Module 4 ~ Lesson 4

Lesson 4: Five Steps to an Effective Interview

  1. Building Rapport
  2. Presentation of Your Value Proposition
  3. Trial Closings
  4. Objection Handling
  5. Closing and Transition Plan

The key to being an outstanding interviewer is to “find the pain or the hot button”. The pain may be related to their current situation, a current organizational challenge, a lack of certain skill(s) or plan or it may be an unfulfilled dream. Your role in this process is to ask questions while listening intensely to determine what this pain/hot button is and how you can help them overcome this.

Recruiting is the life-blood of the company since predictable growth will provide increased market share, revenue and profitability. The interviewing stage could be considered to be the most important part of the recruiting process since it is where the “sale is made”. Therefore, this could be the most important activity in the company.

These questions should be initially committed to memory and practiced. You can adapt or revise these scripts as you become more confident and to find the “sweet spot” that works for your style of communication.   Once learned, these questions can be used to teach anyone that is intuitive and who genuinely cares to become a great interviewer. 

1. Building Rapport (Trust)

QUESTIONS ATTRACT | STATEMENTS REPEL

The objective is to “bond” with the candidate. You do this by relating and then asking them detailed questions about them and their business. People like to talk about their business/themselves and this is where all of the key information for the interview is gathered. You are searching for the hot buttons and their big WHY – what is most important to them!

Interviewer:

Hello _______,

It’s great to meet with you today. I’ve heard a lot of great things about you from ___________(or) I’ve followed your business over the years (or) __________________

and I’ve been looking forward to meeting with you. I know we are both busy in this exciting business of ours and I certainly appreciate you taking the time to sit down with me.

So…I just want you to know I respect your time and want to make the most out of the next hour together.

Gather all of the key data on what they want and what their pain point/hot button is with their current situation? Then relay all of the information back to them for clarification…

Interview Questions

  • So I don’t forget what matters most to you-is it okay if I take some notes?
  • Knowing how busy you are, what is the main reason you decided to meet with me?
  • How did you get into Real Estate? What was the motivation? What did you do prior to Real Estate?
  • What are your goals over the next 6-12 months? How about long term?
  • What’s your biggest challenge?
  • If we looked 5 years into the future and you could paint a picture of an ideal future what would it look like?
  • What are your 3 most important professional goals? How about personal goals?
  • What do you like about your current brokerage/company? What do you dislike?
  • Describe your perfect business day?
  • What are your top 3 strengths? Three weaknesses?
  • To hit your short and long-term goals what 3 things would you have to start doing immediately?
  • What are you most passionate about? (Discover their why!)
  • What appeals to you most about what we have talked about so far?
  • If we could develop a plan that would help you meet or exceed your goals of _____ (reiterate with their specific & verbatim language) would that lay a foundation for us to work together?

Okay ___________, well what I hear is that you are experiencing ____, and that in an ideal situation over the next 3-5 years that you would like to experience ____.

 

Optional Interview Questions for New Licensees:

  • Are you currently employed?
  • What type of work do you do?
  • How long have you been employed there?
  • Are you planning on being full or part-time in real estate?
  • If part-time, how many hours are you willing to commit to your real estate business?
  • Do you know anyone who earns a living with commission sales? Are they successful? In your opinion, why or why not?
  • What are your expectations in real estate for your first year? What income would you like to earn?
  • Are you willing to prospect, learn the skills necessary for success in real estate? Are you coachable?

Let’s do this. Before we get into technical info about the company, and our model, I’d first like to talk with you about our philosophy and track record. How does that sound?

 

2. Presentation of the Your UVP to Join Your Team/Company

It is important to be upbeat during this step…build enthusiasm…they should be anxious to see the next thing…

What is Your Unique Value Proposition?

  • Marketing, lead generation and business building systems
  • Leading technology and innovation to drive and manage your business
  • Outstanding training, education, coaching and brokerage support
  • Team Leads and support systems
  • Training, coaching, mentoring

Broker/Team and Admin Support – Full-time broker and admin support is available to you. Our office administrator is here to greet your clients, manages the office administrative tasks and is here to help you with and admin support. Our compliance and transaction coordinator provides another level of service to ensure your transaction files are in compliance with the Real Estate Division/BRE. We also provide transaction coordination services so you can leverage your time and resources.

Compensation Plan – Add your compensation & commission plan

 

3. Trial Closings

This is actually practiced throughout the interview. Essentially you ask questions to determine if the candidate is moving towards the opportunity, indifferent or moving away from the opportunity. The way this is accomplished is through asking questions.

What appeals to you most about what we have talked about so far?

If you decided to become an agent with us, how quickly would we have to act on it?

What were you most excited about talking with me about today?

Do you see the benefit of _____________ and the immediate impact it would have on your business?

What would you like our next step to be?

If you could paint a picture of your business over the next 5 years and make it look exactly the way you want it, what would it look like?

If we can overcome ____ (their objection) is there any reason why you wouldn’t join our team?

To close and setup a second meeting if agent is not ready to join now:

___________, I have really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know you today and find out what is important to you and your business. ______, I have taken extensive notes and would like to review my notes and formulate a business strategy for you, I have some great ideas I would like to share with you that will impact your income immediately! Why don’t we get together again ——- schedule a second appointment.

Steps to closing at the second interview:

  • Present a company benefit
  • Provide evidence – Agent Testimonial
  • Ask them if they see value in it
  • Ask the recruit how they would use this benefit in their business. How do you see yourself benefiting from this?
  • Conservatively, how many additional transactions in the next 12 months do you see yourself doing with this benefit?

