7 Tips for Selling Commercial Real Estate

Making the transition from selling residential properties to selling commercial real estate can be an exciting move for any REALTOR®. But as with any professional move, the transition to commercial real estate presents unique challenges. If you plan ahead, do your market research, and apprise yourself of the latest trends, you’ll be able to break into the market and hit the ground running. To help ease the transition, here are 7 Tips for Selling Commercial Real Estate.

1. Talk to other commercial real estate agents. Ask if they have any tips for making the transition, or if they have particular expertise in your local market. You might even ask if they’ll help you gain experience by co-listing a property to start, allowing you to shadow them through the process.

2. Prepare yourself for a slow start. Don’t resign yourself to a slow start, but have your ducks in a row, just in case. When making a professional or personal transition in life, a safety net is always helpful — big moves can take time. No matter how much you know about commercial real estate, it’s important to remember that it can take longer to move commercial listings than it generally takes to move residential listings. Be prepared to weather that storm.

3. Learn the commercial real estate appraisal process. Appraisals in commercial real estate can be much more complicated than appraisals on residential properties. It’s essential that you know what to ask for and also what to provide the appraiser. Here are “10 Things to Know About Commercial Real Estate Appraisal,” from Inc.

4. Remember that commercial real estate is still about relationships. Remember, commercial real estate is not THAT much different than residential. The relationships you build with your clients and customers will ultimately determine your success — prospect, cold call, and build momentum.

5. Be on top of your training. Look for training opportunities that go beyond what you learned earning your real estate license. NAR offers the CCIM designation (Certified Commercial Investment Member) to train commercial real estate owners, investors and users in interest-based negotiation, ethics, market analysis, financial analysis and more. REALTORS® earning CCIM are recognized experts in commercial real estate.

6. Know your zoning. Commercial real estate comes with a lot of nuance when it comes to commercial use and zoning. In order to effectively serve your clients you’ll need to be up to date. Talk to your local zoning officer about individual properties and any upcoming changes.

7. Embrace commercial real estate marketing technologies. Listen or download podcasts about the latest in what’s happening in the commercial real estate market at REALTOR.org/commercial or find helpful marketing tips, articles and resources on NAR’s Commercial Blog, blog.commercialsource.com. Looking for where to post listings? Many commercial real estate listings don’t use MLS. NAR recently announced a new partnership with Xceligent, Inc. that will provide a suite of commercial real estate information services and preferred pricing exclusively for members through NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program. To learn more about this exciting new member benefit, please visit www.commercialsearch.com

Have you made the transition from selling residential homes to selling commercial real estate? Leave your tips in the comments.



  1. Tip #1 is in some ways the most important. Networking and co-listing can be an excellent way to get things jump-started.

  2. jmichael diaz

    all comments are sound, however, number 5 is probably the most important. while it is very expensive it is well worth the investment. CCIM designation puts you above most of those who do not and shows how serious one is about their profession.