A Day in the Life of a NYC Commercial Real Estate Agent

Jarad Winter (427x640) (285x403)Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a commercial real estate agent in NYC? Jarad Winter, Associate Director at Capstone Realty Advisors, gives the lowdown on his life as a commercial real estate agent in one of the most competitive industries. Jarad’s no-holds-barred perspective uses wit and candor, as he takes us behind the scenes.

A day in the life of a NYC commercial real estate agent is an adrenaline rush. Here’s why.

I am approaching my third year in the business. The past three years have been like a roller coaster ride. It all began on my first day as a commercial real estate agent at Capstone Realty Advisors. Managing Partner and Founder, Joseph McLaughlin, gave me some advice on how to navigate the ups and downs of life as a NYC commercial real estate agent.

According to Joseph, succeeding as a commercial real estate agent requires perseverance, above anything else. One minute, you will be ecstatic because you just received a great phone call or email that gets you that much closer to completing a transaction.  The next moment, you will be incredibly disappointed about that phone call or email that has just delivered bad news.

Joseph’s words of advice were true to form. Being a commercial real estate agent has brought both challenges and rewards. But, that’s what makes it exciting. Its high moments, low moments, and everything in between – they’re all a part of my life at the Capstone office. And, I would have it no other way.


The alarm goes off once, twice if I hit the snooze button, its loud beeping announcing another workday. There are many mornings when I wish I were more like the late Steve Jobs, who decided that he would only wear black turtlenecks and blue jeans to work. Smart man – by limiting his clothing options, he had one less decision to make during the day. If I showed up at the office in the same suit, shirt, tie, and shoes every single day, my fashionable colleagues would call me out on my “wear, wash and repeat” style.  Oh well, maybe in my next life.

While I walk to the Astoria Ditmars subway stop, I contemplate what I need to accomplish that particular day. It’s a time to multi-task, as I respond to emails using my iPhone. I continue to answer emails as I sit down on the N or Q train and begin the journey into Manhattan. Upon arriving at 34th Street Herald Square, I get out of the train and join the throng of New Yorkers on the streets of midtown Manhattan.

First things first, I immediately head to the deli to buy my morning coffee. That caffeine fix is my saving grace in the mornings. Armed with my cup of coffee, I walk into the Capstone office like a MLB player stepping onto the grass at the Yankee Stadium. It’s game time.

At my computer, I browse the new listings on CoStar with anticipation, hoping that the one space I’ve had my eye on has finally hit the market. I check my email again. Already, a handful of emails have seeped into my inbox. After promptly replying to the emails, I place 3-4 phone calls. Usually, the calls involve speaking with a client to confirm an appointment or discussing an offer with a building agent.

As the morning progresses, I open up my ACT! Database and perform my daily ritual of following up with clients. It’s a simple, yet important, step that involves checking in on clients, even if it’s to say a quick hello. Following up is essential to success as a commercial real estate agent. After all, it is better to be overly keen than not keen enough.

Since no two days are alike in this business, every morning is different. I usually start with an office space tour. I enjoy going on tours; they indicate that a client has placed their trust in me to find the best office space for their business. It’s a turning point in my business partnership with the client.

If I don’t have a tour planned, I canvass consistently. Cold calling and email blasts are a part of my canvassing strategies. By casting my net wide, I gather a few leads each day.

By the afternoon, I’ve literally worked up an appetite. I always try to eat a relatively healthy lunch, but hot and humid summer days call for a more hearty meal. For instance, after I go on a tour in 95 degree heat with 80% humidity, I’ll refuel by indulging in a large Italian Hero with hot peppers.

As I ramp up for the afternoon, I venture out to preview office spaces. Basically, previewing is researching. It involves taking photos of office spaces, jotting down notes of its features (natural light, anyone?), and drawing up detailed floor plans. After previewing an office, I am able to give my clients a first-hand perspective of the space, rather than simply spouting out facts and data that I read on CoStar. Clients always appreciate a “virtual” tour of an office space before they see it for themselves.

As the day draws to a close, I create a list of tasks for the following day.  Always looking ahead and having a proactive mindset is essential to survival in the industry. A commercial real estate agent should always think, ‘Ok, now what is the next step.’  In acronym speak, ATF (always thinking forward).

In this business, you have to roll with the punches. Some days are more hectic and stressful, while others bring a smile to my face. However, I enjoy facing the challenges. They make me a tougher and more resilient agent. After a day of bad news, I approach the following day with renewed vigor. I view every moment as an opportunity to maximize my potential as a commercial real estate agent.

As I’ve already mentioned, being a NYC commercial real estate agent is like riding a roller coaster. Even though it has its ups and downs, I enjoy every single moment of thrill.

Do you have questions or thoughts about the life of a NYC commercial real estate agent? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment. 

13 comments on “A Day in the Life of a NYC Commercial Real Estate Agent

  1. realeyezlife says:

    always doing what one loves to do is always the best thing to do in life 🙂

  2. TCG says:

    Such a great perspective and idea for a blog post. We just started working with Capstone to find new office space and Jarad is our broker. He knew everyone in the building and has been a pleasure to work with so far!

    Looking forward to the next “day in the life”

  3. I appreciate your post on a day in the life… I could almost feel myself in your shoes as I understand the hustle and bustle in Midtown. I also like the insight you gave in regards to making cold calls. I’m trying to work on that as well. It’s difficult to find who to contact since I have to see if I’m dealing with a staff agency or an actual company.

    Good night.

    • Thank you – we appreciate your thoughts and insight. We thought that a ‘Day in the Life’ post would give an authentic voice to the blog, and deliver commercial real estate uncensored.

      Agreed, cold calling can be a challenging task at times. Since it’s not a face-to-face interaction, it’s not as easy to forge a meaningful connection. Our agents schedule cold-calling sessions on a regular basis. However, foot canvassing is definitely the golden way to spread the word.

  4. Mindy Allen says:

    I agree about the foot canvassing, nothing beats a face to face connection. It’s funny to think that life as a Realtor in NYC is not so different from Maine….except for the clothes, thank goodness!
    I once got a listing because I drove up in a Jeep and was wearing jeans (they were nice ones but still)!

    • Mindy, thank you for your reply. I always welcome perspectives from fellow realtors. Maine is such a beautiful state (I’ve visited a few times), and I bet that it’s enjoyable working there.

      Very true, the real estate industry is incredibly dynamic and a universal experience for real estate professionals all over.

      It’s a pleasure connecting with you.

  5. As an aspiring Dallas commercial real estate broker, this was a really interesting post to read.

    • We’re glad to hear it. “Day in the Life” posts are excellent for that reason. They deliver an unfettered glimpse into the industry.

      We wish you the best on your journey to becoming a Dallas commercial real estate broker. Keep us posted!

  6. Congratulations on your third year!! That is a big business milestone, you made it!!

  7. Patricia Akinrotoye says:

    I love your article, and well written (aspiring commercial real estate agent from California). I was Lol when you said “wear, wash and repeat style. I need your advice per what database to use for client and email blast. when you said cold calling, calling who I meant who do you call for your cold calling.

  8. Sean White says:

    After 3 months i can TOTALLY relate to this article.. i started doing many of those steps ESPECIALLY the following up and watching Jordan belforts tips on straight line and i had 1 ball rollin’ but now i got 3-4 so that i don’t have all my marbles in one bag. I get super excited when we’re close and got let down twice. My broker said the same thing- PERSEVERE!

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