Taking the Plunge: From Residential to Commercial

Are you looking to dive into commercial real estate but don’t know where to start? Feeling intimidated? Well first off, don’t worry, or maybe do? Switching from residential to commercial real estate can be difficult and quite daunting, but if you have a plan, it could be a smooth transition.

Here's the top tips from our speakers at the From Residential to Commercial session at Quest Fest MORe hosted this April.

1. Choose Wisely

One thing to consider before committing to the switch is to think if it’s the right change for you. Although this might sound like a basic question, it is an important one. Taking that extra minute to really consider all of your options, time, and expenses you will be putting into this change can help you determine if you really are serious about making the switch. You might hear that John Doe across the street at XYZ agency made an effortless switch from residential to commercial, but just because it worked for him doesn’t mean it will for you. There is no cookie cutter way for navigating through commercial real estate, so make your experience your own.

2. Network, Network, Network

Just like residential, there is a large amount of networking involved. If someone comes to you and wants your service and it is out of your area of expertise, you will want to refer them to someone in your network who can help them, especially as you are transitioning into commercial. Consider finding a veteran commercial agent that will accept your commercial business referrals and use them as an opportunity to train you on how the transaction should properly be handled. Your client will appreciate that you are looking out for their business interest. Have that same referral partner agree to allow you to be their "plus one" when attending commercial netoworking events to connect you with others in the industry. After all, investing in any form of real estate is a major decision. In order to refer a client to someone though, you’ll need to have a strong network. Call your association, friends, neighbors, email the property owner of the mall down the road, contact your local Economic Developer, attend networking events, do whatever it takes to get your name as a commercial real estate agent out into the public.

3. Specialize

As mentioned before, you will not be the master of everything and will have to refer potential clients to people in your network. Don’t spread yourself too thin, become an expert in one specific area. Whether you sell apartments in west Cook County or strip malls in northern Lake County, make sure you have a specialty and be the best that you can be in that area.

4. Get Educated

Mainstreet offers multiple events and classes that are geared towards learning about becoming a commercial real estate agent as well as classes that help you with the first steps for becoming a commercial agent. MORe also has a plethora of resources available in the Commercial Real Estate section of our site including:

Whether it is for a change of scenery, more weekends off, or strictly a change of passion, switching from residential to commercial real estate might be the best for you.