Commercial and Residential Realtors - is There a Difference?

By: Leaftech

There aren't any occupations in which a holder of a specific job has to contend with quite as many categories and labels as today's realtor. Broadly speaking, of course, there are only two main categories of real estate, residential and commercial. But within both of these categories, there are literally dozens of differentiations, which make the process of presenting and securing real estate complicated indeed.

Many of the same considerations that affect residential realtors affect commercial realtors as well, and the main difference between the two is of course the property in which they specialize. Both commercial and residential realtors receive their basic certification from the same body with the same course work. The differences are mostly a matter of additional training, usually on the job, and indeed in lifestyle afterwards. While for buyers or sellers the differences aren't really that important, beyond specialization, for anyone considering a career in real estate it can be important to understand what the advantages of one or the other are. We will take a look at a few comparisons below.

Annual earnings. While residential realtors can make some very good money in a year, conditions must be perfect in order to do so. Hot markets and clients willing to spend a lot of money are two such conditions. Commercial realtors, on the other hand, tend to do better in terms of annual income than their counterparts. The reason is that commercial commissions are higher in general, and are independent of some of the market conditions which work against residential.

Hours. If you are looking for 'normal' business hours, then commercial real estate is the way to go. Commercial realtors work business hours; 40 or so a week, weekdays only. Residential realtors are never really off the job.

Training. Many commercial realtors work for commercial brokerages, although most brokerages tend to entail both categories. Commercial realty means a bit more training, perhaps through a mentorship program, than residential.

Of course, the differences between commercial and residential realtors really only apply at the professional level. If you are trying to sell, buy, or lease residential property, it probably doesn't matter to you which type of realtor has the better deal. If that is the case, then the services of a strictly residential realtor will probably be in your best interest; after all, they are the ones who truly have to work for you in order to make their money, and they won't have commercial commissions to fall back on.

On the other hand if you are looking to buy, sell or lease commercial or industrial property, the services of a commercial realtor would be in your best interest. They will have more knowledge as to whether or not the location you are looking at suits your company needs, taking into account transportation of goods, price per square foot and other details that a residential realtor may not consider.

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