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Published: Jun 13, 2023 12 min read
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When you need to know how to hire a realtor, be sure to understand the role a realtor will play in your business. Follow best practice hiring processes to find the right candidate, and be prepared to invest in reviewing resumes and interviewing multiple candidates to hire a good fit for your business. If you’ve no idea where to start, consider using a job posting site like ZipRecruiter, which can provide access to up to 3 million job seekers. Here's what you need to know.

What is a realtor?

A realtor is a licensed real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. This association is a professional organization with a code of ethics for real estate agents. It also provides businesses resources like transaction management services and real estate market data to realtor members.

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What does a realtor do?

A realtor is a licensed real estate agent that may represent buyers, sellers or both in real estate transactions. They may assist with listing, home viewing, real estate contracts, staging, renovation advice and more. Licensing and exams make up a realtor's education.

What is a realtor vs a real estate agent?

A realtor is a the same thing as a licensed real estate agent except that they've been accepted into the National Association of Realtors. The organization requires its members to complete continuing education and following certain best practices such as using lockboxes and keys. Both realtors and real estate agents have earned a real estate license based on their local training requirements. They have passed exams covering federal and state real estate laws and general real estate knowledge.

What is a realtor vs a real estate broker?

After becoming an agent, a real estate professional may take more educational courses to become a real estate broker. Generally brokers are experienced agents who have at least a few years on the job. A real estate broker is licensed by the sate after passing exams. Real estate brokers deal with deeper topics related to real estate transactions such contracts, taxes, ethics and insurance.

This sets aspiring brokers up for running real estate brokerages. They come out of their education understanding brokerage operation, investments related to real estate, property management and construction information. This allows them to begin overseeing transactions.

Brokers may hold the following roles:

  • Principal broker: These brokers work reviewing agent transactions at a brokerage. They ensure these contract transactions follow laws.
  • Managing broker: Managing broker is an administrative/supervisory role that runs office operations for the agents in a brokerage.
  • Associate broker: Working for a managing broker, associate brokers are licensed but still advancing in their career.

Overall differences between realtor vs agent vs broker

Realtors, real estate agents and brokers all do similar jobs, and both are some of the best paying jobs in real estate. Each starts by passing a real estate agent licensing exam where they are tested on both local and national real estate laws. Some real estate professionals conduct their work with only this license, and they are known simply as real estate agents. Typically real estate agents are paid on commission from the sales they assist with.

Real estate agents who join the National Association of Realtors are known as realtors. They do the same job as real estate agents, representing buyers and/or sellers during transactions. But they may be held to rules based on the association's codes of conduct. realtors also benefit from a wide network of co-members and access to relevant local real estate data. Becoming a realtor is a way for a real estate agent to enhance their connections and resources. These are often one of the benefits of hiring a realtor.

After a few years on the job as a real estate agent or realtor, a real estate professional may decide to become a broker. A broker is a higher-level real estate professional who has passed additional exams. They may focus on big-picture real estate topics like contracts and ethics.

Brokers are typically in a supervisory role, often managing a brokerage or administrating an office of real estate agents. Brokers also earn commissions from sales they help manage, but they receive a salary, too.

Though realtors, real estate agents and brokers all start with the same license requirements, it's important to understand how each one may contribute to your company. When hiring a real estate professional, identify which skills and resources they need to have and target the correct job title in your posting.

How to hire a realtor

Hiring a realtor is similar to many other hiring processes. You'll put out a job description and then interview potential candidates. But due to the nature of the real estate industry, there are some key differences.

It's important to remember that if you are hiring a realtor to work as a member of a brokerage, they are running their own business, as realtors often operate as sole proprietorships. Keeping in mind that they will not be an employee and respecting their autonomy through the interview process can help make good connections. Here's how to find a realtor to hire.

Define your ideal candidate

At the start of your hiring process, define your ideal candidate. List your reasons to hire a realtor over another type of professional. Include things like desired education, length of experience and any needed specializations. Use this list as a checklist as a basis for your written job description as you learn how to interview a realtor.

Write a realtor job description

A job description should give a clear picture of the job so candidates can tell if they are a good fit. Being upfront about realtor job requirements and realtor job duties is essential. Research a real estate agent job description template to get started.

Remember if you're posting a job description of a realtor to a platform like ZipRecruiter (which lets you post on 100+ boards with one click), include strategic keywords applicants may search for, like "full-time jobs near me," to help candidates find your posting.

