Quick Takeaways

  • Serve as liaison between multiple parties in a commercial transaction
  • Be knowledgeable about taxes, zoning, financial analysis and market data
  • Specialize in one type of real estate—offices, apartment buildings, warehouses, etc.

Source: What Does a Commercial Real Estate Broker Do? (Millionacres, Feb. 4, 2021)

Find out about the typical commercial member—how much work experience do they have, number of transactions per year and much more.

Get ideas and tips to succeed as a new commercial broker. Shadow a mentor. Decide the type of commercial real estate to specialize in. Even though you may be doing “grunt work” at first, take advantage of the training opportunities at your firm.

Keep up with the trends with the Commercial Real Estate Market Trends and Outlook, published quarterly by NAR. Learn how to avoid common mistakes in the commercial real estate business. Commercial buildings are increasing in size—find out by how much. 1031 exchanges benefit the economy by adding jobs and encouraging investment.

NAR and its Institutes, Societies and Councils provides a variety of resources for the new commercial REALTOR®--publications, research, training and much more.

See References for more information.


NAR Library & Archives has 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 the member's nar.realtor login.

Business and Demographic Characteristics of NAR Commercial Members

  • The typical commercial member has 25 years of real estate experience, 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, and has been a member of NAR for 18 years.
  • They had a median of 7 sales transactions in 2017, down from 8 in 2016.
  • Fifty-one percent of NAR’s commercial members work in sales and 16 percent in leasing.
  • Forty-nine percent are brokers and 29 percent sales agents.
  • The median age of a commercial member is 60 years old.

(Source: 2018 Commercial Member Profile, National Association of REALTORS®, 2018)

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

Succeeding as a New Commercial Broker

Top 5 Lessons for a New Real Estate Commercial Broker (Crexi, Sep. 24, 2021)

Working for a big player in your market is an excellent way to learn about the commercial real estate business. However, be prepared to do grunt work and spend a lot of time “dialing for dollars” and chasing down leads. It’s hard work, but with enough perseverance, your efforts will pay off in the long run.

Commercial Real Estate Agent Salary: More Training Can Mean Bigger Rewards (Real Estate Express, Jun. 16, 2021)

Zaidi said his background in investments, acquisitions, management consulting, and as an analyst helps him as a commercial broker, he said. Finance and marketing degrees are also valuable because the job requires an understanding of underwriting, lending, tax ramifications, and the ability to communicate effectively with the buyer and seller. Sixty-eight percent of commercial agents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

How to Become a Commercial Real Estate Agent (Indeed, Mar. 19, 2021)

You can also start your career with a brokerage firm focused solely on commercial real estate. These firms often offer salaried training programs for employees, enabling them to focus on learning how to manage and perform commercial transactions. In this situation, you would not have to worry about finding clients and making deals right away. Due to these firms' attractive benefits and commercial focus, you may find it highly competitive to find a job at them.

What Does a Commercial Real Estate Broker Do? (Millionacres, Feb. 4, 2021)

Commercial agents and brokers serve as liaison between multiple parties in a commercial transaction, know extensive demographic and location information, and provide in-depth financial analyses to determine whether a property is good for their client's bottom line.

Deep Dive: Careers in Commercial Real Estate (Adventures in CRE)

Start reaching out to people today in your desired role type and property type. Ask them what they do on a daily basis, what they like and don’t like about their job, and for any advice on how to get to where they are. You’ll be amazed at how willing people in CRE are to take your call and help you along the way.

How to Succeed as a Commercial Real Estate Agent (Rethink CRM)

Over time, though, you need to find a specialty that you’ll commit to and then focus on developing yourself as a specialist in that niche. Until you do that, your prospects of closing deals in a certain market will always suffer compared to someone who focuses on making deals in that market and that market alone.

Commercial Real Estate: News and Trends

Rosemont Developer Targets High-End Hotel Buying Spree: First Hospitality Teams with a New York Investor on a Fund Aimed at Picking Up $1 Billion Worth of Upscale and Luxury Hotels Nationwide Over the Next Few Years (Crain’s Chicago Business, Oct. 4, 2021) E

The partnership is a gutsy wager on a property sector that was initially leveled by the pandemic and has labored to recover since then, with a murky outlook for when or if certain types of travel will ever be as robust as they were pre-COVID. While leisure travel surged nationwide over the summer, business travel remains at a historically low level, and both have been set back by the spread of the delta variant.

11 Common Mistakes Made in Commercial Real Estate Deals (D Magazine, Sep. 27, 2021)

Getting a property condition report and environmental assessment will help the buyer or tenant understand the potential repair and remediation costs associated with the property and budget accordingly.

