Commercial Real Estate

Real Estate Agent with Brighton, Mi - Keller Williams

Just curious what other fellow agents think of commercial real estate opposed to residential. I'm currently selling residential but have been fortunate enough to do a little commerical and really kind of like it. I'm getting a rather large database of investors and I'm possibly considering entering this market.

Wondering how difficult it is to break into the commercial real estate industry, what does it take?

Do you need any additional training? I've looked into he CCIM Designation ... is there a way to get my hands on the study material to see if it's something I'd like to pursue?

Any thoughts or comments are greatly appreciated.


Lisa Bender

Keller Williams Realty


Lisa, Breaking into Commercial RE is all about knowing buildings, tenants and landlords.  You honestly don't need any additional training to break into the commercial side.  I would definitely not recommend doing it now since this remainder of this year and 2009 is going to be a very tough one where brokers will survive on their experience.  Stick to what you know for now and maybe keep dabbling a bit.

Sean - - San Francisco Office Space

Oct 15, 2008 06:05 PM
Frank Gallinelli
RealData, Inc. - Southport, CT

Lisa - While I concur with Sean that you need to know about buildings and tenants --i.e., you need to know your market, just as with residential -- I must respectfully disagree on the matter of additional training.

Commercial real estate is a specialization -- actually several specializations -- and is very different from residential.  If you focus on leasing, for example, you need to become familiar with specific issues that get negotiated in office and retail leases. 

And if you get involved with commercial property sales... well, I've made a 30+ year career of trying to assist and teach income-property investors and others, so clearly I think education in this area is a necessity.  Investors in commercial property buy and sell the income stream more so than the physical building; you need to know how to evaluate forecasts of what that income stream will look like and to understand the meaning of different measures of return,

I think now is an excellent time to pursue this goal.  It's hard to find time to learn new skills when you're busy with a hot market.  I would urge you to take advantage of the current slow times to work on learning about commercial.  You may want to start with less formal instruction, and if you find you like it, then move on to CCIM.

Commercial can be very rewarding, both intellectually and financially.  I wish you all the best.

Frank Gallinelli

President, RealData, Inc.

Author, What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow... and Mastering Real Estate Investment: Examples, Metrics and Case Studies


Oct 28, 2008 02:22 PM
Steve Felt
Creative Business Finance, LLC - Philadelphia, PA

As a commercial mortgage broker I have to agree that education is the key to unlocking the secrets to being successful in commercial real estate. I have been in the commercial mortgage business for just over 5 years and find it to be rewarding but also aggravating due to the fluctuation in the capital markets even more so than in the residential lending market. We can also provide real estate agents with training and a loan origination system dedicated solely to commercial mortgages, which gives you access to over 100 of the top lenders around the country. This is the way we train our loan officers and currently have 34 loan officers in 15 states, with origination volume in 2009 of $93,680,000. We don't have any franchise fees or other charges to use our system other than a customary split of the revenues generated on loans. If you are interested I welcome your call or email.

Steve Felt, Director of Business Development

Creative Business Finance, LLC

Nov 04, 2009 08:19 AM
David Jirasek
Jirasek Realty, LLC - Temple, TX

Hi Lisa, I realize your post was a while back. Commercial real estate requires knowing the market, and the investors/users. Listings are not always openly marketed to the public on listing agents websites. Maybe a yard sign is the only trace of it for sale/lease. Some brokers prefer to predominately market their own inventory, and don't encourage co-brokering sales/leases. You can get into commercial alone, but it would be better to mentor with another commercial agent if possible. CCIM classes are good if you can take some. 2009 was not a good year for commercial, especially for commercial leasing. 2010 did pick up some in February in our market, but commercial leasing is still slow. Some agencies that historically focus on commercial have taken on residential listings to survive the economic downturn in the last year and half. Good luck to you.

May 16, 2010 03:01 AM