows you to shape your brokerage offering as well to make sure it mirrors the market demand.  Depending on how you conduct it the interview could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.  Much more than that is too much and you should set a time for a follow up. Make sure you have enough time to follow a set process so that you can get through your entire offering while still getting to know the agent. After you go through the interview make sure you thank the agent for their time at the end. If you follow these tips, you’ll be better prepared for your interviews and have a better chance at hiring the right people for your brokerage and they will ultimately stay longer.

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