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How to assess real estate skills

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Real estate agents are the link between property buyers and property sellers. They combine their warm persona and expert knowledge to ensure their clients come out of the transaction with a fair deal and a positive experience.

The skills real estate agents need can vary and play an important role in determining the success of your company, so how can you be sure you hire someone with the right skill set?

After traditional resume screening, you can evaluate candidates' real estate skills by using talent assessments. These provide you with greater and more objective insight into your candidates and ensure you hire only the best performers.

This guide will explore the various skills someone in real estate should possess and show you how you can easily incorporate a real estate skills assessment into your recruitment process.

What is a real estate skills assessment?

To hire the best talent, you should add a real estate skills assessment to your hiring process. TestGorilla’s skills assessments consist of up to five short, 10-minute tests that assess candidates on the abilities and traits relevant to the position they are applying for, such as a real estate agent.

Since real estate agents (and similar jobs) need an array of soft and hard skills, a real estate skills assessment should cover a broad range of abilities. Key skills and traits these evaluations should assess include:

  • Knowledge of the real estate industry

  • Knowledge of the local area

  • Knowledge of the housing market

  • Communication abilities

  • Sales and marketing skills

  • Problem-solving competencies

  • Negotiation abilities

  • Active listening skills

This is not an exhaustive list, and many candidates for real estate agent roles may demonstrate other relevant competencies. A great recruitment strategy is to use these skills assessments after collecting resumes but before the interview stage. This way, you can be sure to interview only those who have the necessary skills for the role.

Why are real estate skills important?

Real estate skills play a decisive factor in whether your new hire will perform well in their role. Without the right combination of soft and hard skills, the next real estate agent you hire may not be able to fulfill what’s required of them. They may struggle to win new clients, close deals, and build healthy workplace relationships with their team members.

On top of this, an underqualified real estate agent may actually damage your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing is so important for real estate agencies that a single unskilled employee may lead to a loss of clients and stunted company growth.

Here are three benefits of hiring candidates with real estate skills:

1. Win new clients

Real estate agents must be knowledgeable, charismatic, and organized to win new clients. Not only this, they must possess excellent sales and marketing abilities. Since winning new clients is vital for the continued success of your real estate agency, your next hire must possess these key real estate skills.

With strong sales and marketing skills, real estate agents can pitch their business to prospective property buyers or sellers. These abilities will allow them to target the correct demographic using effective strategies and campaigns, such as via emails and billboards.

An approachable and attentive personality is also key to winning new clients. Inept and unwelcoming real estate agents put people off, making them divert their business elsewhere if they experience poor-quality service. Your new hire must demonstrate great organizational skills and a friendly personality to be successful.

2. Close deals

Of the skills needed to be a real estate agent, negotiation ranks high on the list. It’s often overlooked during the recruitment process, but without strong negotiation skills, how do real estate agents close deals?

Ideally, buyers would pay the asking price for a property and that would be that. In reality, most prospective buyers make an offer that falls slightly below the asking price, initiating a negotiation process. The property owner then either accepts or counters until they reach an agreeable compromise.

A real estate agent acts as an intermediary and negotiates on behalf of their clients. Strong negotiation skills are highly beneficial because they allow the agent to reach favorable settlements for their clients. In turn, this enhances your company’s reputation by improving the client experience.

3. Improve company reputation

The interpersonal skills that adept real estate agents possess are exceedingly helpful in improving your company’s reputation. This is hugely important because many real estate agencies operate a word-of-mouth marketing policy. A glowing review from one customer may be the reason their friend decides to sell their house with your company.

As a result, real estate skills like active listening, emotional intelligence, and organization are all key when it comes to enhancing your company’s reputation. These traits can improve a client’s experience with your agency and increase the likelihood of them passing your information onward. If a candidate demonstrates aptitudes in these abilities, they may be an ideal fit for your real estate agent role. 

Which skills and traits are important for real estate agents?

A real estate agent’s role is dynamic and versatile. They spend much of their time interacting with clients over the phone and in person but are also required to perform admin tasks such as filling out forms, sending emails, and contacting property owners.

