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Who's Who in CRE? Understanding Key Roles in Commercial Real Estate

How do you know who you need to talk to when you do business with commercial real estate companies? Whether you're a vendor, supplier, developer or service supplier, having access to vast datasets like Biscred is game-changing, but how do you know who the right people are to reach?

In this article, we cover three broad types of organizations: CRE developers, CRE agents and brokers, and CRE individuals with specialization in environmental, social and governance (ESG).

Commercial Real Estate Development Roles

A commercial real estate development company oversees the construction of a commercial building or collection of buildings, from beginning to end.

B2B companies that seek to do business with CRE developers typically fall into these three categories (with examples):

  • Subcontractors (electrical and plumbing contractors, landscape architects)

  • Materials suppliers and vendors (building materials, equipment, tools and supplies)

  • Service providers (commercial cleaners, security companies, proptech firms, legal and accounting firms)

Job titles you'll find within commercial real estate development include:

  • Facilities managers and coordinators: They are the boots-on-the-ground folks who care for and maintain properties. Facility managers are more likely to be your decision-makers, while facilities coordinators might influence managers' decisions.

  • Engineers: The larger the commercial property, the bigger the engineering team. Engineering roles might include building engineer, operations manager, chief engineer, building superintendent, maintenance technician, systems engineer, and more.

  • Project managers: Although they may not be decision-makers, project managers and project coordinators are decision influencers, as they're responsible for making sure projects stay on budget and on time. Product managers and program managers might hold similar roles.

  • Finance managers: Financial professionals in CRE oversee purchases and sales of properties, as well as manage the company's portfolios. They are concerned with market values. Professionals in this department hold titles that include portfolio manager, investment manager, VP of finance, and finance director are other titles you might find in this area.

  • Procurement: People who work in procurement make buying decisions. The larger the company, the more likely it'll have staff dedicated to procurement. In smaller organizations, procurement might be handled by more than one role. These job titles might include procurement analyst, procurement manager, sourcing manager, and procurement coordinator.

Commercial Real Estate Sales and Management

This team handles purchases, sales, and leases of commercial real estate. Companies that seek to do business with professionals who handle commercial real transactions include:

  • Materials suppliers and vendors (office supplies, marketing collateral, fintech, and proptech)

  • Service providers (commercial cleaners, security companies, legal and accounting firms)

Commercial real estate firms buy and sell real estate, but they also may take leasing and property management roles. Job titles you'll find within commercial real estate sales and leasing include:

  • Real estate manager

  • Commercial real estate associate

  • Licensed real estate agent

  • Acquisitions manager, director, vice president

  • Property manager, general manager, business manager, and community manager

  • Leasing agent, commercial sales and leasing director or coordinator

  • Tenant coordinator, tenant account analyst

  • Asset manager

ESG & Sustainability Roles in CRE

As more states and municipalities enact environmental impact and sustainability laws and best practices, roles within CRE expand. Opportunities for suppliers and business partners are also growing, as we've seen in the solar industry, especially in California and southern states.

Sustainability roles in CRE ensure projects have as little impact on the environment as possible, whether for a new build or a renovation. Commercial real estate developers, construction managers, and environmental engineers might coordinate with a sustainability director to ensure potential environmental issues are addressed.

Job titles you'll find in CRE and sustainability might be less familiar, as this is a growing area. In addition to connecting with individuals mentioned in the previous two sections of this article (CRE development and CRE sales and management), you might look to connect with people who hold:

  • Titles that contain the word "sustainability," such as vice president and director of sustainability

  • Titles that include "ESG" such as director of ESG, sustainability and social responsibility

  • Titles that include the words "environmental services," as in environmental services engineer

  • Miscellaneous titles include director of property standards, solar engineer, sustainability manager, energy and sustainability engineer

Connect With the Right Roles in Commercial Real Estate

As our team developed Biscred's data sets, we learned a lot about the various roles and titles in the commercial real estate industry. There are thousands of variations of job titles. For example, one leading CRE developer has seven "superintendent" titles including superintendent, assistant superintendent, general superintendent, and project superintendent!

That's why our lead prospecting tool is so valuable. We've used a combination of human brain power and machine learning to create datasets that you can search and drill down to the right level.

To reach decision-makers, we advise seeking to connect with executives, vice presidents, and the C-suite. To reach decision influencers, we advise connecting with managers, supervisors, and directors. To reach end users, try connecting with associates, coordinators, and agents.

Want to give it a try? Reach out to Biscred to set up a demo.

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