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Can a Residential Real Estate Agent Sell Commercial Property?

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Residential and commercial real estate seem like two different worlds. But can a residential real estate agent sell commercial property?
The short answer is “yes.” A somewhat longer answer is “yes, but with some difficulty.”
Commercial agents and residential agents have the same basic education and certifications and can play both sides of the field if they want to. But this doesn’t happen often. When it comes to real estate, residential and commercial truly are two different beasts. You’ll need a different set of skills and knowledge for each one. While it is possible to become a market expert and sell both types of property, most agents opt to specialize in one or the other. In fact, agents who don’t choose a specialty often make far fewer sales than those who do.

Differences Between Residential and Commercial Real Estate

There are a few differences between residential and commercial real estate agents, namely in their:

  • Education
  • Specializations
  • Work culture
  • Earnings

Let’s look at these a bit closer.


While both residential and commercial real estate calls for the same certification, the commercial side calls for much stronger educational requirements. Most brokerages will require a degree in business or finance. Meanwhile, residential real estate requires no formal education aside from your license, making it a far more accessible career path.
On-the-job training will also vary. Commercial real estate is far more math- and analysis-intensive and will require familiarity with certain business concepts. This more extensive training takes longer and you’ll end up putting in a lot more work to get where you want to be. While it can be beneficial for either commercial or residential agents to find a mentor, this is even truer on the commercial side.


Residential agents typically specialize in specific neighborhoods or in representing buyers or sellers. Some will specialize in luxury homes, but the common thread is always in selling houses. Commercial agents tend to specialize in a type of commercial property (retail, warehouse, farmland, etc) or sometimes work with properties in specific industries. There’s more variation found within commercial real estate.

Work Culture

Residential real estate has a more flexible, laid-back working culture. But this flexibility means you’re never truly “off the clock.”
Commercial agents work in a more structured, corporate environment, and hiring standards are far stricter than in residential. However, their hours are typically in line with standard office hours.


Commercial real estate agents make an average of $85,000 annually, but this varies widely depending on specialties. Residential agents make just over $39,000 annually on average.

How Do You Choose?

Choosing the right specialty for you depends on what’s important to you in your real estate career. Commercial real estate means higher earnings and more structure but has strict entry requirements. Plus, the structure isn’t for everyone. Residential real estate offers a more flexible working environment and lower barriers to entry.

ProspectNow Has Your Back

No matter what kind of real estate you intend to sell, ProspectNow has the tools to help you close more deals and make more money. If you’re looking to get into the commercial real estate business, check out this post for more information.

Lead Generation

Our property search tools generate thousands of leads anywhere with any set of criteria. We have a massive database of commercial and residential properties and at a lower price than competing lead generators.
We also take advantage of new technologies in data analytics and artificial intelligence to spot properties that are probably going to sell but haven’t yet hit the market. These off-market properties are a prime opportunity to strike before your competition and potentially find great deals. We do this with an algorithm that looks at sales trends in an area and uses machine learning to keep getting smarter. Using the ProspectNow platform, you’ll have no shortage of leads for your business.

Multiple Contact Channels

Using the leads list put together for you on ProspectNow’s platform, your next step is to contact your prospects. With one click, you can begin gathering phone numbers for a more personal approach. But sometimes you aren’t able to get a phone number for a prospect, or you want a quicker way to reach out.
You also have the option to send out personalized emails to your leads, using templates we provide for you. Or you can construct an email entirely from scratch. But with ProspectNow, you can send out a mass email to your leads list with ease.
Finally, you can send mail to your leads at their physical address. Using your choice of postcard or letter, we’ll help you put together a pitch and mail it for you with prepaid mail credits.

Ad Campaigns

If you’ve been on the internet at any point in the past five years or so, you’ve run into some very targeted ads at every turn. They’ve probably worked at least once or twice and spurred a purchase from you. These ads present a promising opportunity that ProspectNow can help you take advantage of. There are multiple templates available to create and distribute your own targeted ad campaign, with pitches like “Considering selling?” to more thought-provoking ones like “Are we living in a bubble?” Adding an online ad campaign can give your business just the boost it needs.

ROI Calculator

Not sure exactly how much ProspectNow can help you? We have an ROI calculator to tell you how much more agents can make by using our system. Tell us your location, marketing spend and closes and we’ll tell you how much money you’re missing out on. Using the same analytics we use to determine likely sellers in your area, we’ll help you fill in the gaps to maximize your future earnings.
ProspectNow has helped agents close more deals and bring in more money for over a decade. With reliable data, insights, and analytics, this platform is a reliable tool to bring success to your real estate business. Sign up today for a free trial.

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