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Best Career Paths In Commercial Real Estate (Salaries)

The world of commercial real estate is both complex and diverse. Within this world, there are many career paths one can pursue, particularly in property development, analysis, and management. This overview provides insights into some of the best real estate careers and the practical aspects of some key commercial real estate roles, offering a clear understanding of what they do and how they fit into the industry.


We hope this information will help you use the Biscred CRE database, which is a vast collection of contact information for people and businesses that are in the commercial real estate sector. Search more than 100,000 companies and 250,000+ professionals, whose information is updated weekly. We are adding and updating tens of thousands of data points every week. Try Biscred today


5 Top Commercial Real Estate Careers

The following careers are instrumental within the commercial real estate industry. While some potential salary information is provided, it is important to understand that earning potential varies based on the size of the organization, geographic location, education, and level of experience. 


Commercial Real Estate Agent or Broker (Leasing and Sales)

A CRE agent serves as a bridge between property owners and potential tenants, contributing to the occupancy and use of commercial properties. Their primary role involves marketing and promoting available commercial spaces, such as offices, retail stores, or industrial facilities, to attract prospective renters. They conduct property tours, negotiate lease terms, and facilitate the application and contract processes, ensuring that both parties find the agreement mutually beneficial.


Commercial real estate agents must stay ahead of market trends, rental rates, and property values. The median annual salary for the commercial leasing agent and sales agent is around $95,000 1, but this can vary significantly based on the size of the company you work for, geographic location, and experience.


Commercial real estate broker salary ranges from $56,677 to $83,806 7. What's the difference between CRE brokers and agents? Agents are boots on the ground, representing buyers or sellers in CRE transactions; they help find and fill commercial real estate space. Brokers tend to work behind the scenes to facilitate CRE transactions, such as title transfers. Some pros hold both broker are agent roles.


Commercial Real Estate Analyst

A CRE analyst evaluates market trends and property data to provide insights that help guide investment decisions. For example, they may analyze property performance, rental rates, and occupancy levels in order to help assess potential risks and returns. And through financial modeling and market research, they can also contribute to property valuation and feasibility studies. Their work helps investors, developers, and real estate firms in making informed choices and maximizing profitability.


This work involves sorting through vast amounts of data, which can be aided by specialized databases that focus on the commercial real estate market. A CRE earns a median salary of around $84,000 per year,2,3 but geographic location, experience, and the size of the company you work for impacts salary potential.


Commercial Real Estate Asset Manager

Also known as a CRE portfolio manager, a CRE asset manager oversees and enhances the value of commercial property portfolios. While their responsibilities vary, they typically include streamlining financial operations by setting rent prices, budgeting, and ensuring that related costs are paid on time, like taxes and insurance. They may also play a role in negotiating leases, strategizing property enhancements, and creating reports that impact the decision-making process for property holders. 


This role demands strong analytical skills, market knowledge, and a background in finance. Those working in this field can make between $102,000 and $127,00,4 but this can vary significantly based on the type of assets you manage, geographic location, experience, and education.


Commercial Real Estate Developer

One of the top paying jobs in real estate is the developer role. A CRE developer plans and executes the construction and development of commercial properties, from conception to completion. They juggle everything from securing financing, conducting feasibility studies, and navigating zoning regulations to working with architects and contractors. It is their job to oversee every detail of the construction process, maintain the timeline, budget and quality standards. 


CRE developers use their expertise to shape urban landscapes, foster economic growth and create thriving commercial spaces that benefit communities and business owners alike. The income potential of a CRE developer varies dramatically based on the size and types of projects they develop, market forces, and geographic location. The national average hovers around $107,000.


Commercial Real Estate Property Manager

A CRE property manager plays a crucial role in overseeing and maximizing the value of commercial properties. They are responsible for daily operations and management of properties, ensuring they remain attractive and functional for tenants and investors. Those in this role handle tasks such as rent collection, lease negotiations, property maintenance and repairs, tenant relations, and financial reporting. They also work to maintain high occupancy rates and address tenant concerns.


