Small Business Brief

Real Estate

How to Get Into Commercial Real Estate and Succeed

There are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the US. 

In such a competitive market, only the strongest agents will survive.

Commercial real estate agents are expected to earn more than twice what residential agents make. It is a career that offers great excitement and flexibility. 

If you are wondering how to get into commercial real estate and thrive, you have come to the right place. With persistence and strategy, you can move into a difficult field with a strong advantage. 

1. The Power of Patience

In all real estate, a broker usually gets about 3% of the proceeds on sales and proceedings. In commercial real estate, deals can be very time-consuming. You may not see any profit from the deals you are working on for six months to a year.

You will need to have backup funds available for about six months, especially at the beginning of your career. It is important that you are okay with getting paychecks unevenly rather than a steady monthly income.

2. An Education

All 50 states require you to get your license in order to become a real estate agent. In order to be eligible, most states require you to have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least eighteen years old.

Most states also require that you complete 30 to 90 hours of training online. You will also need to pass an exam.

If you are considering a career in commercial real estate, you may also want to look into a post-secondary degree in real estate, which is now offered at many colleges and universities. It will allow you to become an expert in zoning laws, business evaluation, and location values.

An associate’s or bachelor’s degree will teach you how to think like a business person and develop a strong career network.

In order to get a commercial real estate license, you will need one to two years of experience in real estate deals with properties used for business purposes. You can earn this by working with an established broker.

Real estate agents need to renew their licenses every three to five years, depending upon the state they live in.

It is also important to keep up on the latest trends by reading relevant trade magazines and looking on websites. You should be armed with the latest news and market analysis to make the right decisions.

3. Getting Out There

The most successful real estate agents are expert salespeople. They aren’t shy about networking and tracking down leads with voracity. 

When networking, great agents come across as patient and trustworthy. They are confident, flexible, and pleasant. A professional appearance and a clean car can go a long way toward improving your image.

It is important to maintain relationships with past clients, as these could develop into referrals or repeat business in the future.

The best agents stay on top of neighborhoods and marketing trends through daily research.  They observe what competing companies are doing and make well-informed decisions. 

When opportunities come up, you will need to move quickly. Especially at the beginning, be prepared to meet with clients on evenings and weekends. You will have to work hard to establish a name for yourself, and you will likely not see the fruits of your labor right away.

It is important to stay current on the latest innovations. You will need to know about property marketing, environmental standards, and mobile data. 

Be friendly with other agents, but be sure to guard your leads carefully. You will have to know your listings inside and out. As in any business, a gritty commitment to success is the most important trait you can have.

4. Types of Commercial Real Estate

Once you have gotten some experience in the business, you may want to specialize in a sector where you see a need in your geographic area. Appraisal involves determining the worth of properties. You can read more here.

If you choose to specialize in corporate real estate, you will be focusing on maximizing businesses’ investments when it comes to space needs. Your services will be valuable in terms of analyzing the value of office sharing and workplace productivity. 

In corporate real estate, you will make decisions about site analysis, buy vs. lease decisions, and acquisition. Property tax appeals and facility management decisions also fall under this category.

If you choose to specialize in institutional real estate, you will be working with institutional investors such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT.) You and your staff will need to analyze and review investments.

Institutional real estate firms are often looking for professionals with both business and real estate experience. An MBA is a big plus. 

You will be required to keep a close eye on market niche trends and tax law trends. You will also need to have the ability to manage a portfolio and have good economic skills. As with all sectors of real estate, excellent communication skills are critical.

If you choose to specialize in property management, you will be working with rent flows, tenant retention, and managing property operation. You may have to act as an on-site manager or make facility maintenance decisions.

Those agents who specialize in mortgage and construction lending may be employed on a salaried basis. They deal with commercial properties, life insurance policies, and pension funds.

Real estate developers focus on acquiring land and getting it ready for development. They may even oversee the construction process.

How to Get Into Commercial Real Estate

If you are wondering how to get into commercial real estate, you are considering an exciting field. With hard work and expertise, you can earn great profits and work in a variety of interesting sectors.

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