In today’s competitive real estate market, it’s more important than ever to hire quality employees. However, this is usually easier said than done. Hiring the right person for your team can sometimes seem like a “luck of the draw situation”. A study by Forbes shows that a startling 48 percent of employees fail within their first 18 months. There are simple steps that you can take to make sure your new hire will be successful.

Be clear about the job description.

Take time to think about the daily tasks and activities this position will be responsible for, and be sure to include all of them in the job description. Something that may seem like a simple project for you could be a deal breaker for someone else. It’s important to be clear and defined in your expectations in order to locate someone that truly fits.
Set your bar, and stick to it.

You know what you want from your new employee, so don’t settle. It takes time to find the right person, but hiring someone out of convenience will almost always backfire. Look for a person that matches every qualification that you are looking for. If you are having trouble finding a good candidate, consider splitting the position, or adjusting the daily tasks.
Interview productively. The events of your day can affect the outcome of your interview. If you are unusually busy, tired, or cranky, an otherwise good interview can feel rushed and have a negative feel. Have a plan of action before going into the interview. Prepare planned questions, definitions and expectations, and use the same plan for every interview. This will help keep the interviews uniform, and keep your responses objective. Consider using a cross interviewer in order to get a second opinion or a new perspective. Going through a second screening can help uncover details that you may have missed the first time. Most importantly, make sure the candidate walks away happy. Thank him/her for coming, and let them know you appreciate their time. This will leave a sense of satisfaction for both of you.

Qualities to look for:

• Great work ethic

• Positive attitude

• Excellent communication skills

• True experience

• Preparedness

• Loyalty

• Stability and reliability


Consider carefully.

The success of your team depends on who it includes, so consider your decision carefully. Ask for coworker and underworker opinions on the primary candidates. Remember that your team will be working with this person, so their opinion is very important. Look for personality as much as skill. Take time to imagine the candidate working with your team. Will he/she easily adapt, or will it be a tough transition? Look for potential in the interviewee as much as skill. Skill, in the end, can be taught, personality cannot. When calling personal and professional references, consider the information you are trying to get out of the conversation, and build your questions to suit.

Results Driven Questions when checking personal references.

• How long have you known this person?

This is very important because the opinion of someone who has known your candidate for 6 months may be very different from someone who has known them for 6 years.


• What else should I know?

This helps to open up the conversation to qualities and behaviors you may not think to ask about directly.


• Do you think the candidate is qualified for this position?

When asked this question, most people will instinctively answer honestly, then sometimes contradict themselves in explanation. Listen for the immediate response.


• What are the candidate’s strongest qualities?

This question gives you an idea of what the candidate is good at, but also opens the door for an unintentional list of weaknesses.


• What can we do for him/her?

A good hire is getting as much out of the position as your business is, so make sure the candidate can grow with your company. A bored employee is not successful.


• Would you work for him/her?

This question is designed to get an honest response. The reference must put themselves in a new position, which takes them out of their comfort zone, and causes a more truthful answer.


Hiring a new team member can often be a long and strenuous process, but the right person is worth the wait. Make sure to consider your options carefully, and take the time to find the right person for the job.

Unusual interview questions from America’s biggest companies:

(Compiled from

• What qualities do you think a successful real estate agent must possess?—Century 21

• Introduce yourself.—Forbes

• What is the most important tool you need to grow your business?—Keller Williams

• What is the difference between sympathy and empathy?—Apple

• If you could be remembered for one sentence, what would it be?—Google

• How do you manage stress? — CitiBank

• What made you decide to become a realtor?—Century 21

• If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?—Google

• What is the most important thing about customer service? —JPMorgan Chase

• In one word, what will you bring to the table if we hire you?—Nike

• Tell me a joke.—Google

• What is your passion in life? —Apple

• How many ways can you think of to find a needle in a haystack? —Google

• How do you prioritize work? —CitiBank

• How will your skills at your previous job help you in this role?—Caliber Home Loans

• Design an evacuation plan for the building.—Google

• What is the most important thing to remember when helping a customer?—Apple

• When was a time you talked to a perfect stranger?—Nike