CRE property managers contribute to the overall success and stability of commercial properties under their care. The salary range for this role may fall between $68,000 and $81,000,5 but this can vary significantly depending on experience, location, and the nature of the properties being managed.


If you are looking to connect with property managers in the CRE industry, Biscred has what we believe is the largest database of property management professionals in the country. 


‘Runner-Up’ Commercial Real Estate Careers 

The commercial real estate industry is full of direct and peripheral careers that are all necessary to the success of the industry. These are professionals that contribute to the planning, financing, building, management and operations of commercial properties. The following is a sampling of the types of job titles you’ll find when you search Biscred (salary ranges from Salary.com):


  • Architects ($81,135 to $100,828)

  • Auditors and inspectors ($72,078)

  • Commercial property appraiser ($54,000 to $112,107)

  • Construction managers, supervisors and coordinators ($130,696)

  • CRE property inspectors ($54,854 to $73,733)

  • CRE-focused attorneys ($161,125)

  • Engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, architectural engineers ($121,130)

  • Executives (top real estate execs average $269,619)

  • Facilities directors, managers, associates (execs average $225,044 while supervisors range from $62,219 to $102,422)

  • Investors, principals (varies)

  • Land surveyor ($64,369 to $90,722)

  • Land manager (82,133 to $108,797)

  • Lending manager in CRE ($204,973)

  • Marketing executives, managers, directors and specialists in real estate ($72,078)

  • Project manager ($111,364 to $150,168)

  • Risk management ($121,851)

  • Sales ($39,452 to $48,856)

  • Sales managers ($62,239 to $82,885)

  • Warehouse operations managers ($93,700) 

  • Wastewater engineers ($68,719)

  • Water supply experts, water treatment engineers ($62,501) 

  • Workplace experience specialists, managers, supervisors ($51,664 to $89,207)

  • Zoning and development managers ($124,213)


Pros and Cons of a Career in Commercial Real Estate

As with any career path, there are distinct advantages and challenges to consider before pursuing a career in commercial real estate. 


Pros of a Career in Commercial Real Estate

  • Earning potential: Commercial real estate professionals often have the opportunity to earn substantial commissions and bonuses based on successful deals and property transactions. 

  • Diverse work environment: The industry spans a diverse range of property types, from office buildings and retail spaces to industrial or life sciences spaces. This provides CRE professionals room for change and specialization. 

  • Professional growth: Continuous learning and skill development are required to work in CRE. This can provide great opportunities for personal and career advancement.

  • Impactful projects: Playing a role in shaping urban landscapes and contributing to economic development can be immensely rewarding. This is especially true if you work within communities you’re particularly interested in or connected to.


Cons of a Career in Commercial Real Estate

  • Market volatility: The industry is sensitive to economic fluctuations. This can potentially impact the future of deals and overall income stability. 

  • Demanding workload: Balancing multiple responsibilities, including client demands, property management, and market research, can be stressful and time-consuming.

  • Long pay-off timeline: Realizing significant income might require an investment of time, especially for newer professionals building their client base.

  • Complex transactions: The intricacies of commercial real estate transactions, contracts, and legal aspects can be daunting and require meticulous attention to detail. 


From CRE analysts and asset managers to developers, there are many CRE career paths you can take. There is a great deal of variety within CRE roles as well, from careers that largely focus on the financial side of the industry to roles that directly impact the shape of communities. So, whether you're drawn to real estate trends, dealing with properties, or managing the financial side of matters, there's a path for you to explore, learn from, and contribute to. 


Sources

2. Glassdoor: Commercial Real Estate Analyst Salaries, accessed on 2023 August 12 
3. Indeed: Commercial Real Estate: Analyst/Associate, Generalist (NY), accessed on 2023 August 12
5. Salary.com: CRE Property Manager, accessed on 2023 August 12
6. Ziprecruiter: Commercial Real Estate Development Salary, accessed 2023, August 16
7. Salary.com: Commercial Real Estate Agent Salary in the United states, accessed 2023, August 16 
Photo 123097346 | Building © Jat306 | Dreamstime.com 

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