Choose a recruitment strategy

There are several recruitment strategies to consider when hiring a realtor. Which one is best for your company will depend on the type of applicants you wish to attract. A combination of strategies may also work of you hope to cast a wide net.

  • Network relationships: When you work network relationships, you'll find candidates that are known to your colleagues or employees personally. The advantage is getting a recommendation for someone who is qualified without having to wade through applications. Disadvantages may be an overzealous recommendation that your acquaintance provides as a favor to a friend.
  • Job posting sites: To reach the maximum number of qualified candidates, post a call for applications on a job website. Some platforms will also allow you to browse resumes of potentially qualified candidates and reach out to them directly. Be sure to investigate the best job posting sites for employers and the best recruiting software.
  • Company career page: You can also post your job listing exclusively on your company's career page. This can help you get more targeted applications as they will come directly from candidates visiting your website. They may already be familiar with your practices and local to your physical offices. Research how to create a better career page to attract the best talent.

However you choose to recruit, keep things organized in an applicant tracking system by using best practices for using an ATS.

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Set up interviews with multiple candidates

When you're planning to hire a realtor it's important to set up interviews with multiple candidates. Those who seem great on paper may not present well in person. Similiarly, those who are engaging in person may not read well off a resume. Choosing between two great candidates gives you the best opportunity to find the type of realtor who will best serve your customers.

Interview questions to ask a realtor before hiring

Beyond getting to see a candidate in person, interviews offer the opportunity to get answers to key realtor interview questions. Once you have your interview scheduled, prepare some behavioral interview questions to see how candidates handle themselves under scrutiny. Here are some ideas to ask a realtor before hiring them:

  • How do you prioritize tasks? This question can help you understand how your candidate may manage their time. This can help you see whether or not they have a system in place for handling a job with multiple tasks that may compete for their attention.
  • How do your organize your time? realtors have busy schedules, so it's important to know how prepared they are to set up their day and make sure they fit in all necessary tasks. Focus on short-term and long-term goals that being organized can help them achieve.
  • Are you prepared to perform under pressure? Real estate transactions are often high-tension. They happen fast, deal with large sums of money and may require management of multiple personalities from both buyer and seller sides. realtor candidates must be prepared to perform under pressure. Consider asking them about a time they had a high-pressure work situation and how they handled it.

You may also want to ask questions specific to your location, perhaps pertaining to local real estate regulations or knowledge of certain neighborhoods. Since your realtor candidate is a member of a National Association of realtors chapter, consider discussing the resources they have and how that can help your business.

How to hire a realtor FAQ

Hire the best realtor for your business

Choosing a realtor to hire may be a difficult decision. When you need to work with an experienced real estate professional, finding the best realtor for your business is an important goal. The right job posting and interview process can help you figure out how to find great candidates for a job. Interviewing many candidates can be an intense project, but at the end you will have a candidate who meets your needs and can help your business succeed.

How much do realtors make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median percentile of real estate agents makes $49,980 per year. In the best paying jobs in real estate realtor salaries may climb to $113,320.

How do realtors get paid?

Realtors are typically paid on commission. This means they make a set percent of the real estate transactions they work on. So how much do realtors cost? Both buyer's and seller's agents make about 2.5% to 3% of the sale price of a property. This fee comes out of the closing costs, often paid by the seller.

How much does it cost to hire a realtor?

Recruitment requires an investment to pay off for your company. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average hiring process costs about $4,700. Depending on the length and breadth of your process, this cost may vary. Costs may include things like paying to post a job listing, but don't forget to consider the impact to productivity for workers participating in the hiring process.

Why hire a realtor?

Hiring a realtor makes sense if if you need to work with a licensed real estate agent who is a member of a wide-ranging professional organization. Working with a realtor can help you take advantage of the resources made available to members of the National Association of realtors, such as market data, which may help your business.

Are realtors self-employed?

Yes, most real estate agents are self-employed, otherwise known as a sole proprietorship. Even if a realtor works with a real estate brokerage firm, they are typically considered self-employed for tax purposes. This means that though they may have to cover their own self-employment taxes, they can also deduct business expenses from their earnings.

Summary of Money's how to hire realtors

  • Clarify if you want to hire a realtor, real estate agent or real estate broker.
  • Define your ideal candidate and put together a job description.
  • Choose a recruitment strategy such as network relationships, job posting sites or using your company career page.
  • Set up interviews with candidates.
  • Prepare and ask questions before hiring.
  • Get familiar with the details of paying and hiring realtors.
  • Make a hiring decision.