Why this matters:

Commercial real estate requires hard skills in math, accounting, and forecasting. Agents must have a solid understanding of the local commercial real estate market, investment opportunities, and mathematical models for estimating returns. Answers vary based on the candidate’s experience, but the response will govern how much training is necessary to train the agent for your geographic region and client base.

What to listen for:

  • Knowledge of local commercial real estate news, market trends, and forecasting methods
  • Understanding of what constitutes a good return or opportunity for your clients
  • Experience and/or comfort dealing with large transaction sums

Why this matters:

Networking is essential to a commercial real estate agent’s role. Agents often post their profiles in directories, market themselves on social media, and publish articles to establish themselves as industry authorities. Clients often connect with commercial real estate firms by contacting individual agents for assistance. Candidates with experience in sales and marketing can be instrumental to the success of the company.

What to listen for:

  • Specific marketing knowledge in soliciting new commercial real estate leads
  • Past sales experience playing an instrumental role in securing business for a company
  • Enthusiasm and willingness to learn and grow with the company

Why this matters:

Commercial real estate agents spend a good deal of time researching. Mixed-use developments are a common niche of commercial real estate, but interviewers can substitute a more relevant area of specialization if necessary. Ideally, candidates will arrive prepared for their interviews and well-versed in the firm’s unique selling propositions.

What to listen for:

  • Familiarity with the company’s mission, achievements, longevity, reviews, or awards
  • Preparedness, ability to research, and understanding of local competitors
  • Experience with research techniques and interest in learning about the company’s specialization

Why this matters:

Commercial real estate agents need strong interpersonal skills to handle all personality types and disagreements regarding budget or timeline expectations. This question explores a candidate’s comfort level and experience with adversity. Experienced commercial agents know when and how to go the extra mile in providing exceptional service, and when to say “no” to demands that fall outside the company’s best interests.

What to listen for:

  • Experience managing challenging client demands with creative strategies for resolution
  • Strength of communication, analytical problem-solving abilities, and judgment
  • A positive mindset in handling a challenging situation and favorable outcome

Why this matters:

Commercial real estate success involves determining what questions to ask to identify a client’s needs. Agents must also know how to broaden the property search by finding unlisted opportunities and narrow down the options into an optimal shortlist. This question explores a candidate’s people skills, while also providing details about time management, market research, listening, and organizational skills.

What to listen for:

  • Understanding of what factors matter most to clients and the importance of listening
  • Strategies for finding and narrowing down property listings
  • Willingness to perform leg work, such as touring properties and networking

Why this matters:

Teamwork is essential in commercial real estate, given the increasing complexity and fragmentation of the industry. While lone wolves can be top producers, teamwork and collaboration can cultivate growth and a company’s long-term success. Candidates with experience interacting with other agents, lenders, appraisers, property managers, attorneys, and mentors can bring momentum to a company.

What to listen for:

  • Experience collaborating as part of a productive real estate team
  • Knowledge of third-party professionals and reasons to include them in a real estate transaction
  • Passion for collaboration, learning from others, and mentoring

Why this matters:

Most commercial real estate transactions stem from repeat business and referrals, requiring an agent’s commitment to customer service. Clients are busy executives and high-net-worth individuals who expect top-of-the-line service and frequent updates about the process. A candidate with excellent communication skills may describe set intervals for updating clients and discuss strategies for active property marketing.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to organize, multi-task, and communicate with multiple clients on a regular basis
  • Strong understanding of the types of metrics and updates clients want to know
  • Commitment to professionalism, frequent communication, and relationship building

Why this matters:

Commercial real estate agents can use a number of tools in their negotiations, including location case studies, charts, graphs, photography, and statistics. They can use letters of intent, counteroffers, contingency clauses, and options contracts as leverage in a given deal. Experienced agents know when to hold firm, and where they can be more flexible.

What to listen for:

  • Detail-orientation and a professional approach to negotiating contracts
  • Soft skills of people-reading, communication, interpersonal conflict resolution, and persistence
  • Empathy, with a desire to look for common ground, focus on key issues, and solve problems

Why this matters:

Commercial real estate is a competitive, high-intensity industry that requires agents to be self-motivated and hardworking. Individuals may be driven by financial perks, recognition from peers, or title promotions. Understanding what candidates value most can help the firm determine how to build real estate teams and ensure the success of their agents.

What to listen for:

  • Experience adding value to a real estate team
  • Individual goals that match the company’s culture and expectations
  • A strong work ethic, leadership, positive attitude, and teamwork
chatting over desk with laptops and coffee

Contact a sales specialist

By submitting this form, you agree that we may use the data you provide to contact you with information related to your request/submission and LinkedIn's products and services. If you are a LinkedIn member, you can control the messages you receive from LinkedIn in your settings. If you are a guest, you can unsubscribe from LinkedIn marketing emails at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the email. Your data will be used subject to LinkedIn's Privacy Policy.