February 27, 2006 | permalink
Presented by Trump University
If you are deciding between venturing into commercial or residential real estate, go directly into commercial. Based on the skills, contacts, and effort required, you will more likely be successful in commercial real estate if you devote yourself to it full-time. Also, you want to have the reputation of being a commercial real estate person, not a residential person who dabbles in other things. If I'm looking for somebody to lease my office building, I want somebody who's going to work on it full-time. If I was looking for somebody to sell my commercial building, I would look for someone who has expertise in that area. The one issue that this brings up, as you've correctly described it, is that commercial real estate is a tougher business to break into. Almost anybody can be a residential broker, whereas it's hard to get your first deals in commercial real estate because people like me want someone with experience. In some commercial real estate firms there may be ways to get draws or do other types of work assisting brokers. This would give you salary while you learn the business and gain experience. So, instead of trying the make the transition from residential sales to commercial sales, I would suggest a career path where you start as an assistant to a commercial broker, and then gradually work your way up to becoming a commercial broker yourself.