Many residential real estate agents get to a point in their career where they consider making the switch to commercial real estate. The draw of bigger deals, the potential to make more money, and longer term relationships with clients all make commercial real estate an enticing path to take. If you’re at that stage now, or if you’re just getting into real estate and are considering skipping residential all together, there are some things you should consider to decide if a career in commercial real estate is right for you.
Is a Commercial Real Estate Career Right for You?
Emotion vs. Business
As a residential real estate agent, you spend a lot of time learning about your client’s personal lives – their families, their hopes for the future, their hobbies and interests. Purchases are generally driven by emotion, and finding the right home, or helping them sell so they can move onto the next stage of their life, can be rewarding and satisfying.
In commercial real estate, transactions are all about business – negotiating the best deal on a purchase or lease for your client, or selling a commercial property at top dollar. Much of your time as a commercial real estate agent is spent researching and cold-calling potential clients, networking at events, and spending long days and nights creating and maintaining these relationships – especially at the beginning of your career. If you’re a strong salesperson who’s always looking for the next lead – this might be the right environment for you.
Market Knowledge and Experience
Knowledge of the commercial market, as well as the real estate market as a whole, is essential to commercial agents. Commercial clients are educated and well-informed in the business world and expect their agents to be up-to-date on the current market so they can make an informed decision in their purchase or lease. This requires ongoing reading and research on topics like population growth, lease agreements and payments, and local market data.
Less Sales, More (Potential) Income
The commission from a sale on a commercial property is generally higher than a residential one. However, because commercial deals can take six months to a year to close, the number of commissions you’ll get in a year will be significantly lower. Commercial deals also require a higher level of due diligence, so you’re limited as to how many clients you can be actively working with at a time. This means you need to be comfortable with long periods between paycheques.
Take the Plunge
If you think the exciting, ever-changing world of commercial real estate is right for you contact our team to learn more. We offer a range of on-demand training (for new and experienced agents), a referral base, and potent networking opportunities.