10 questions to ask if you’re considering a career in CRE

Managing Partner and Senior Sales Associate , ICR Commercial Real Estate
  • Nov. 20, 2018

You might be in your last year of university and considering your career options, or have just come to the realization that your current professional path is not going to be your life work.

The idea of a career in commercial real estate sales is appealing. What’s your next step?

Talk to a few different brokers. There can be significant differences between commercial real estate companies, so it’s beneficial to gain the perspective of more than one broker to determine if the career is right for you.

If you decide to move forward, you’ll have a good sense of which company you would prefer to work for and the process it goes through to decide who and when to hire.

Here are some questions to raise during the interview process.

Culture and trust

Ask the broker to describe the internal culture. What level of trust exists within the organization?

How many times a year does the crew get together for extra-curricular activities, social events and travel?

Initial and ongoing education

Ask to see an outline of the education program.

Do the senior agents participate in delivery of the education? How do they facilitate ongoing education?

Mentor support

How many senior agents within the organization make themselves readily available for questions and support?

Are there weekly one-on-one accountability meetings scheduled with the sales manager?

Opportunity for inside view of significant transactions

One of the most effective learning experiences for a new sales associate evolves from witnessing the inside sale/lease process details.

What opportunity exists to gain that insight in real time from observing many noteworthy transactions?

Average income

Over the most recent five years, what was the average annual commission income earned after deducting the administration fees payable to the company?

Brokerage fee split

Ask to see the brokerage fee schedule which illustrates how much of each dollar the company retains to cover administration costs and profit.

Financial assistance

Does the company provide a commission draw or salary during the early stage of the career?


How many sales associates left the company in the past five years and why?

Look for a broker who demonstrates a high level of confidence in the hiring processes they have in place.

Dispute resolution

Even within the most harmonious cultures, disputes can arise. If the individuals themselves are unable to resolve a dispute, is there a process in place to reach a fair and unbiased resolution?

Corporate future vision

How is the company preparing for our rapidly changing times?  What is the future corporate vision?

I am impressed when a sales associate candidate comes to an interview prepared to reciprocate with intelligent questions of their own.

It demonstrates to me that they are taking their career decision seriously. The best professional salespeople ask great questions!

Check out these earlier posts that will interest those considering a career in commercial real estate:

What no one tells you about a career in CRE
Sales: A noble profession
Where are all the female commercial real estate agents?

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