Remember last October when I quit my comfortable cushy job to start over in a completely new industry?
I’ve had many periods of questioning and doubts over the last few months, but 5 months after starting my new job I can say I’m confident in my decision! As a commercial real estate agent I help landlords find tenants or buyers and I help businesses find the right retail/office/warehouse space for their business.
On a typical day you might find me doing any of the following things:
- Attending coffee/networking events to meet businesses who may have commercial real estate needs or can refer me to someone who does
- Meeting with landlords to review marketing strategies and provide updates on prospects
- Working with our graphic designers on marketing materials for our properties
- Providing information about our properties
- Keeping our property information online current
- Giving tours of our properties
- Putting together proposals and negotiating terms
- Reviewing contracts and putting together leases
- Meeting new tenants to discuss work they want done to the space
- Coordinating with the contractors doing that work
- Attending industry events to learn about area developments and to network with others in the industry
- Reading industry publications to stay on top of commercial real estate news
- Coffee/meetings with potential clients
- Researching properties for a client
- Working with our marketing folks to put together tour books for our clients
- Escorting clients through property tours and consulting with them on each
- Making sure that each tenant’s move goes smoothly
- Taking classes towards my Kansas license (currently licensed in MO)
- Random projects- most recently, it was finding the person to talk to about reserving 40 parking spots in a particular part of downtown a few times a month and getting a meeting set with them
- And lots and lots and lots of cold calling, follow up calling, and prospecting
There are many things I love about my job. I love knowing what’s going on in the local business world. I love working for a small company and the speed at which things get done. I love learning more about the buildings I’ve driven by thousands of times over the years. I love all the opportunity for growth- right now I’m doing really small deals, but my broker is about 10+ years ahead of me and he’s working on selling an entire shopping center to a REIT. I love how different each day is. I love helping businesses find space and contributing in some small way to make their dreams a reality. I learn multiple new things each day. I am surrounded by ambitious, very smart people who make me want to perform better myself.
And there’s a few bad things too. Without doubt, the hardest part has been going from being an expert to being a complete novice. I worked in the same department at my old job for 8+ years. I knew what I was doing. People came to me with questions. I’m starting to get the hang of things at my new job, but in the beginning I had endless “stupid” questions. It felt like I was a new college grad all over again. Swallowing my pride and learning from the ground up has not been easy. The other bad part is financial. Commercial agents are usually 100% commission. I’m very thankful to have a small salary- that is not common in this world- but it’s small. And because it takes awhile to grow your business, it typically takes about 3ish years to make much money. We knew that and planned for it, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun.
So time will tell if I can make a living doing this, but I’ve found the industry I want to work in for the rest of my career. 31 years old and I know what I want to be when I grow up!