Starting a career as a commercial real estate sales associate?

3 Replies


I'm currently studying for my real estate license. I have a few questions about starting my career on the right foot. I'm only interested in commercial real estate (office, industrial, retail, multi-family) and I've interned in office brokerage (investment sales mostly, did some leasing). My questions are as follows:

1. I know its best to specialize but how important is what you choose to specialize in? 

2. Brokerage is all about relationships so switching cities mid career can be a big deal. So, how do you choose the right market starting out?

3. How important is the firm you work for? I know some have training programs etc but is there a huge advantage working for CBRE or Marcus & Millichap vs a successful boutique focusing its effort on a specific prop type in only a few cities?

Hi @Nick LaRocca I just passed my exam and said I only want to do commercial but now I am testing both commercial and luxury residential to see what I actually like best. To answer your first question, I agree specializing is best but I am testing each part out to see what I enjoy doing the most. I would recommend finding a mentor, that is what I did. I have one for commercial and one for luxury residential. 

My end goal is to be a large-scale developer so testing everything will be best towards my end goal. Everyone is different. 

When selecting my brokerage I needed to find who would best support my needs, while giving me the best education. Hope this helps. 

I am in a similar boat. I recently passed the exam and I am doing research in to joining a brokerage firm.  I do some real estate investing myself (in commercial and small multifamily) so I also wanted to focus on investment properties.  However, after talking to a few different brokers in residential and commercial, I am realizing as important as it is to specialize and focus on a given product type, it is equally important to get some visibility into many different aspects before deciding on a specific specialty.  To me, it's similar to going to college for a bachelor's and then doing a master's and then a phd. Without at least some exposure, it is impossible to know which type you may excel at or that might be best suited to your personality and strengths.   

Good luck in whichever path you decide... .and post your experience along the way!