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Career Story: Commercial Real Estate Agent

Commercial Real Estate Agent

Job Title: Commercial Real Estate Broker

Type of Company: I work for commercial real estate company.

Education: BA, Political Science, William Smith College

Previous Experience: I worked as a fundraising consultant and the director of Special Events for the District of Columbia Special Olympics. After a career change, I worked in commercial mortgage servicing in D.C. and New York. I have spent the last 7 years as an award-winning residential real estate broker. But I am actively involved in the non-profit community and was president of the Junior League of Portland and am currently the Assistant Crisis Team Manager for the city's Trauma Intervention Program.

Job Tasks: I work with buyers & sellers and landlords & tenants in the sale/lease of commercial real estate in southern Maine. My days are extremely varied. I can be on the road anywhere in southern Maine meeting with town economic development directors identifying possible sites for new businesses. I will take buyers/tenants to look at possible spaces for them to conduct their business. What are they looking for in a space? Is it location...functionality...price? If I am working with sellers or landlords I will compare recently sold or leased properties of comparable value to help determine the best price for their property. Often this means telling them that their building is not worth what they think it is. That is not much fun.

I spend a lot of time working in marketing: drafting property brochures, creating property ads. I love being in the field taking property photos and doing research at town halls. One of my favorite parts of my job is networking. This involves attending lots of meetings and functions, serving on non-profit board and volunteering for a lot of organizations. Being successful in commercial real estate depends a great deal on who you know and what your reputation is. I can receive as many as 200 emails per day and need to answer most of them.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: the things I like best: I love working with people. I can't imagine being stuck behind a desk all day. I am on the road, out in the community every single day.

Worst things: it's hard to tell someone that they can't afford the space that they want or can't get nearly the rent/sale price for their building that they want. This is particularly bad when they have paid a great deal more for a building than it is currently worth.

Job Tips: While it would seem that a business degree would best suit this career (and a lot of brokers have an MBA), I think a BA is huge. You absolutely must be able to write.

You have to like people and you cannot take rejection personally.

Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer!!!!

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