Within the world of real estate, there are a wide number of choices of careers. Besides the most common type – residential real estate agent or realtor – there are also jobs in commercial estate, commercial brokerages, residential brokerages, industrial brokerages, farm estate, appraisal offices, property management, land development, urban planning, research, and counseling. Here are some things you should know about commercial real estate to see if it’s right for you.
Within the world of commercial estate, there are several sub-categories. There are retail, industrial, institutional, office, resort, and investment. In big cities, this can get broken down even further. Some agents might only deal in high-rise office tower leasing, for instance.
It’s easier to get into residential estate, and it’s also easier to earn your first paycheck in that part of the field. It can take the better part of a year to get into the business and close your first deal. That being said, the payoff can be much greater than a residential deal would ever be. The properties a commercial agent handles are of a much higher price than houses are. The commission amounts, therefore, are much higher. A commercial agent is also less likely to need to divide the commission.
A commercial real estate agent can make as much as double that of a residential agent. The National Association of Realtors estimates that a commercial agent can make over $85,000 a year as compared to an average of just over $39,000 for a residential agent.
You will have to have a more insistent salesperson’s personality to be successful in commercial real estate. Many are younger and more of a go-getter than you find in other areas of estate. It is also a dominantly male field, but women can be very successful. It’s seen as more of a career than residential, which can be done part time if you wish.
The commercial field is much more corporate and less personal. You are dealing with high-powered company officers instead of young families buying their first homes. If you are in a small town, you can end up selling both types. In any larger areas, though, you will end up specializing.
It takes a license like all other types of estate property. However, commercial firms often require full college degrees in business or finance in addition to your real estate classes. Sometimes people with master’s degrees in finance go into the commercial field. This is very different from residential real estate where anyone can get their license after a few courses. You’ll find a wider range of people in the residential estate field as a result.
Information on the individual types of commercial estate is often hard to find. It is also highly specialized, so if you are interested, it may take some digging at a collegiate library. You might also be able to do some research with a commercial real estate agent. If you are able to set up an interview, you can ask questions and help narrow down which aspect you want to pursue.