A career as a commercial agent is not for everyone, and it requires a very specific combination of skills. Education (preferably a background in economics, finance or commerce) and the ability to work quickly with numbers and analyse data are essential. Commercial agent positions are best suited to multitaskers who enjoy working in a fast-paced environment with a variety of people. Interpersonal skills, dedication to customer satisfaction and persuasiveness are all important.
For those considering entering the industry:
A commercial agent’s job is different from that of a residential real estate agent. Generally, selling or leasing commercial property takes a significantly longer time, and commercial agents must provide substantial analytical data and financial information.
A commercial real estate agent must provide a commercial buyer with market demographic studies, environmental research, and financial analysis. Additionally, commercial clients are concerned with area, local statistics, and data involving the property's location, as well as the demographics of nearby businesses and the area's population. Most of these clients are businesses that depend on placing their firms where the immediate and nearby population suits the goods they sell or the services they provide.
A daily to-do list for a typical commercial real estate agent involves cold calls to business owners and managers, both to locate new potential sales and to glean statistical information. Agents also research and analyse typical lease payments for other office complexes in the area. Additionally, commercial agents must employ statistical analysis techniques, including break-even analysis, to help clients determine a basic margin of safety. Other common responsibilities include researching and discussing property maintenance costs and possible renovations, networking with local businesses, negotiating between buyers and sellers, overseeing property inspections, arranging for financing and facilitating final transactions.