According to EIA Survey Results, U.S. Commercial Buildings are Increasing and Getting Larger (Archinect, Sep. 22, 2021)

According to the survey, the number of U.S. commercial buildings grew 6% from 2012 to 2018, and the total floorspace of commercial buildings increased by 11%. Additionally, U.S. commercial buildings are getting larger, and they more commonly feature LED lighting and emerging technologies such as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

Women are Underrepresented in CRE — Here’s How We Change It (RE Journals, Sep. 1, 2021)

The systemic nepotism entrenched within the CRE industry is clear as day and understandable: In a relationship-driven business, it’s not what you know but who you know. But when the CEO hires his COO’s nephew as an intern because of a favor owed, it perpetuates the problem.

100 Years of 1031 Exchanges: How They Stimulate the Economy and Aid in Pandemic Recovery (New England Real Estate Journal, Mar. 26, 2021)

Simply put, the 1031 Exchange stimulates the economy by removing the substantial tax bills that are a major barrier for real estate investors. Exchanging encourages sales and allows investors to get into bigger and better properties, in turn making smaller properties available for first time investors willing to create “sweat equity.”

Commercial Real Estate Market Trends and Outlook (National Association of REALTORS®)

This quarterly report combines and replaces the Commercial Real Estate Market Survey and the Commercial Real Estate Outlook. If focuses on commercial transactions of REALTORS® and affiliate members, and opportunities and challenges facing commercial practitioners.

Resources for Gettin​g Started from NAR and its Institutes, Societies and Councils

NAR Commercial on Twitter @commsource

1.4 million members engaged in all aspects of commercial and residential real estate

Commercial Connections

NAR’s quarterly commercial real estate publication

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

Magazine from the CCIM Institute

Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)

The source for education, resources, information and membership for real estate management professionals

Journal of Property Management

Bi-monthly magazine from IREM with comprehensive coverage of trends and issues affecting all property types

REALTORS® Land Institute

RLI confers the ALC Designation and is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)

Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR)

SIOR confers the SIOR Designation and is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®

SIOR Report

SIOR's quarterly magazine which addresses the concerns of industrial and office real estate practitioners

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

NAR Commercial Home

NAR has a broad array of resources to help you provide the best service to your clients, and to be the best in your field. From education to advocacy efforts, from networking to property data – NAR works to help you be more profitable, while protecting the commercial real estate industry.

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.

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.


Take advantage of the commercial-focused research found online at nar.realtor, including the Commercial Real Estate Market Survey, the Commercial Lending Survey, the Commercial Member Profile and much more.

Commercial Resources for Associations

NAR research shows approximately thirty percent of REALTORS® will complete one or more commercial transactions each year. NAR’s Commercial staff team will help you identify services to share with your members, connect you to resources, and help you develop a plan to grow your local commercial membership.

Courses, Designations and Events

Explore the many educational opportunities available through these Institutes, Societies and Councils, all part of NAR. There is an array of classroom and online learning options for your convenience.

eBooks & Other Resources


The ABCs of Real Estate Investing (eBook)

The Art of Commercial Real Estate Leasing (eBook)

The Broker's Practical Guide to Commercial Leasing (eBook)

Commercial Mortgages 101 (eBook)

Commercial Real Estate (eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Finance (eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Investing (eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Investing in Canada (eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Investment (eBook)

The Commercial Real Estate Revolution (eBook)

The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings (eBook)

The Due Diligence Handbook for Commercial Real Estate (eBook)

A Guide for Commercial Real Estate Agents (eBook)

The How to Add Value Handbook for Commercial Real Estate (eBook)

Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals for Dummies (eBook)

Principles of Real Estate Syndication (eBook)

Secrets of a Commercial Mortgage Broker (eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through the NAR Library & Archives. 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 the library at 800-874-8272 for assistance.

The Commercial Real Estate Tsunami: a Survival Guide for Lenders, Owners, Buyers and Brokers (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2011) HD 1394 W85

After the Fall: Opportunities and Strategies for Real Estate Investing in the Coming Decade (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009) HD 1375 B45

Commercial Real Estate Investing: a Creative Guide to Successfully Making Money (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008) HG 4521 D34

Shift Commercial: How Top Commercial Brokers Tackle Tough Times (Austin: TX, Rellek Pub. Partners, 2011) HD1375 N78s

Success Strategies for Commercial and Multifamily Real Estate Careers (Management-Mentor, 2010) HF 5438 B74ss

The Fundamentals of Listing & Selling Commercial Real Estate (West Conshohocken, PA: Infinity Publishing.com, 2007) HF 5438 K26

Systems for Success: the Complete Guide to Selling, Leasing, Presenting, Negotiating & Serving in Commercial Real Estate (Gretna, LA: Pelican Pub, 2007) HF 5438 L66

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.



NAR has a broad array of resources for members to help you provide the best service to your clients, and to be the best in your field.

Commercial Connections

Commercial Connections is published four times annually and distributed to members of the NAR and commercial real estate industry leaders.