Since their responsibilities are rather broad, real estate agents must possess a range of hard and soft skills. Knowledge of the industry, housing market, and local area represents key hard skills an estate agent must exhibit, while communication, negotiation, and active listening constitute important soft skills.

important skills for real estate agents graphic

Below, you’ll find more information about which skills and traits are important for a real estate agent:

Information retention

First and foremost, a real estate agent must know the industry. This may involve knowledge of the national housing market, real estate law, and architecture. The best real estate agents will possess a working knowledge of these areas and must demonstrate strong information retention skills to maintain expertise in these subjects.

While real estate agents don’t need comprehensive expertise in these areas, a foundational understanding can boost their profile and reputation. Real estate agents with basic housing law and architecture knowledge may close more deals and boost your company's reputation.

It’s important to test industry knowledge in your hiring process, but you don’t necessarily have to assess law and architecture skills here since real estate agents aren’t required to possess qualifications in these areas. Instead, ask the top-performing candidates about their housing law and architecture knowledge during the interview phase.

Local knowledge

One of the most important skills for real estate agents is a thorough knowledge of the local area. They need to know the amenities and facilities of the region they are working in, including the landscape, local businesses, and local public transport network. 

This knowledge should also extend to the facilities of the surrounding towns and cities. Real estate agents are a source of knowledge for prospective house buyers looking to move into the local neighborhood. They will frequently be asked about the area's schools, shops, and house prices.


Real estate agents must communicate effectively to retain current clients, win potential clients, and strengthen their company’s reputation. They are required to convey information to various parties in a language they understand while also being empathetic to their needs.

Networking is also a significant part of an estate agent’s job. Establishing a comprehensive system of contacts and fostering working professional relationships requires excellent communication skills. Without this, your real estate company may struggle to find new clients.

On top of this, communication skills are also vital in negotiation. Real estate agents use the art of persuasion to generate leads and close deals, so hiring a good communicator for your real estate position is extremely important.

Negotiation skills

Negotiation is a common feature of an estate agent’s job. They’re often involved in exchanges between house buyers and property sellers as intermediaries. This means your next real estate agent hire should be comfortable negotiating without straying beyond legal limitations or offending either party.

For instance, you may need your new hire to broker a deal between a new client and a property owner. Your new client can only offer a certain amount due to their budget, but it’s not quite enough to match the asking price for the property. Hiring a candidate with excellent negotiation skills may be the difference between finding a successful compromise and the deal falling apart.

Active listening

Listening skills form an integral part of a real estate agent’s job. They’re important for negotiation and communication since estate agents constantly interact with colleagues and clients over the sales of large assets. They must listen intently to avoid misunderstandings, close deals, and fulfill the wishes of their clients.

Active listening traits also play a part in the sales process. A real estate agent must listen to the needs and wants of their clients to show them appropriate houses that are within their budgets. Additionally, they need to demonstrate active listening to their clients. If a prospective house buyer feels unheard or dismissed, they will simply take their business elsewhere.

Sales and marketing abilities

Sales and marketing are essential elements of an estate agent’s job responsibilities. Real estate agents constantly market their services to potential clients throughout the local community and perform sales-based roles when showing prospective buyers around properties.

Marketing may take the form of social media videos, billboard advertisements, and blogging. Due to the significance of sales and marketing in a real estate agent role, your candidates must demonstrate comprehensive skills in these areas. This may also involve analytical thinking, as estate agents must analyze the market and adapt their sales and marketing approaches accordingly.

Pro tip: Looking to hire a property manager for your real estate business? Check out our guide to 9 essential skills for property managers.

Skills and traits tests

If you include skills tests in your hiring process, you will find it easier to recruit better-quality candidates. Using TestGorilla’s talent assessments will ensure you objectively and unbiasedly filter out the underperformers and uncover the most skilled applicants.

Many recruiters have already learned that skills-based hiring is the future of employment. Skills tests can be used to hire for almost every job position, including real estate agents. 

To hire the best real estate agents, here are some of our recommended skills tests to include in your real estate talent assessment:


Negotiation is a key duty of a real estate agent. They are responsible for brokering deals between property buyers and property sellers, reaching compromises, and settling disputes. As a result, you must ensure your candidates can display solid negotiation skills.

