Commercial Real Estate: Starting Your Career

If you’ve decided to go into commercial real estate after getting your broker’s license, then you know that there are a lot of opportunities available. What can be more difficult for most people who are new to the marketplace is understanding how to break into it and where you will find the best opportunities. The first thing to realize about commercial properties is that they are diverse, and that means that you might fulfill a variety of different roles by not only handling the sales of properties, but also facilitating their management and handling the leasing process. How you choose to develop your career is up to you, but there are a few key steps to getting started that will help you get going on the right track.

First and foremost, take advantage of your existing social network to research the kinds of opportunities immediately available to you. That means calling anyone you know who is involved with real estate and asking for a few minutes of their time, and then asking questions and following up on the answers. This also means talking to people who don’t necessarily work in real estate—if there are business owners who have purchased their own facilities in your network, then they probably have some contacts in commercial real estate in theirs. One of your questions should be about whether or not they know anyone who can give you more information, so that way when they do, you have another call to make.

Once you get a picture of the local marketplace, you will know what opportunities are available, whether the best jobs are in sales or management, and what agencies are hiring. Chances are good that you will also have the opportunity to learn whether it is worthwhile to specialize in a certain kind of commercial real estate or to cover properties more generally while focusing on a geographic region as your base of operations.

After your information gathering and organizational phase is over, it is time to strategize and apply for jobs. Most of the time, this requires more research to establish what the terms and benefits of each position happen to be. Many agent and broker jobs are independent contractor situations with commission as the only salary. Some offer salaries and benefits. Once you’ve identified the prospects that marry opportunity and the benefits you want, though, it is easy to move into the job market and start your career with confidence, because you will have done the footwork needed to get off to a good start.

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