T Nation

Commercial Real Estate

Does anyone here work in commercial real estate?

I’m a third year business student and I’m looking to get an entry level position so I can get a start on things before I graduate. I would love any advice and I also have a cover letter I have written that I would love to PM to someone for critique.

I’m not yet sure what specifically I want to do ( brokerage, development, leasing, etc.) But I do know that I feel strongly about the commercial real estate field.

I’m doing my concentration in accounting and finance.

Any advice on getting into the field would be very much appreciate.

The appraisal is the key to financing commercial real estate. There are several appraisal models - learn them. Which model you present to the bank and how well presented it is will make a big difference in how much they will finance. The ability to find financing is another skill, especially in today’s market. Get to know hard money lenders and earn their trust (and don’t ever fuck them over). The contracts involved in commercial real estate make average residential sales contracts look like kindergarten scribbles.

Find an attorney that is willing to explain the in’s and out’s of the contract language and how and when to use it. I’ve been out of that arena for some time now, so I’m unfamiliar with any of the new regulations that this administration has inflicted on the commercial real estate sector. From what I remember, regulation was virtually non-existent when compared to residential real estate. Find out the regulations you have to abide by. Failure to do so could put you in prison.

Network, network, network. In commercial real estate 10% is what you know and 90% is who you know. Figure out which circles you need to be a part of and frequent them. It’s a long game, often times with months or even years to close a particular deal. And closing three or four good size deals a year was considered impressive. But you need to be able to go six months without a paycheck.

Good luck. It’s a hard market to break in to, but it’s HIGHLY rewarding if you become successful at it.

Thanks AC.

I have always found your posts very helpful.

I hope things are going well for you in your new line of work.

I have a couple clients in the field.

I would say, try and find a smaller to medium sized company and expect to work your ass off. Very, very few people that make good money only work 2080 a year. This business is going to be no different. If you’re going into business for yourself out of school, expect to work tirelessly, 24/7, for years on end, and then have the president tell you, that you didn’t build that.

There were some serious concerns a couple years ago that there would be a debt crisis in the industry but that seems to calmed down. A lot of banks ate shit on a lot of loans rather than foreclose and watch the shit hit the fan again.

Do yourself a favor. In the area where you live, drive around and look for “for lease/for rent” signs for commercial space. If there is a lot of it in the area you are looking to operate, you may want to consider moving. If things like liquor stores and food stores (stores that are “recession proof”) are going under, you have to think critical and move to a different area of the state or country.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I have a couple clients in the field.

I would say, try and find a smaller to medium sized company and expect to work your ass off. Very, very few people that make good money only work 2080 a year. This business is going to be no different. If you’re going into business for yourself out of school, expect to work tirelessly, 24/7, for years on end, and then have the president tell you, that you didn’t build that.

There were some serious concerns a couple years ago that there would be a debt crisis in the industry but that seems to calmed down. A lot of banks ate shit on a lot of loans rather than foreclose and watch the shit hit the fan again.

Do yourself a favor. In the area where you live, drive around and look for “for lease/for rent” signs for commercial space. If there is a lot of it in the area you are looking to operate, you may want to consider moving. If things like liquor stores and food stores (stores that are “recession proof”) are going under, you have to think critical and move to a different area of the state or country.[/quote]

Thanks.

It’s becoming quite the theme having people tell me to expect to work my ass off so… I’m definitely expecting it.

Fortunately I’m currently in Regina, SK, Canada ( not Vancouver like it says). Regina is probably the best place to be in Canada economically. Currently there is a .42% vacancy rate for office space in the city, it’s absolutely insane. GDP growth is forecast at 3-4% over the next 3 years and unemployment is among the lowest in the country. The only places that are hotter are some of the small oil towns in northern Alberta, and Estevan to the south, the heart of the Bakken oil boom.

You’re question is too vague really.

If you want to get into commercial real estate, you must first decide if you are thinking of office space or retail space. Two different monsters, but many of the larger properties deal with both. Retail on the ground level, office above.

No offense to AC, but I wouldn’t hang my hat on appraisals. You need to learn to do learn to do that shit yourself. Which is why starting in accounting is a good thought. The property is only worth so much as the credit of the tenants. You are in business with each and every tenant you lease to. The only thing that really matters is the ability of the tenant to pay.

Honetly though, if you are just learning the business, look for a mid-to-larger company that owns and manages it’s properties. Many companies just manage the real estate, but you want to work for a company that does both. They are better managers.

[quote]Christine wrote:
You’re question is too vague really.

If you want to get into commercial real estate, you must first decide if you are thinking of office space or retail space. Two different monsters, but many of the larger properties deal with both. Retail on the ground level, office above.

No offense to AC, but I wouldn’t hang my hat on appraisals. You need to learn to do learn to do that shit yourself. Which is why starting in accounting is a good thought. The property is only worth so much as the credit of the tenants. You are in business with each and every tenant you lease to. The only thing that really matters is the ability of the tenant to pay.

Honetly though, if you are just learning the business, look for a mid-to-larger company that owns and manages it’s properties. Many companies just manage the real estate, but you want to work for a company that does both. They are better managers.

[/quote]

You know stuff?

I thought you were just a piece of ass.

[quote]Christine wrote:
You’re question is too vague really.

If you want to get into commercial real estate, you must first decide if you are thinking of office space or retail space. Two different monsters, but many of the larger properties deal with both. Retail on the ground level, office above.

No offense to AC, but I wouldn’t hang my hat on appraisals. You need to learn to do learn to do that shit yourself. Which is why starting in accounting is a good thought. The property is only worth so much as the credit of the tenants. You are in business with each and every tenant you lease to. The only thing that really matters is the ability of the tenant to pay.

Honetly though, if you are just learning the business, look for a mid-to-larger company that owns and manages it’s properties. Many companies just manage the real estate, but you want to work for a company that does both. They are better managers.

[/quote]

Thanks for the advice.

There are a couple companies I’m looking at that do everything - develop, own, lease, and manage. I’m looking to possibly get in with one of these and from there I might be able to get a better taste of what I like and narrow down my focus.

If real estate doesn’t work out you can always take up MMA.