By Douglas Harris, Commercial Broker
The question I asked myself 3 years ago when I switched from residential to commercial. Could have been more in depth, but how was I to know what I was getting into? Would I make the same decision now?…knowing what I know, now?
I should have asked myself if I should work for a boutique brokerage or one of the behemoth brokerages out there? I should have asked myself, how do I know what I don’t know? Make no mistake, this is a dog-eat-dog business with very few brokers doing deals and the rest of them taking up space. It is definitely not for everyone!
My background was in residential where I spent 4-5 years. Before that, I worked in the finance department for a film company…don’t ask! In other words, my past experiences had no bearing on what I was about to embark upon. I had no clue how sophisticated many commercial buyers, sellers, and investors can be. My first meetings with the senior brokers & clients were surely eye opening. I learned many of these people had successful businesses for decades and my “A” game was more like a “D” game.
I didn’t know how complicated a commercial transaction could be and all of the potential pitfalls. One thing is for sure, commercial is not the same as residential. The differences between the two are too many to list. But, I can tell you this. If you want to truly serve your client, you better understand zoning & use, CUP’s, MPCA regulations, environmental quagmires, P&L’s, FF&E, financing, cap rates, lease rates, 1031 Exchanges… The list goes on and on.
Fake it till you make it? I don’t think so. Not if you want to have a good reputation in this industry. One little mistake for your client could cost them a lot of money or even much more. Like any industry, education is the key. Commercial real estate may start with books, but it’s not until you dive into the mud and get chewed up and spit out by the other broker that you actually start learning.
Commercial deals fall apart. It forces you to come up with solutions that work for all parties. Sometimes it feels like the negotiations or problem solving never ends. I’m lucky, my Managing Broker and team draw on decades of experience, complex situations, and solutions. We take a team approach to every transaction because it’s the best way to serve our clients…period! We get the deals done, but it might take a little creativity and patience along the way.
Again, I got lucky. I landed at a boutique commercial firm where we get to wear a lot of different hats. My fellow brokers hold a priceless amount of knowledge in their heads. We swim with the sharks every day and that plethora of knowledge and experience keeps our clients happy as we get their deal done. Reputation means everything in this business. Our hard work serving clients and bringing value to the table pays off.
My three years in commercial have been amazing. There’s always fresh situations I’ve never encountered and you can bet I’ll find a way to work through them. Yes, I came from the residential market into commercial and it was the best move I ever made. But make no mistake, it takes education & loads of dedication to make the switch, not to mention the support of your family.
tags: commercial real estate, careers, residential real estate, real estate, Is Commercial Real Estate Different than Residential?, commercial real estate investment, mn commercial, commercial for sale, mn commercial agent, real estate blog, commercial coach, commercial investor, real estate investor, investment real estate, real estate speaker, commercial trainer, real estate investment, real estate investor, mark hulsey
Copyright 2020 Mark Hulsey, Results Commercial, Inc. All rights reserved