Should you start with residential if you want to end up in commercial?

I always hear that it is best to begin with residential, but is it necessary to break into cre?

I feel like training under a sponsoring broker within the residential realm may lengthen the process even more so. Any thoughts or suggestions on what the best course of action is?

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Comments (10)

Oct 12, 2021 - 11:33am

depends how old you are and what stage in your career you're at. I've got a buddy who started in residential during covid and moved to commercial shortly after and is now looking at a serious job offer as a broker at a pretty reputable shop coming out of ug. Residential is good because if you're brand new to re you can learn the process, understand terminology and get a feel for deal flow. Take as many brokers out to coffee or lunch as you can, let them know your story, where you want to be, and Im sure the rest will fall into place.

Interested to hear what others say, because some would definitely say start out in commercial if you want to be in commercial, which I completely understand and agree with, but again I don't know your situation.

Oct 12, 2021 - 2:20pm

I'm in my early 20s and just got my salesperson license so am l seeking sponsors in NYC, but am struggling to decide upon which route to take since I've gotten mixed feedback.

While most of the commercial brokers I have spoken to say to go directly into cre, many residential ones suggest the opposite. Commercial is the end goal for me but I am very young, so am not opposed to beginning with residential. It seems like there are more opportunities within the residential realm, but I am hoping to find somewhere that offers a solid training program for cre so I wouldn't need to transition.

I was curious as to how long your friend has been in the industry and if he had any difficulty transitioning?

Thank you for your input! I appreciate it.

Oct 12, 2021 - 3:39pm

If you are able to land a job in commercial, obviously I would take that, but in the meantime you could easily hang your license with a residential brokerage and continue the job hunt in commercial until you find what you're looking for. I'm on the west coast and my friend was at the residential shop for about 5 months before transitioning.

  • VP in RE - Comm
Oct 12, 2021 - 11:47am

Not necessary - many entry points on the commercial side. Obviously analytical and underwriting roles are common entry points. I've seen graphic designers/marketing coordinators start handling tenant tours and work their way to become brokers. I've also seen property managers work their way up to regional level managers or asset managers.

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Oct 12, 2021 - 11:51am

Apples to Oranges.  I believe that this site typically caters to Commercial mainly.  If you want to do Commercial, go commercial.  There are success stories in Residential as well.

No pain no game.

  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Oct 12, 2021 - 4:41pm

I took the path of residential during UG and transferred to CRE brokerage after I graduated. From my experience, my time would have been much better spent interning at a brokerage or repe/dev shop during UG and then taking an analyst or associate role at a brokerage shop after graduation. I have found that there are very few, if any, transferable skills from the resi side to the commercial side.

Oct 12, 2021 - 6:17pm

Thank you for your response. Helps because that is a big reason as to why I fear residential. Don't think there are many transferable skills other than the basics. What would you say was applicable for cre? Curious when you got your license and if you worked fulltime during ug?

Oct 12, 2021 - 7:39pm

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