10 Skills You Need to Work
in Commercial Real Estate

See also: Strategic Thinking Skills

Commercial real estate can be a lucrative industry, whether you’re a real estate investor, agent, or developer.

However, if you want to succeed in this sector, there are several hard and soft skills you need to have and/or develop. Many of these skills will help you thrive long-term.

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10 Key Skills People Who Work in Commercial Real Estate Need

Although the following skills are specific to people who want to work in commercial real estate, many of these skills, like communication, will benefit you in the real estate industry as a whole.

1. Significant Market Knowledge

The commercial real estate market is constantly fluctuating, so people who work in this industry have to stay on top of market trends and the sectors that will best suit their business goals. Both new and experienced real estate buyers need someone that knows the industry inside and out.

No one can predict the future, but you can use your skills to stay ahead of the curve. With up-to-date market knowledge, you can advise your clients or assess your own purchases accordingly. If you research the market consistently, you can seek out experienced professionals for clients.

2. Commercial Real Estate Experience

It’s a paradox to expect an up-and-coming commercial real estate agent, investor, or developer to have experience. However, you don’t need work experience to be great at what you do. What you do need is to invest time and energy into learning about, or participating in, this industry.

For example, you could get a real estate license, even if you don’t want to be an agent. Or, you can speak to seasoned commercial investors who are willing to share their research process.

3. Knowledge of Laws and Regulations

Real estate law is complex and ever-changing. You’ll need a strong attention to detail if you plan on drafting legally compliant contracts and discussing real estate regulations intelligently. A bit of wrong advice could land you and your clients in a legal dispute, affecting your reputation.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to research zoning and other legal codes on your own. You can use payroll/real estate software or hire an assistant to look up this information for you. Just don’t forget to review the accuracy of said information before you add it to your workflow.

4. Incredibly Strong Scheduling Skills

Two common but often overlooked traits of a great real estate project manager are strong scheduling and organization skills. It’s assumed that anyone who works in real estate would have these skills, and while that isn’t always the case, you can manage properties without them.

However, a great scheduler will be able to make their appointments, work through a project’s workflow quickly, and speak to clients and/or investors at a moment's notice to snag a deal.

5. Economics and Mathematics Skills

Clients will be really impressed if you can calculate a potential offer on the spot. Therefore, perfecting your mathematics and analysis skills will set you apart from the competition. Algebra, calculus, and geometry are all helpful for calculating cap rates, NOI, ROI, and other factors.

Similarly, a wide knowledge of economics and finance is important because they help you calculate accurately. Plus, accounting and reporting knowledge will come in handy, especially if you plan on hiring employees or need financing for an investment or development project.

6. Win-Win Negotiation Capability

It’s actually really easy to negotiate a win-lose solution for a client, especially if they aren’t familiar with the commercial real estate industry. But if you don’t represent the interests of your client, you won’t be popular with investors. A win-win outcome is the best option for all involved.

With that said, negotiating the best terms and prices for everyone involved isn’t an easy task. You need an open mindset, great people skills, and a growth mindset to negotiate successfully.

7. Commitment and Consistency

A committed investor, agent, or developer is more likely to stick to their goals and keep promises. This will impact your career trajectory, as ambitious people often excel at what they want to do. Clients are also more willing to work with you if you’re focused on their needs.

Consistency is another positive trait when it comes to performance. A consistent person is predictable, meaning they’ll do something when they say they will. Clients like consistency, as it proves a person is reliable. Both traits help you build stronger relationships with your clients.

8. Communication and People Skills

Communication and people skills are necessary in any industry that involves people, and several commercial real estate careers are people focused. Even if you aren’t directly speaking to clients, you’ll still be a part of a team that requires constant communication to be successful.

Perfecting all your commercial real estate skills will mean nothing if you can’t translate your knowledge into an approachable language that inexperienced clients can wholly understand.

9. Prospecting and Networking

Prospecting is the act of finding possible customers, and in commercial real estate, this skill is incredibly important. You won’t have a solid customer base when you start, so you’ll need to know how to reach out to leads and nurture these opportunities to get your first few sales.

Learning how to advertise and market each listing to your target audience will help nab casual property hunters, while an online presence will bring in active business professionals. Don’t forget to learn how to network, as it’ll help you grab repeat business from prospects.

10. Database Management Skills

Technology and automation are essential in any industry. When it comes to commercial real estate, learning how to properly manage a digital database of contacts and prospects will be necessary. This will help you quickly look up past clients and potential leads with ease.

Automation can be an important tool, especially when you’re starting out. Programs that use automation can reduce busy work and tedium, allowing you to focus on the things that matter.

About the Author

Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.