By Paul Martis
For those interested in moving their residential real estate careers to a new level that can include a commercial aspect, it is necessary to have an understanding of the marketplace and its challenges, insights and opportunities.
To start, a residential agent must identify what segment of the commercial industry is right for him/her, and, in many cases, this will be determined by the agent’s sponsoring broker.
Some residential brokerages will require their agents to be 100 percent committed to the residential arena, with commercial agents in their own division. However, others may allow their agents to participate in both areas at some level. These agents are allowed to get their feet wet and work some commercial deals, but they must do this with little or no commercial mentoring available.
The direction the residential agent goes is also dependent on his/her psyche, level of commercial education and competence.
To enter the commercial realm, residential agents must possess extensive knowledge of the following five topics:
1. The structure of a commercial lease, terms and considerations.
2. Identifying environmental pitfalls and mitigation.
3. Best practices for evaluating income-producing properties.
4. Knowing your limitations, team building and mentoring opportunities.
5. Locating useful commercial Web sites for research and marketing.
For years, many Realtors have been moving closer to what I call the “New Hybrid Agent,” or what others refer to as a commercial Realtor, focusing on commercial business but with tools and best practices associated with the Realtor community available to them.
Just take a look at the surveys and programs recently developed by the Realtors Commercial Alliance and other associations nationwide.
Capturing those commercial opportunities can be music to residential agents who are prepared for the challenges of commercial real estate. This trend will only continue, as more full-service realty brokerages incorporate commercial opportunities into their real estate business strategies.
And the beat goes on!
Paul Martis is a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT. Martis and his business partner, Jack Dunholter, have developed a six-hour, two-part commercial certificate series program for CAR. For more information, contact Martis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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