If you're thinking of becoming a real estate agent than there are two main sectors that you can enter - residential or commercial. With residential you are helping people find the home that they will live in. When you're working in commercial real estate you might be finding a location for someone to sell toys one day and helping a marketing representative find an office space the next. Here are some of the basics about this section of the industry.
Commercial real estate is defined as properties that are designed and built with the intention of generating some kind of profit. There are four different categories of buildings that you will usually find under this title - retail, office, industrial, and multifamily housing. As a commercial real estate agent you can choose to specialize in one of these areas, maybe helping people find retail space to sell everything from pets to diapers to tractors or could choose to deal in all four of the various categories. You will find, though, that there is often crossover between types, and some commercial enterprises will require a facility that serves several purposes. A perfect example would be to consider a company like Marathon International. They require a commercial space that is appropriate for showcasing their boilers and water heaters to retail customers, as well as some space for their administrative staff and they also need a much larger (and less showy) space for manufacturing and storage, preferably all at one site.
When people are dealing with a commercial real estate transaction they are thinking about the bottom line and little else. From securing their commercial mortgage to finding the ideal neighborhood within the city, they will be crunching numbers and weighing pros and cons to see what combination of factors will produce the most net profit. If you're thinking of working in commercial real estate you need to be able to help them through this process. It is much different than helping someone find a home as they will not have that "connection" with the property the way that a home buyer does.
People looking for a commercial real estate agent are usually going to be looking for someone who is aggressive and has keen negotiating skills. You might be helping an accountant find their new office space among the modern buildings that are popping up in a major city or be helping a manufacturing firm find a large warehouse space that's close to their key transportation routes. You will need to know all of the pros and cons to each location when it comes to its usefulness as a commercial property for that particular industry.
Experts working in the real estate business, from a private commercial mortgage lender to an agent, will tell you that there is quite a difference between the lifestyle of those working in each sector but both have the potential to make you about the same income. If you're considering the two sectors than you should think about what sort of people you would like to work with. If you're more in the corporate frame of mind and helping people increase their profits then commercial real estate is likely the right choice for you.
Contemplating becoming a commercial real estate agent? Here are a few things you may want to consider before starting your career path.