 

4. Objection Handling

Objections are always best handled in advance. The main way this is accomplished is by doing an outstanding opening-rapport building session. It is in that session that you find out what “makes them tick” and how to tailor the entire interview. You should never get to the close and then get objections “out of the blue”.

If you discovered their “why” in the opening, rapport building step then you want to bring any objection back to that and show the agent how joining your team will support their why. 

Traditional “old school” sales tactics have the sales person and prospect going back and forth between objections from the prospect and answers by the salesperson. This is not at all effective since recruiting is much more “life change” than it is “buying a product”. A better way to view this part of the process is “removing obstacles”. The candidate may have fears due to lack of knowledge and it is your job to handle this.

Interviewer:

That’s an interesting question…can you be more specific?

Hmmmm…do I understand you correctly?

Okay, well let’s look at it like this….

So what I understand is that you are concerned about some properties that are in escrow and that if you move companies that you may not get paid? If that was not an issue would there be anything else? Okay, well then what we are really talking about is timing.

Is there any reason you wouldn’t want to move ahead with joining our team?

Just so I’m clear, tell me everything that appeals to you so far – aside from that one thing. Okay, so based upon that let’s figure out how to overcome that one thing.

Always isolate the objection. Get them to say yes to the company aside from the objection.

“I’m not ready.”

No problem, I wouldn’t want you to do something you’re not ready for. What additional concerns do you have? (Really)

If you were ready, what would have to happen to make you feel comfortable at making the move now? (Great)

If I can resolve those concerns will you be ready to make the move right away?

(Excellent)

(If no) No problem, may I ask, what other concerns do you have? (Interesting)

“I have to closeout my current deals in escrow.”

I understand, you don’t want to incur any monetary loss in making a move. Let me ask you, when are your transactions closing? (Great)

Are they listings or buyer escrows? How many do you currently have open? (Good for you)

Have you reviewed your independent contractor agreement with regards to, leaving the company when an agent has open transactions? What does it say? (Really)

We are not interested in making money off your existing business. We are in this for the long run. Are you interested in building a successful future together? I don’t want cost or loss of business to stand in the way of a good business decision. You know you need to be here. Let’s figure out a way to make this happen now and get you what you want in the time you want. Won’t that be great?

“It’s bad timing, I have too much business.”

An agent of your caliber is always busy, there is never going to be a good time to make a move; generally agents in transition begin to wind down their business before they make a move.

This could end up costing you thousands in lost production. Not something you want to see happen to you, right? I will have your transition set up so you will hit the ground running. Wouldn’t that be great?

In fact _________ (Your agent) who just recently joined us increased his/her production immediately after coming aboard. Isn’t that exciting?

(Your agent) picked up 3 extra transactions the very first month. Can you see how that could also work for you? Excellent!

(Your agent) earned an additional $_________________ the very first month. Can you see how that could also work for you? Great!

The time to leave is when you are on top. Let’s do it now!

“My broker promised to fix the problems and increase my split.”

Great, let me ask you how has he handled your concerns in the past? (Ouch)

Why do you think it has taken this event of you moving, for him to pay attention to your concerns? (I agree)

How much time will you give him to take care of these problems? (Interesting)

Based on your past experience with him do you really think he is going to change long term or is this just a quick fix out of desperation? (Really)

Can you really afford to wait? Let’s sign the paperwork and get you on the way today to earning more money in less time.

 

5. Closing and Transition Plan

The key to closing is to get a commitment for the “next event”. Throughout the interview, if successful, the candidate will begin to say “yes” in their mind, a subliminal decision. However, the very next thought may be “overwhelm”. The goal in closing them properly is to take them to the next step. The next step for each individual may be different, although similar to others.

Well (______) I have really enjoyed our time today and I think you can agree that we are both on the same page right? Well based upon what we talked about your biggest opportunity with us would be is ___ (Key Value Propositions that apply to them).

Here is the next step. We have a transition plan that essentially walks you through the step by step what do to become an agent with your team/company. I would like to put you in touch with (individual) to start that process. How does that sound?

Schedule the next step….

More Closings Scripts:

You mentioned that you wanted to grow your business from _______ to _______. How do you see yourself doing that at your current company? By just working harder? (Really)

Based on all the benefits, tools and of course the commission structure we have spoken about, you acknowledged that you can see yourself earning an extra $________________ at our company. You can’t afford to not join our team! It is costing you money not being here, wouldn’t you agree?

How soon will you be ready to start?

In your mind, what needs to take place to expedite a comfortable and smooth transition? Fantastic.

We have a detailed onboarding process to assist you with a smooth transition to our team.

If using the Coaching Approach, schedule the next coaching session with action items and an action plan for the agent to accomplish prior to the next meeting.

Supporting documents to download:

  • 11_TeamAssociateInterviewQuestions (PDF)
  • 13_TeamMemberApplicationForm (PDF)
  • 16_AgentOnboardingChecklist

Module 4 - Lesson 1

The Seven-Step Attraction Model

Module 4 - Lesson 2

Create Your Affiliation (Recruiting) Proposal

Module 4 - Lesson 3

Leverage a Career Page & Social Media

Module 4 - Lesson 4

Five Steps to an Effective Interview

Module 4 - Lesson 5

90 Day Plan to Onboard New Team Associate

Module 4 - Lesson 6

Retaining Quality, Productive Agents

Module 4 - Lesson 7

Let’s Get to Work!

If you have not already done so, go to the Module 4 Overview page and download the Workbook, Slide Decks, and all related Documents for this module.

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