Career Tips and Advice for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

When it comes to getting a job in commercial real estate brokerage, you need to understand a few things about the market, the brokerage itself, and the client base.  Some brokerages only serve a particular marketplace or customer type.  Make sure that the match is clear and precise to your property type and market segment.

Here are some tips to help you with securing a rewarding job in commercial real estate today:

  1. If the brokerage is part of a broader franchise structure or if they have many salespeople within the one team, you will need to know how business is shared between offices or members of the team.  Ensure that you have the flexibility to work the right areas and the property types that you can relate to.  Also ensure that the rules of fairness apply to listing distribution and commission breakdowns.
  2. There are many systems and costs associated with commercial real estate today.  One of the most important systems will be that of the database.  As you grow your market share and client contact process, the database will grow.  Ask questions about the ownership of the data and what will happen if you leave the business in the future.  Can you take that data with you?
  3. Given that you will be talking to a lot of clients and prospects on a regular basis, opportunities will arise in sales, leasing, and property management.  Every new client that you introduce to the brokerage should give you the opportunity of a trailing commission if the client converts to using any services of the office and any of the specialised staff.  On that basis understand the referral fees and commission bases.
  4. Will you be offered the support of any of the administrative staff within the office?  There are a lot of things to do when it comes to marketing, client administration, listing processes, and deal documentation.  Some of those things will require your involvement; administrative support will be of high value to you as a broker or agent.  Will you be expected to pay for that administrative support?  Will the cost be taken from your commission in some way?  Ask questions about the support structure within the office.
  5. Commission structures within a real estate office can be varied and a reflection of the skills and achievements to date of each individual.  This means that some salespeople will be on different commission rates based on results achieved and personal skills.  Your commission rates will depend on the value that you bring to the business currently and into the future.  Seek out a sliding scale of commission that increasingly rewards you over time as you achieve better rates of client contact, exclusive listings, and closed transactions.
  6. The zone or the territory that you work within may have some limitations.  Make sure that you get the necessary flexibility to attract new business in the property type that you understand and know.  There are differences between office property, retail property, and industrial property.  What properties can you work on and within what geographical zone?  If you are required to share a listing with another broker or agent within your team, how will the commissions be split?  These ratios of commission will need to be negotiated at the beginning of your employment.

So some of these questions can help you establish your market share and grow your real estate business.  Don’t jump into a new employment arrangement with the new brokerage without due care and regard for the terms and conditions of employment.  All the hard work and the prospecting that you are about to do should be rewarded fairly from the deals created.

Look for the fairness in the benchmarks that are applied across different agents and different brokers.  Make sure that you can achieve the results and the targets that are to be set for you as a professional in the industry.  Understand that the marketplace can provide you with the new business opportunities providing you work hard and with systemised focus.  That’s what top agents do all the time.