Backward Recruiting: Why are real estate agents
calling before I get a job offer?
Q. Next week, I am flying to Texas
to interview for a position I really want. I am excited, but focused.
Immediately after the phone interview last week, we received a number of calls
from real estate brokers asking to appraise our home. They were contacted by
the company in Texas. Furthermore, while in Texas next week, I have been
scheduled to meet with a real estate agent to give me a tour of the area. The
recruiter has already contacted my references. But I have not been offered the
position yet. Is this common, and does it mean the company is serious?
A. To be honest, I don't know of
any company that has real estate companies call candidates before they make an
offer. You're right; it does seem a bit backwards. It could be that the company
intends to make an offer, and someone notified the real estate agents
prematurely or asked them to wait until a certain date, thinking they would do
so. Your guess is as good as mine.
There is nothing wrong with you calling the
recruiter and asking where you are in your interview process and what the next
steps are. Ask what you should expect, when should you expect to hear from the
company, and from whom you should expect to hear.
It is a bit aggressive to talk to any real
estate agent until there is a formal, written offer on the table. Since you are
moving from one location to another, see if the company you are interviewing
with has a relocation program.
So my recommendation is simple: call your
recruiter before you have any conversations with a real estate agent. You can
talk to the real estate agent while you're negotiating your salary, because
your housing costs will tell you what to expect. But make sure there is a
commitment first before you go house hunting.