How to Become a Commercial Real Estate Agent: a Complete Guide

We have to know how to handle money ? properly, right? We always take utmost care about how we do transactions. 

So, is there someone who does this job of helping our people when it comes to financial transactions when it comes to properties? Yes, there is. We call such people commercial real estate agents. ?

These people can earn up to $99,000 per year just by helping other people pick out ? and buy the right property for themselves. If you are interested in becoming a commercial real estate agent, this article is the right one for you. 

Who is a Commercial Real Estate Agent?

Nowadays, money has become a boon as well as a bane for the masses. Millions of people struggle because of money-related issues all of the time. So, it’s crucial to have someone who can give you some financial advice. 

This becomes more important when you have to find the right kind of agent ?‍? who will buy you a good property for yourself. This is important as it directly affects your livelihood. 

A commercial real estate agent has a lot to do. To become the best salesman ? and help ever, they have to learn a lot of soft skills as well as hard skills.

They have to look for the properties carefully, they have to negotiate with the buyers, they have to provide their clients with the right information, and they have to offer recommendations, and pursue their clients as well. 

This is seriously a lot, which is why you have to train properly if you want to work in this field. Becoming a real estate agent will surely take its toll, but it will guarantee that you get a good enough paycheck. ?

How much can a Commercial Real Estate Agent earn?

As we talked about before, the paycheck of a commercial real estate agent in the United States is very good. It can help you with sustenance as well as savings quite easily. You can earn an average of $99,337 per year in the United States as a Commercial real estate agent. 

These statistics ? we are going to talk about are up to date and have been updated recently in August 2023. 

What’s even better is that if you have more than 6 or 7 years of experience in this field, your pay increases a lot. We have found that, according to stats, an experienced commercial real estate agent can earn up to $138,080 per year. This pay increases ? with more experience and skill.  

The places that pay ? the most right now in the United States are Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles. Some skills that can help you earn more are market research and asset management.  

Types of Commercial Real Estate Agents 

While you might think that commercial real estate agents are all the same because, at the end of the day, they are all selling properties ?, there are different kinds because of the different kinds of properties.

There are five primary types of commercial real estate businesses, and you will have to understand which type is good for you before you look at the process.


The last type that will be talked about is the hotel ? sector, and it is all about places that provide accommodation for people who are traveling or tourists. 

These places may be independent or flat, but as a commercial real estate agent, it is going to be your responsibility to find the best property for such an establishment for your client. 


The fourth type of real estate property that we’re going to talk about is the multi-family ? type. Whenever you have more than one property that is owned by only one person, it is commercial real estate. The multi-family type of real estate includes all types of real estate, which is residential. 

This includes apartments, townhomes, condos, and more. These are also divided into class A, class B, and class C. 


I think the name is clear enough to help you understand that industrial real estate is all about getting buildings that are for industrial operations. 

These properties are usually out of the urban areas where people live because of possible hazardous operations and are multi-tenant. These are also divided into more types depending on the manufacturing, the assembly, the warehouses, and things like Flex Industrial. 

Keep in mind that you will have to read up about the laws before you try finding properties like this because these have a lot of regulations ? set upon them. 


The retail type of real estate is made up of properties such as retailers, shops, and restaurants ?️. 

This type of real estate is very complex and very detailed, so if you decide to work in this business, make sure that you have everything down and understood. You will have to study things like the concepts, the types, the sizes, the number of tenants, and the trade area.

You will most probably have to work to find multi-tenant or single-use buildings. 


The first type of commercial real estate that we are going to talk about is the office ? kind. There are primarily two different types of office businesses that you can work in as a commercial real estate agent. 

You can either work for urban offices or Suburban offices. Urban offices are found in cities and are skyscraper types, while Suburban office buildings are usually smaller in comparison and grouped. 

You will also have to learn more about class A, class B, and class C types of tiers when it comes to office buildings if you start working for this type of real estate.  

After you have decided which real estate business is for you, read the list below to understand the process. ↘️

How to Become a Commercial Real Estate Agent? (Tips)

Now that you have understood that there are certain types of commercial real estate agents, it’s time to look at the process of becoming a commercial real estate agent. The steps won’t be very different according to your preference. 

