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How to hire the best employee

31 October 2016

By Cameron Nicholls, Director of Nicholls & Co Estate Agents

Finding the best employee for your business can be a challenge, which is why it is critical to make sure you choose the right one.

For me, the number one thing I look for is strong communication and people skills. I believe that many of the tasks in real estate role can be taught - with the right mentor, support and training - so long as the candidate has a willingness to learn.

However, a person’s natural way with people and their ability to communicate clearly, confidently and effectively is something that is innate and cannot be easily taught.

In real estate it is not the property, or the price that is most important - it is the people. If people are serviced correctly, the properties will come and the right prices will be achieved.

The right candidate also needs to fit the company's culture. 

Top five skills needed in real estate

  • People person
  • Confident communicator
  • Team player
  • Hard working
  • Passionate and driven.


The job description is vital

The job description is vital in attracting the right applicants which is why you need to be very specific, clear and concise on what you’re looking for. 

A thorough job description saves time and avoids you being inundated with an avalanche of applications which you have to spend lots of time on narrowing down. 

Top five questions to ask at the interview

  1. Do you have any experience in real estate Or, if not, how willing are you to learn?
  2. Why did you choose a career in real estate? You want to find out what motivates the applicant and how passionate they are about the industry.
  3. Do you like working with people and how would you describe your style?
  4. Do you prefer to work as part of a team or independently? A team player is important in real estate, especially in a small office where roles can cross over.
  5. Where do you see yourself in five, or 10 years? A person’s career prospects provide an insight into their long term goals and the type of people they are. 

Two-way interview

Interviewing is a two-way process and it's just as important that they can walk away from the interview being 100% sure that your business and the role they have applied for is for them. You don't want the employee thinking a few months into the role "I think I’ve made a mistake"!

Explaining the role clearly from the start ensures transparency, and guarantees there are no hidden surprises down the track. So as much as the candidate might be selling themselves to me - I also need to sell my company to them.