Starting Your Career in Commercial Real Estate


Though both the U.S. and world economies remain in a somewhat precarious state, the commercial real estate market has shown incremental improvements since the economic collapse of the 2000s. Navigating the commercial real estate landscape often requires deft knowledge and skill.


We've already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Source: Voice for Real Estate 52: White House, Commercial, Renters, (National Association of REALTORS, 2017)

Commercial Real Estate Industry/NAR Commercial Members

  • The National Association of REALTORS® Commercial Real Estate Outlook: 2016.Q1 report focuses on market performance in both large (LCRE) and small commercial (SCRE) sectors. The report provides an overview of economic indicators, investment sales and leasing fundamentals.
  • U.S. macroeconomic momentum dropped during the fourth quarter of 2015, buffeted by global economic slowdown and financial volatility.
  • Business investments took a step back, and the strong dollar impacted net exports. Payroll employment offered a bright spot, closing the year with a total of 2.7 million net new jobs, boosted by private service industries.
  • Rising employment drove demand for commercial space across the property spectrum.
  • Vacancies continued declining in the fourth quarter of 2015, as rising rents improved cash flows.

(Source: Commercial Real Estate Outlook, National Association of REALTORS®, Feb. 25, 2016)

Primary Business Specialty of NAR’s Commercial Members:

  • Residential Real Estate: 18%
  • Investment Sales: 12%
  • Land Sales: 8%
  • Commercial Property Management: 8%
  • Office Leasing: 6%
  • Industrial Building Sales: 5%
  • Retail Leasing 4%
  • Multi-family Building Sales: 4%
  • Office Building Sales: 3%
  • Retail Building Sales: 3%
  • Development: 3%
  • Commercial Appraisal: 3%
  • Consulting: 3%
  • Multi-family Property Management: 3%
  • Industrial Leasing: 2%
  • Hospitality/Resort Sales: 1%
  • Farms/Ranches: 1%
  • Commercial Auctions: 0%
  • Other: 11%

(Source:  2017 NAR Commercial Member Profile, National Association of REALTORS®, 2017)

For more commercial market data, go to NAR’s Commercial Research Page

Commercial Real Estate: News and Trends

Market Trends, (Commercial Investment Real Estate, Sept./Oct. 2017)

Is the Retail Apocalypse Fact or Fiction?, (The Commercial Search Blog, Sept. 20, 2017)

Small Markets See 4%Gain in Commercial Property Sales, (Speaking of Real Estate Blog, National Association of REALTORS®, Sept. 18, 2017)

Outlook Remains Bright for Commercial Real Estate Despite Price Plateau, (National Association of REALTORS®, Sept. 12, 2017)

How Taxes and Required Returns Drove Commercial Real Estate Valuations Over the Past Four Decades, (National Tax Journal, Sept. 2017) E

Is the Bull Market Nearing an End?, (SIOR Report, Fall 2017)

Research: Inside the Numbers: Economic Output & Small Business Creation – New Business Openings Currently Outpacing Closings, (Commercial Connections, Aug. 29, 2017)

Commercial Agents See 11% Jump in Income, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Aug. 2, 2017)

Commercial Real Estate Still Abuzz, (Buffalo Law Journal, Aug. 7, 2017) E

Real Estate on the Rise, (njbiz, July 24, 2017) E

Tucson Commercial Real Estate Market Improving Alongside National Trends, (Inside Tucson Business, June 23-July.6, 2017) E

As the Multifamily Cycle Matures, Asset Classes Diverge, (National Real Estate Investor, July 2, 2017) E

CRE Alarm Bells Don’t Bother These Lenders, (American Banker, June 5, 2017) E

The State of NH’s Commercial Market – The Market is Strong, But for How Long?, (New Hampshire Business Review, Mar. 17, 2017) E

5 Signs that Traditional Retail isn’t Dead, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Feb. 16, 2017)

Still Room to Grow, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Jan. 18, 2017)

Commercial Real Estate Forecast in 2017 is Strong, (National Association of REALTORS®, Nov. 4, 2016)

Closer Look – 2017 Commercial Real Estate Outlook, (Deloitte Center for Financial Services, 2016)

Resources for Gettin​g Started

The Commercial Search Source – a blog brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS® Commercial Division

NAR Commercial on Twitter

Commercial Connections – NAR’s quarterly commercial real estate publication

CommercialSearch – for commercial property listings

CCIM Institute – The CCIM Institute confers the CCIM designation and is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)

Commercial Investment Real Estate Magazine

Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) – The source for education, resources, information and membership for real estate management professionals

Journal of Property Management

Real Estate Business Institute (REBI) – REBI confers the CRB, CRBM and CRB designation and is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®

Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR) – SIOR confers the SIOR Designation and is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®

SIOR’s Professional Report Magazine

Commercial-Specific Resources from NAR and its Institutes, Societies and Councils

Commercial Home

Commercial Advocacy – learn more about NAR’s commercial real estate priorities with the Issue Brief. You can also obtain in-depth information on the various commercial issues, including Crowdfunding, Drones, Small Business Administration, Section 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges and more.

Affiliate Organizations – details on the variety of Commercial Institutes, Societies and Counsels.

Commercial Services – here you can download a handy guide with an overview of Commercial Services for NAR Members.

Professional Development – grow your expertise through the learning opportunities and events offered by NAR and its commercial affiliate organization.

Publications and Information – make sure your NRDS record is up-to-date and includes at least one commercial specialization in the “Field of Business” to ensure timely delivery of the commercial-related communications.

Research – take advantages of the commercial-focused research found online at, including the “Commercial Real Estate Lending Survey,” the “Business Creation Index,” “Expectations and Market Realities in Real Estate,” the “Commercial Real Estate ALERT,” and much more.

Resources for AEs and Staff – this is the place to learn more about serving your board’s commercial members. Here you will find best practices, national awards, etc. Looking for funding to launch new programs? The Commercial Innovation Grants funding cycle happens just twice a year to provide state and local associations with support to jump start new programs and services that positively impact commercial practitioners.

Technology and Data – access the variety of business tools and organizations that support your commercial success as part of your NAR membership.

International Business/MIPIM – One of the largest commercial real estate conferences in the world, MIPIM, is taking place in Cannes, France, March 13-16, 2018 – find out how you can use this tool to expand your network and generate potential business.

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Commercial Mortgages 101 (Kindle, eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Investing (Kindle, eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Investing in Canada (eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Investment (eBook)

The ABCs of Real Estate Investing (Kindle, eBook)

The Commercial Real Estate Revolution (Kindle, eBook)

The complete guide to buying and selling apartment buildings (Kindle, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

The commercial real estate tsunami: a survival guide for lenders, owners, buyers and brokers, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2011)

After the fall: opportunities and strategies for real estate investing in the coming decade, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009)

Commercial real estate investing: a creative guide to successfully making money, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008)

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.