All of the steps are common, and you wouldn’t have to take note of a specific field while trying to become a commercial real estate agent.

I would advise you to take notes ?️ so that you can refer to all of the steps that I have mentioned below ⬇️ in the future. 

Check the eligibility criteria

There are certain rules and regulations to becoming a commercial real estate agent. You would have to check these before you start this process because each state has a different set of regulations. The most common requirements that all of the states have are : 

  • You have to be a resident of the United States. 
  • You have to be at least 18 or 19 years of age. 
  • You need to have a high school diploma ?‍? or GED at the very least. 

Other than all of this, another common requirement is going to be a license. The procedure for getting a license is something that I have talked about in detail below in one more step.

After completing all of your courses, you can verify with a background check and then go ahead and attempt your licensing exam.  

Become educationally qualified

The educational requirements are not that difficult if you want to become a commercial real estate agent. What you need to keep in mind is that you can also go for a bachelor’s degree if you want to gain even more expertise in the subjects. 

The extra courses you can take are the same as any other residential agent and would typically vary from 60 to over 130 hours. 

The subjects that will do you good are mostly about law ⚖️, judicial systems ?‍⚖️, professional responsibilities, economy ?, business, and finance ?. 

Get your license

Getting a license is a very important step if you want to become a commercial real estate agent. As soon as you’re done with the extra courses and whatever education requirement you want to get, you can take your licensing exam.

The fees you need to pay to take the exam can be different for each state, and it is recommended that you look it up before you appear for your exam ?. The exam can go on for about 3 hours and includes 75 to 150 MCQs. 

The exam is going to be divided into two portions – the national one and the state one. It is because of the state portion that some of the questions may differ because of your location. You would have to score at least 70% to pass the exam.  

Join the professionals

After you’re done with all of these procedures, you will find employment at real estate firms. You will have to look for employment on your own ?. 

When you join a real estate firm, some of them may ask you to join another state or National real estate association. This can be one of their conditions of employment. If not a condition, it might be so to build a network, show your skills, or take part in more professional operations. 

You will get a lot of training opportunities in associations like this – not to mention more resources and tools. There is one association, the National Association of Realtors (the NAR), which is the largest trade association in the United States. 

It offers services for all sorts of commercial real estate agents and also provides you with certifications. ?

Choose a specific type for business

And now, the last step in this list is choosing a specific type of real estate to specialize in. We have talked all about this in the section above, and you will have to choose ?if you want to become a professional in one specific zone. 

You can try to work in all of those fields, but a specialization will help ensure your position in that one field. You would be different from all other agents and strike out as more experienced and knowledgeable. 

Top Commercial Real Estate Agent Certification in the United States

We talked about this earlier as well, and that getting certifications in this field is only going to help you get more experienced and get a better package. Down below is a list of real estate agent certifications ? that are going to help out a lot.  

Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)

The first certification that we talk about on this list is one to become a certified commercial investment member (CCIM). This is a designation that is offered by the CCIM Institute, which is an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors. 

If you want to do this program, you have to do four core courses and then attempt a comprehensive exam. The exam covers topics like financial analysis, user decision analysis, market analysis, and investment analysis. 

It would take you about a year or two to complete this program, and the cost depends on whether you are a member of NAR or not and where you are taking your courses from. 

In general, you would be required to pay around $2,000 to $3,000 ? to complete this program. 

Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB)

Becoming a certified real estate brokerage member (CRB) will require you to complete a three-course program.

The topics include managing the brokerage business, principles of real estate management, and advanced strategies for brokerage management. 

All of these courses are online ?, and after ending them, you will have to take an exam to get this designation as well. 

The price of the program depends solely on which program you’re choosing for yourself. It typically costs around $1,295 if you take the one-year package. 

If you want to qualify for this program, you must have at least five years of experience in a role that has real estate management or such operations. 

Certified Real Estate Specialist (CRES)

To become a certified real estate specialist (CRES), you would have to be active for at least two years in any sort of real estate practice. You also need to have at least 30 hours ⌛ of approved education done by courses related to real estate and pass an examination organized by NAR. 

