How to Become a Commercial Real Estate Agent in NYC

Photo Courtesy of Online Real Estate MarketingDo you want to become a commercial real estate agent in New York City? Perhaps, you’re a recent college graduate looking for your career niche, or you’re considering a change in career. Whether you’re a fledging or a veteran in the job market, commercial real estate can be an exciting career choice. Here, I deliver the whys and hows of becoming a commercial real estate agent in NYC.

Why Become a Commercial Real Estate Agent?

It’s an exciting and dynamic career. If you like to constantly be in “on” mode, then you will enjoy being a commercial real estate agent. Some days, you will be at your desk, corresponding with clients through email and phone, conducting industry research, and performing administrative tasks. Other days, you will find yourself out and about in the city – showing office space, meeting with prospective clients in person, or attending meetings and conferences. In this career, no two days are exactly the same.

You will make connections. Your ability to network and forge quality working relationships is crucial to your success as an agent. To become a standout in the industry, you must spread the word about your services and build your business brand. On any given day, you will interact with many people and will steadily become socially connected to the nation’s premier business hub.

Flexible schedule. A commercial real estate agent’s hours do not adhere to the standard 9am – 5pm workday. Rather, your schedule depends upon the needs of your clients. For those who are less than enthusiastic about a structured workday, this can be an appealing aspect of the job. However, the successful commercial real estate agent will put in long hours and be attentive toward their clients. A strong work ethic and drive go a long way toward success in commercial real estate.

Reap the rewards of your own efforts. Your own efforts will guide your commercial real estate career. Of course, there are other forces at play, such as prevailing market trends, but it’s your skills and finesse that hold the most weight. Your own actions on the job will determine whether you make it or break it in the industry.

How to Become a NYC Commercial Real Estate Agent

Get Your Commercial Real Estate license. To become a commercial real estate agent in the New York State, you must be at least 18 years old. Even though you do not need a college degree to become an agent, a college education can give you an advantage in this dynamic industry. For instance, many commercial real estate agents hold degrees in business, marketing, psychology, finance, and related fields. Since an agent wears many hats on the job, you can apply the skills you learn in college toward your career.

To get your commercial real estate license, you must complete at least 75-hours of course instruction. Upon completing the courses, you are required to take a NY state-mandated exam. Keep in mind that your real estate education does not end there. Every couple years, you must renew your commercial real estate license by passing the state-administered renewal exam. Renewing your license keeps your knowledge fresh and sharp.

For a helpful guide on how to get your commercial real estate license, visit the Department of State, Department of Licensing Services website

Find a Commercial Real Estate Brokerage. This is the most important step to becoming a commercial real estate agent in NYC. The brokerage you choose will have a lasting impact on your career. Your colleagues will be your cohorts, since you will work closely with them as a team.

To find the commercial real estate brokerage that’s right for you, do some research. New York City is a hotspot for commercial real estate, and there are many job opportunities. To narrow down your options, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I want to work at a boutique, mid-sized, or large firm? 
  2. What will be my specialty – the tech, fashion, scientific, creative, or manufacturing industries?
  3. Do I want to represent tenants or landlords?
  4. Which NYC borough(s) do I want to serve?

Knowing the answers to the above questions will make you a competitive applicant in the hiring process. Commercial real estate brokerages are looking for proactive people who have done their research and know what they want in their careers.

Complete a commercial real estate training program. You should choose a commercial estate brokerage that offers a training program to its newcomers who are new to the industry. The training program will be an apprenticeship of sorts, as you learn the ropes and mechanics of the business. During the training program, a seasoned real estate agent will take you under their wing and train you. It’s a very hands-on approach to learning, one that will give you some invaluable skills and career insight.

Being a NYC commercial real estate agent can be very rewarding. You will get to be a part of the nation’s premier business capital. If you follow these steps, you will be well-prepared to survive and thrive as a commercial real estate agent in NYC.


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