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Commercial real estate agents have many different backgrounds. Most had prior careers, and education is not a determining factor as to whether a salesperson will be successful or not. The average commercial real estate agent has at least a college degree based on finance real estate or construction, but some have only a high school education. The seasoned agents have been in the business at least 15 years, and only focus on commercial real estate. They don’t dabble in commercial while also selling residential real estate. Most of them define a niche of commercial real estate, and they pound it…hard. When you walk into a room with someone in commercial real estate, you automatically are not the smartest one there. They are ON IT! They have their finger on the pulse of the market and can work numbers like an accountant. When you are new in the field, you want to associate yourself with some successful commercial real estate people. You will become much more knowledgeable just from being around them, watching what they do, and you should pattern yourself accordingly.
Keep in mind that in commercial real estate, the sales cycle is a bit slower, because many deals take 3-6 months to close, and the really big ones can take a year. However, the per-deal commissions are much higher, because of the high property values with which commercial agents deal. Each deal can put tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in your pocket!
An experienced agent in commercial real estate sales (one who has been doing this for a handful of years) should be making $250K at the minimum. Many new agents, who prove to have the necessary abilities to be a successful salesperson, achieve this goal quickly. Rock star brokers can make millions of dollars per year, depending on their deal volume and average deal size.
Generally, the commission starts at around 6%, but that can drop down for very large deals say over $50 million. When you’re first starting out, you’ll be doing more high commission percentages, but lower dollar-value deals and then that will shift in the other direction over time.