There are around 3 million real estate professionals in the US. Those who specialize in commercial real estate are called CRE agents, which differs from residential real estate agents who only deal with residential properties. Due to the complexity of commercial transactions, specialization is necessary.
Besides selling and leasing commercial real estate, these professionals represent buyers and sellers. Their brokerage often salaries them. Their scope of work can vary due to the various niches within the industry. For instance, they may be involved in property management or real estate development.
Get Your License
All real estate professionals in the country need a license to represent the buyers and sellers of real estate. This is the same license for both residential and commercial real estate transactions.
In each state, there are specific requirements that real estate professionals need to meet to get their licenses. These include a high school diploma, a minimum age, and a background check. In addition, some states have reciprocal licensing agreements that allow licensed real estate professionals to practice in other states.
The requirements vary depending on the state of content and hours. For instance, in New York, real estate professionals need to complete 75 hours of courses, while in Texas, 180 hours are required. These courses are usually priced at around $150 to $500. Besides national and state-specific topics, these also cover topics such as real estate fundamentals and laws.
The state usually conducts the exams, typically containing around 75 to 150 multiple-choice questions. Since pass rates are generally about 50%, study guides and programs are recommended. After the results are posted, states will issue the licenses the following week.
Connect with a Commercial Brokerage
Once granted a license, you must find a real estate firm specializing in commercial real estate. This will allow you to gain valuable experience in the industry.
Residential transactions are among the most common types of real estate transactions that can benefit a new agent. Since it’s easier to close a deal in this market than in commercial transactions, it’s also easier to find values with little or no experience. However, you must build a client base before you start working as a commercial real estate agent.
One of the most significant disadvantages of working with a commercial real estate firm is that there are usually fewer deals split evenly between residential and commercial real estate. You might not have as much exposure to the retail market.
One of the most significant advantages of working with a commercial real estate firm is that there are usually training programs focused on commercial real estate. These programs can last a year or more, so new agents can focus on CRE instead of residential transactions.
The disadvantage is that training programs are often harder to get into due to the competition in the market. Although trainees earn around $25,000 to $45,000 annually before starting their first deals, some training programs do not pay a salary.
Another way to boost your career in commercial real estate is by working in a retail brokerage. This can allow you to taste the industry before you start working as a licensed agent.
Find Your Niche
Since there are so many types of commercial real estate properties, you must choose a specialization. This will allow you to focus on one market area and develop a deeper understanding of your clients. It can also help you build a more substantial reputation and attract more potential clients.
You can also choose to specialize in different types of commercial real estate properties. This can allow you to focus on office, industrial, and retail properties.