Prospective real estate agents should interview with several real estate firms before accepting a position. Here are some tips that will help you find a job in the real estate profession.
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- Make a list of agencies you want to talk with. If you don't know where to start, browse real estate ads to see if some firms seem more interesting than others. Which ads 'pop out' at you?
- Visit your local Chamber of Commerce to find out which firms are best represented. Pay attention to television and radio advertising, to billboards, and to the For Sale signs you see in yards. Do specific firms seem to be represented in more areas?
- Make appoinments with the broker-in-charge of each real estate agency on your list. Larger firms may have recruiting managers.
- At appointment-time, make sure you dress appropriately for your area. Not sure? Stop by a few agencies in your area to see how agents are dressed.
- Ask what type of real estate training the firm provides. Is there a full time trainor or mentor? Is training free, or will you be expected to pay for all or a portion of the costs?
- Find out how many new real estate agents were hired last year, and how many of those agents are still working. A high turnover could indicate a lack of training or other problems.
- Ask if all agents are scheduled for regular "floor duty," a time you work in the office. Find out how leads are distributed during floor duty and at other times.
- Ask the broker for an itemized list of start-up expenses. Are you required to join local, regional, and national professional organizations? Are there recurring monthly or quarterly expenses for membership?
- Find out if advertising expenses are paid by the agency. How about for sale and other signs, do they provide them to agents free of charge?
- Who pays for long distance telephone calls to clients? How about photocopies, stamps, and other office-related expenses?
- Does the firm provide in-office computers and printers for real estate agent use, or are you expected to bring your own?
- Are commissions paid immediately upon closing? What is the typical commission split between office and agent? Does it increase as sales increase? Does the agency pay more for in-house transactions?
- If you are talking with a franchised agency be sure to ask what percentage of each sales commission is deducted and sent to the franchising company.
- Ask if the firm carries Errors and Omissions insurance for agents. If so, find out what's covered. Discuss the policy with an insurance carrier to make sure it's adequate.
- Real estate agents are typically responsible for most expenses of doing business. Think of this meeting as a dual-interview. The broker must impress you as much as you impress her.
- Leads are an important consideration for new agents who are trying to establish a customer base. Ask the broker how her office can help you grow your database.
- Try to get a general feel for the office atmosphere. Is it simply cordial, or do agents appear to really like what they are doing and where they are doing it?
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