Add our Negotiation skills test to your recruitment process to evaluate applicants’ abilities to negotiate and achieve favorable results in a business context. The test uses everyday scenarios to judge the effectiveness of a candidate’s response.

Candidates will be tested on several skills and traits, including their abilities to control the discussion, influence others, and leverage the psychology of the opposing party. Skilled applicants will also demonstrate keen emotional intelligence as part of this test.

Email Marketing

Our Email Marketing test will help you recruit real estate agents with strong skills related to email marketing and advertising. You can use this test to evaluate your candidates’ abilities to plan, execute, analyze, and optimize an email marketing campaign.

The test covers the fundamentals of email marketing, including:

  • Planning and strategizing campaigns

  • Running and implementing campaigns

  • Email marketing analytics

  • A/B testing

  • Writing email copy

Real estate agents must market themselves and their company to win new clients. As part of this responsibility, agents may be required to formulate and run email marketing campaigns targeting the local community or a certain demographic. 

As a recruiter, you should therefore ensure your candidates have a solid understanding of email marketing. The best way to do this is to use our Email Marketing test in your hiring process so that you can filter out those with a weak understanding of the concept.

TikTok marketing

The social media platform TikTok has taken the world by storm in recent years, so it’s no surprise that it has now entered the world of business. There are now more than 1.7 billion TikTok users, which has led to a boom in marketing on the platform. Many companies now advertise their services on TikTok to attract a younger demographic.

Real estate agencies are also turning to TikTok marketing to offer their services to first-time buyers and those looking to get into property. As a result, you may need to hire a real estate agent with experience on TikTok to ensure they can successfully implement your latest social media marketing campaigns.

Our TikTok Marketing test can assess candidates’ TikTok and social media marketing competencies. This includes areas like content creation, market analysis, and campaign management. If your agency is beginning to join the social media marketing bandwagon, this skills test is worth adding to your hiring process.

Real estate skills assessment FAQs

If you’d like more information about the skills necessary for real estate agent candidates or how to assess them, read through some answers to frequently asked questions:

Which skills do you need to work in property?

To be a successful real estate agent, your candidate needs a combination of soft and hard skills. Key soft skills include interpersonal skills, communication, problem solving, organization, negotiation, integrity, and teamwork. Relevant hard skills include market analysis, industry-specific knowledge, local area knowledge, marketing, and B2C sales.

Which skills do you need to be a real estate agent in the US?

To become a real estate agent, it’s typically required to have a high school diploma, at least 40 hours of training, and a relevant exam certificate. However, these requirements vary by state. Prospective real estate agents also need good communication skills, exceptional networking abilities, and strong knowledge of the local area and housing trends.

What are the hard skills in real estate?

Aside from soft skills like communication and negotiation, real estate agents also need hard skills. These include industry knowledge and an understanding of the housing market, particularly in the local area. Real estate agents are also required to have analytical and marketing skills.

How TestGorilla can help you find skilled real estate agents

There are many benefits of including talent assessments in your recruitment process. Here are just a few of the perks of using TestGorilla to help you find skilled real estate agents:

  • Fully customizable tests. You can pick and design the questions within your tests, giving you full control over what you assess candidates on. If you want to examine a particular skill or area, you can customize your test to suit this.

  • Mitigate unconscious bias. Unconscious bias still exists in recruitment. With our tests, the top-performing candidates are ranked objectively by their scores, so you can hire a diverse and successful team and overcome unconscious bias.

  • Hire the right candidate quickly. Our skills tests accelerate your recruitment process and reduce the overall time-to-hire. Most of the tests only take 10 minutes for your candidates to complete, and will save you a lot of time in deciding who to invite for an interview.

Overall, there really are no downsides to using TestGorilla talent assessments in your hiring process. You can recruit skilled real estate agents for your company quickly, easily, and bias-free.

Hire top-performing real estate agents with TestGorilla

By including TestGorilla’s talent assessments in your hiring process, you can recruit the best real estate agents for your company. Evaluating candidates on their relevant skills will improve your chances of retaining a first-time hire and ensure you recruit the right candidate the first time around.

Hiring proven talent is just a few steps away. Join the growing list of big-name companies that use TestGorilla and start using skills tests today. Get your free TestGorilla plan now to hire the best real estate agents for your company.


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