College senior looking to get into Commercial Real Estate

Hello everyone,

I am a college senior graduating this coming spring. I am desperately wanting to get into the commercial real estate sector. Does anyone have any advice of where I should start, what firms are looking for on resumes/what formatting they like best, etc?

Also, I was wondering if their were any specific sites dedicated to people like me. I know those who want to get into the financial sectors have an excellent website at Anything like that for people in my position?


What are you majoring in/do you currently have any background in RE at all? I’ve applied for several different commercial broker positions over the last year with varied success. One company offered me a job as a commercial broker, but I ended up turning it down due to the fact that it was pure commission pay (which is the norm in commercial RE sales). From the job postings I"ve been seeing lately, you DEFINETELY need to have a sales background, either in real estate, or a similar field. For someone like you still in college, a number of the national commercial brokerage houses do offer paid interships. (I know I’ve seen one for the broker MLG in my town.) Maybe an internship would be a good launching point for you…otherwise I’d start by getting my real estate sales license (which is obviously a requirement) and start studying REI!!


Thanks for both of your responses! I am double majoring in entrepreneurship and management. I have some experience in real estate- a bit of analyzing trends, etc as an intern for a real estate investment and consulting firm; I also tried starting my own real estate company with a buddy of mine but that is kind of in limbo right now as we lost our funding. However, both have given me some insight into the RE world. Now, I am looking for more.

I am still in need of getting my RE license. I have been looking into signing up for classes soon. The Commercial RE world seems like a hard industry to get into, especially as a soon to be graduate in this market. So, I am really willing to look at anything and everything in regards to finding a career in this industry.

And Jacinth, I will definitely contact you.

Thanks guys

When I first became interested in Comm. RE, I asked a lot of the same questions as you, in fact, if you do a proper search you may be able to find the original thread. Be prepared to go all commission, which is really tough for a lot of people, (and part of what kept me from getting in right now) and be prepared to work for periods of time without ANY paycheck coming in, and then landing your large commission checks when you start closing deals. I still really want to get into Comm RE after I build up my portfolio of properties to the point where I can squeak a living on the passive income, and THEN afford to get into the brokerage side of things. maybe I’m a geek, but brokering large commercial deals sounds like a blast to me!

Yeah Jake. My goal is to have a nice passive cash flow every month coming in by the time I am 30 (21 now, some may laugh at that but I see it as more then reasonable). I was pretty close to buying a piece of property this summer with a buddy of mine but got cold feet and decided to keep finding more information before I go out and buy.

My dad is in the commercial RE business. He has been in this business since he left college and has been working on commission since. I know we would sometimes go a whole year without a single paycheck coming in, but that is why he (as you are doing) prepared buy buying multiple rental properties to get us through those rough times.

Commercial real estate is a tough business. It’s especially tough starting out. I wouldn’t trust a new agent to handle the transaction of a million to multi-million dollar deal by themselves. You have to work hard to prove yourself and you need to go in with alot of humility. Above all, you have to be very knowledgeable of whatever market you’re working. You need to know property types, market participants, values, trends, everything you can. Commercial real estate is generally a good ole’ boys club. Become the drinking buddy and you’ll get ahead.

Keep in mind that many smaller local brokerage firms exist primarily to manage the personal investments of the brokerage owner. These owners many times will partner with their agents on deals if the agent is trustworthy, so it can be a good way to get into the investing side of things. There’s also alot of really dishonest people in real estate so never trust anyone’s word. At the end of the day, all you’ve got is your integrity and many agents/investors/developers lose it in commercial real estate. This is a tough time to be a commercial agent. Sales transactions are way down and the leasing side isn’t any better.

With that said, I’m a commercial appraiser. I have no experience as an agent (other than selling personal homes and some residential investment properties), but I’ve met and know many of them. I would seriously consider starting in commercial appraising. The benefits of appraising -

Get to know the market participants
Know about future developments/transactions before anyone else
Know the values of almost all types of properties
Complete access to the financials of properties you appraise
AND you actually get paid

I sound like an infomercial, but I think you should consider the appraising side of things. It’s a commitment to get started though. You have to train under a mentor for 30 months and accrue a certain amount of education and experience before you can take your state’s certified general exam. If you’re interested, check out and you state’s appraiser commission website. is also a great place for information. Good luck