The cost for obtaining this designation depends on the state you are living in and can generally vary from $200 to $400.  

Accredited Commercial Professional (ACP)

This certificate is also provided by the National Association of Realtors and takes about 6 to 12 months to complete. 

The program is made up of three main parts. First are the core courses that you will have to complete to get educated about topics such as finance, market analysis, and leasing. 

Then, you’ll have to look for elective courses which will provide more knowledge about subjects. Lastly, we have the examination which you will have to pass. 

The costs ? depend on where you live and how many credits you need for your licensing. It can be anywhere from $500 – $2000.

Top Commercial Real Estate Agent Schools in the World

If you want to become a commercial real estate agent, then some courses are going to be very beneficial for you. I have tried to compile a list of the top schools that offer the best when it comes to these courses.

I hope you make notes and choose the best for yourself as getting into a good college is very important. ?

University of Pennsylvania

The first college on this list is the University of Pennsylvania, which is the top university when it comes to real estate programs. This university ? is located in Philadelphia and offers courses such as accounting, economics, ethics, finance, real estate, business analytics, and e-commerce. 

All these courses are very good for aspiring real estate agents. The tuition fee is for a full-time program and is $77,500 per year. According to the stats for this university, at graduation, about 87.20% of the students are employed. 

You can also choose to get your master’s or joint degrees from this college only.

New York University 

The New York University operates the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, which offers courses like economics, real estate, business analytics, consulting, and much more. The tuition fee for a full-time program is $82,326 per year. If we count this credit-wise, it is going to cost you $2,654 per credit.

One of the many statistics tells us that about 86.60% of students are employed ?‍? at the time of graduation. 

There are about 40 student organizations that you can look up and try to join if you want to. Some dual degree programs will help you complete courses at a faster pace if you want.

Columbia University

Columbia University is at the third spot when it comes to real estate programs. It also has a very high rank when it comes to other departments and forces such as business analytics, executive MBA, finance ?, marketing, and management.

It offers programs in these departments and some more, such as production/operations management, portfolio management, and not-for-profit management. 

The tuition fee to get into this college is $80,472 per year and $3,808 per credit. 

According to the stats, 76% of graduates are employed at the time of completion. 

University of California – Berkeley

The University of California-Berkeley operates The Haas School of Business, which offers several courses from different departments. The courses include topics such as international Business ?, ethics, E-Commerce, entrepreneurship, public policy, real estate, and marketing. 

At the time of completion, about 77.50% of the graduates are employed. The fee ? depends on where you live and where you are taking your tuition from. If you are an in-state student, then you have to pay $67,424 per year. If you are an out-of-state student, then you will have to pay $76,433 per year. This is for full-time students. 

If you are a part-time student, then it is going to cost you $3,600 per credit if you are in-state. If you are an out-of-state part-time student, then it is going to cost you $3,600 per credit as well. 

Cornell University 

Cornell University ranks 5th when it comes to real estate ? and holds a high rank in other sister subjects as well.

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management is operated by Cornell University and offers a lot of courses from several different departments. Topics for these courses include consulting, finance, human resource management, real estate, supply chain management, technology, economics, and accounting. 

It would cost you around $76,690 per year for a full-time program here. Stats tell us that 85.30% of the graduates are employed at the time of completion of their courses. 

Where to find Commercial Real Estate Agent opportunities online?

Commercial real estate agents have to look for job opportunities themself, and they mostly work at real estate firms that operate offline. So, offline resources might help a bit more when it comes to this job. 

You can try mailing ? and calling up ☎️ clients and asking them if they need any sort of commercial help. Your real estate firm is also going to help you get more opportunities. Nonetheless, there are some options that you can see help from if you want to do this job online. 

Extra sources

The first thing you can do is build a LinkedIn profile, which will help you connect more with other real estate forms and real estate agents. 

The other thing that you can do is make a profile on freelancing websites that can help you work as a commercial real estate agent and freelance in this field. 


Becoming a commercial real estate agent is not that difficult. You just need to build and polish a skill set that will help you master the art of communication and understanding your clients. 

As soon as you do this, you will be ready to venture into this field and get the top spot. ? 

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