If you are interested in pursuing a real estate career, one option to consider is commercial real estate. This industry has similar responsibilities to residential real estate agents, but the key difference is that you will help clients find and sell properties that generate income. If you are interested in this type of work, it is important to understand the requirements of becoming a licensed commercial real estate agent and how to jump start your career. In this blog, we will discuss the commercial real estate agent profession and the steps to follow to pursue this career path.
A commercial real estate agent works with clients to buy, sell, or rent properties used for business purposes. These transactions can be done by investors who own properties looking to gain income from collecting rent from tenants, business owners who want to locate a new operation location, or business owners looking to buy rather than lease. Examples of these commercial real estate properties include office, retail, industrial, multi-family, hospitality, land, and more.
Commercial real estate agents share many of the same responsibilities as residential agents; however, the overall transaction process usually just happens over a longer time period. Typical duties include:
Some of these duties depend on if you are at a brokerage or not, and what type of brokerage you work with. M&D Real Estate, for example, is a full-service firm that has a whole marketing team and transaction coordinators that handle the marketing and transaction process for you. This provides our commercial real estate agents with more time to create long lasting relationships with their clients, focus on their listings, and find new business. Learn more about M&D Real Estate Here.
If you are interested in pursuing commercial real estate, you will need to complete the following steps to start your career:
First, you need to ensure you meet the basic requirements to become a licensed agent. Requirements can vary depending on which state you would like to operate in, but they typically include:
The remaining requirement is to take the licensing coursework required by your state. If you earn a post-secondary real estate degree or certificate, the state may waive that requirement. After completing the courses, you will often complete a background check to gain eligibility for the licensing exam.
To become a commercial real estate agent, you will take the same course requirements as a residential agent. Each state outlines a specific course to take, with the hours of total coursework varying from 60 to over 180 hours. You can choose from different class formats, such as in-person, online, or independent study, with the prices varying by format and state.
Once you have completed the required coursework for your state, you will then take the licensing exam. This exam comes with a fee, which will vary by state. It typically includes 75-150 questions that are timed.
The exam has a national portion as well as a state portion, so some questions differ depending on your location. Score requirements vary, but you typically want at least a 70% score to pass. After taking the exam, you will wait a few days to a few weeks to receive your results and official license.
Once you have passed your licensing exam, you will need to pursue job opportunities. One option is to work for a brokerage firm that handles commercial real estate transactions. Commercial transactions are typically more complex than residential and can take several months to close a deal versus residential, which can take about a week! However, commercial real estate deals are often at a much higher price point and can lead to a lucrative career. With that, it is important to join a firm that is very knowledgeable in the commercial industry and not just residential. At a brokerage, you should expect your support as an agent to include management of your leads, database, marketing, and providing continued training and mentorship.
M&D Real Estate is a brokerage that performs commercial real estate transactions and not only has a team of staff to support you, but also provides weekly trainings to help you stay up to date on the latest market trends and to overall expand your knowledge of the industry. Busy brokerages such as M&D Real Estate also provide leads to their agents to get deals working.
Now that you have completed your education requirements and hold a commercial real estate license with a broker, you must network. Your broker can help you connect with influential people in your market. If you’re just starting out in commercial real estate, network with local agents or your community. It takes time and effort to build a real estate network, so don’t get discouraged. The more you put into building your network, the more you’ll get out of it in the long term.
As you build your real estate career, you have the option to specialize in a specific type of commercial real estate. There are many types to choose from, such as retail, office, industrial and more. In addition, your specialization can also be a specific service that you enjoy. Examples of these services include tenant representation, project leasing, investment sales, and owner user sales.
Your specialization can differentiate you from other agents and show your expert knowledge of a specific type of commercial real estate. It can also help you target specific types of clients that you want to work with and serve.
The key to being successful in commercial real estate is to find the right broker and/or support group around you. Become a market expert, put your clients first, pick up the phone, and then get your business going!
Your real estate journey will be rich with opportunities, no matter if you are a residential real estate agent or your focus is commercial properties. By following the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to finding long-term success — and M&D Real Estate is ready to help you every step of the way, should you be looking for a commercial brokerage to join that offers excellent support systems and training.
If you are interested in becoming a commercial real estate agent at M&D Real Estate, Apply Today!
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