Real Estate Accountant Interview

The main value or purpose of an informational interview is to obtain knowledge that will benefit the individual for future references. The person will be able to look back on the experience and reflect. The informational interview process helps the person get comfortable with asking others in their field for help.

The Contact:

Fong Her
Herizon Realty
Real Estate Services

Fong Her is my uncle who owns his own real estate service. I came into the interview hoping to learn more about the accounting functions that a real estate business does. After the interview, I felt like I learned a great amount and got what I was looking for. Even though he is the owner, he was able to describe to me in details the specifics of someone who would be a real estate accountant.

Questions about the Contact:

Could you describe one of your typical work days for me?

“Typical work days could include setting an appointment with a seller for a listing presentation. Research all comparable current listed properties and looking at the previous day’s market activity. A real estate accountant helps their clients or employers by preparing financial records and reports for a number of real estate transactions.”

What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?

“Basic real estate skills and knowledge of the housing market. Very important though, is that a good agent can’t stop learning ever. New rules change frequently so being aware of new changes will help.”

What educational preparation would you recommend for someone who wants to advance in this field?

“They should take a training course that meets the requirements for a license. Choosing the right brokerage will benefit the individual. Working with a broker is a requirement in order to practice as a real estate agent. This should be done prior to obtaining the license. To become a real estate accountant, one should have a bachelors degree with a focus in accounting.”

Considering all the people you’ve met in your line of work, what personal attributes are essential for success?

“Interpersonal communication skills are very important when striving for success. It is beneficial for anyone trying to succeed. This is also crucial to real estate agents who need to relate with their clients.”

What qualifications do you seek in a new hire?

“Generally, we seek new hires who have at least 2 years of real estate experience under their belt.”

Questions about Communications Practices and Writing:

Could you please describe the typical kinds of writing you do and tell me a bit about each?

“The typical kind of writing we do here are reports for a written agreement for an open listing and written real estate contracts. A real estate accountant will write financial records and reports for a variety of real estate transactions. This includes property sales, rentals, leases and time-sharing. Reports could include operational costs, profits, and development expenses.”  

What do you find most challenging about your day-to-day writing? What challenges do recent graduates face as they move from “academic writing” to “workplace writing”?

“The most challenging thing about the day-to-day writing process would probably be keeping everything in order. Writing many contracts and reports can be very hectic. “

“The challenges a graduate would face could most likely be that this is the real world of working. There is little room for errors. There is not a lot of time for revision, clients like to hear back soon. Where as an academic setting, students can keep on revising and seeking help.”

How would you describe the balance between written and oral communication in your workplace?

“Written communication and oral communication is about the same. Oral communication occurs a lot during the workplace and when inspecting houses. Written communication is all the time in between to write reports. Written communication probably is a little bit more of a driver in the work environment.”

Questions seeking Advice for you:

Considering my background, how well do you think I would fit in this company and/or profession?

“I believe you could fit very well after receiving your bachelor’s in accounting. The potential to become a real estate accountant is very good. The market is in need for real estate accountants.”

What areas of the company would be most interested in hiring people with my background?

“The accounting department of a real estate broker will be very interested in hiring someone with an accounting background. This is a common fit for both parties.”

Can you recommend any courses that I should take before proceeding further with my job search?

“ Taking advanced tax courses along with an accounting background will prove to be helpful in the real estate business”

Conclusion and Final Thoughts:

I learned that within a real estate business, even accounting functions will be needed and that will require someone with knowledge of accounting. I was surprised that even a real estate business relies heavily on an accountant to help report its financial statements and records. I felt like I performed well. I asked questions that were intriguing and I feel like I learned a lot. The information I obtained will definitely make me rethink on what positions I can go into after I receive a bachelor’s degree in accounting. The interview process was a very interesting experience. I gained a lot of knowledge and will use this for future references.