There is a lot to consider when thinking of becoming a commercial real estate agent. While this path in real estate can be quite lucrative, it is incredibly demanding and requires certain skills specific to its demands. Weighing the potential payoffs with the unpredictable nature of the job can help you realize if this path is right for you. There’s plenty to consider.

There are numerous career paths you can take once you decide to become a commercial agent, including but not limited to general brokerage, development, leasing, and property management. A general broker typically acts as an independent contractor, working on commission, representing buyers or sellers and assisting with the sale of specific commercial properties. Whereas something like property management entails managing a commercial property once it has been developed – this could include everything from staffing to property repairs. Needless to say, there are decisions to be made within the industry itself, with each field having its own strengths or weaknesses in terms of how you work.

A license to sell commercial real estate is required in every state, so you will need to be able to complete the required courses and pass the test in order to become a licensed agent. Beyond that, it’s up to you to become and remain as knowledgeable as possible about the industry. Typically, clients tend to be highly successful and well informed, so your knowledge is key when it comes to advising clients on their real estate business decisions.

Commercial real estate as a profession is high-paced and oftentimes stressful. Moreover, the actual closing of a deal can take much longer than your typical residential real estate deal – sometimes up to six months once it’s all said and done. So not only should you remain flexible and resilient when it comes to your work, but you should be able to mitigate your own financial risks by taking into account the potential of lengthy transactions.

Getting into commercial real estate is much different than getting into residential real estate. Even if you are an experienced agent looking for a shift in the real estate field, the characteristics necessary to be successful in the commercial market are quite different. You will be required to be very knowledgeable about market demographics and certain environmental factors, and expert financial analysis is a must.

Once you have weighed all your options and are sure that you want to become a commercial broker, start reaching out to people you know can help. Just like with any corner of real estate, building and maintaining relationships is of the utmost importance. The relationships you build, along with hard work, flexibility, and resiliency, will help you reach your goals.