Are you thinking about getting into the commercial real estate sector? Perhaps you are coming over from residential, or you have no past real estate experience at all. We want to help provide some information so that you can learn the basics of what it takes to get started in this sector, and what kind of potential income awaits you.
So why do you want to be in commercial real estate? This is typically the first question you should ask yourself? Your “why” can be the most important block to your success. This is because real estate isn’t easy. There are highs and lows, in both the market and in your career. This can be frustrating and also risky for many. Commercial real estate can also be very satisfying once a deal goes through. And the variety of what you work within commercial real estate is also a nice change of pace. Let’s start taking a closer look into this field.
We all have a friend or acquaintance who is in real estate. And more than likely, they are in residential real estate. However; there are many different options for career paths when we look at commercial, that more people are starting to put their focus in that direction instead.
General Brokerage. This is exactly what it sounds like, and probably what you think of when it comes to working in commercial real estate. A commercial agent can represent a buyer or seller to assist with the sale of a commercial property. When you are a general broker, you are more than likely an independent contractor and work on commissions. Depending on where you live, if the market is a good size and more complex, you can even specialize in a specific type of real estate, for example; retail, office, industrial, or investment.
Development. Another area an agent can work in is more in the project management, development, and leasing side of things. This is more working with people who purchase land and builds on it – so maybe a shopping center or business park. In this case, the developer is dealing with financing, negotiating anchor tenant leases, hiring contractors and architects, and supervises until the tenant moves in and the project is completed.
Property Management. Finally one can move more into the management of the property. This is where you specialized once a property is purchased or developed and it needs to be managed. The property manager handles the day-to-day operations of a property — staffing, contracting for services, repairs, maintenance, etc. In this case, if working for a property management firm, you are more than likely a salary rather than a commission.
What to Expect
It can be hard to quantify what to expect for working hours, pay, etc. when looking at commercial real estate. The 2006 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Commercial Member Profile share the following statistics based upon its 2005 random sampling of 25,000
REALTORS® with an interest in commercial real estate:
What are the First Steps?
Let’s assume you already have your license, maybe moving from residential real estate over, or just getting started but completed your state requirements for getting a real estate license.
Where do you go from there?
Step 1. Think of everyone you may know, or who may know someone in commercial real estate.
Step 2. Reach out to family and friends and have them contact people they know in commercial real estate as well.
Step 3. Start calling from the list you have complied with. Start with the ones from your list that you feel would be willing to chat and help you out. Do not take too much of their tie – start with 15 minutes or so. Let them know that you are gathering information, not seeking a position at this time.
Step 4. Ask questions. During this time, ask the real estate professional how they got started and what advice they would give a newcomer. Get an overview of their business and their industry. See if they have any industry publications you could check out. Before you go, ask for two or three names of other commercial real estate people you should talk to.
Step 5. Narrow your scope and keep researching. When you think you have narrowed your search, go to the industry-specific Web sites and do some research. Check out publications so you can learn more about the industry. Also, attend as many commercial real estate classes as you can. Not only is this for learning, but also for making some strong contacts.
Step 6. Know the details about employment opportunities. Are you looking for a salary or commission? Something where you work for a company or are an independent contractor.
Step 7. Start applying and interviewing for jobs. Now that you feel prepared and educated, start going on interviews for positions. Make sure to keep it small at first, maybe 5 companies. Most brokers are connected somehow and you don’t want to appear to be shopping around too much.
Step 8. Get the job. Don’t give up. Call your contact person for another meeting. Share what you have learned, ask some questions about the opportunities they have. Keep in mind that many commercial firms font has “openings” but create something based on the need of the company. Let them know why they should create that spot for you. =
Space Selectors can provide the knowledge and expertise needed to help connect you to the right people when looking to enter into commercial real estate. Book a consultation today so you can speak with an expert and get started in the right direction with all your commercial real estate needs!