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Real estate is all around us, and many people will have the experience of working closely with someone in the real estate business at some time in their lives. There are two basic categories of real estate: residential and commercial. Commercial real estate refers to any property that is used in a business context. A commercial agent is a real estate agent who represents buyers and sellers of commercial properties.
While many of the concepts are similar, there can be big differences between residential and commercial real estate. All real estate deals have some inherent risks, but the risks and liability that one faces in a commercial real estate deal can be much greater than in dealing with residential real estate. A commercial agent will be familiar with these risks and complications, such as hazardous materials issues, or zoning rules. Ideally, a commercial agent would also be able to help a buyer decide whether a particular location is well-suited to the needs of his business.
Most of the time, a commercial real estate agent will work at the office of a commercial brokerage and accept listings or opportunities to represent a buyer, much like at a residential brokerage. The day-to-day experience of a commercial agent is much different, however. Generally, he will be dealing with clients who aren’t as emotionally involved in the process as home buyers. He will be dealing with businesspeople who are much more analytical in their decision-making, and who will expect a commercial agent who is willing to do analysis of data and financial information as part of the process of selling or buying a property.
For someone wanting to get started in real estate by becoming a commercial agent, there are many things to consider. First, it typically takes much longer to close a commercial deal than a residential one. Commercial deals may necessitate being able to work with clients for a period of months before closing, and a commercial agent should be prepared to wait for that length of time for his first commission.
A good commercial agent is one who is highly competent, intelligent, and aggressive, with the ability to work hard. For many, commercial real estate is a much more difficult area than residential real estate. On the other hand, there are few professions that are as financially rewarding, if one is prepared and able to handle the difficulty and the potential delays between deals.