The Pros and Cons of a Commercial Real Estate Career

When it comes to happiness and job fulfillment, a commercial real estate career can be quite rewarding. But it’s not for everyone. If you’re considering a switch to find your dream job in CRE, you’ll want to know everything you can to ensure you’re making the right move.

Let’s explore some of the many reasons people fail or succeed in a commercial real estate career, and whether or not this is the right job for you.

Finding Your Fulfillment

Fulfillment in your career is the prize to win. And the recent slowdowns and shakeup of our world as we know it have offered us a chance to step back and evaluate what we want out of our lives and work. It’s a perfect time to reflect on your ideal career path.

But maybe you’ve already identified commercial real estate as the field you want more than anything to dive deep into. You’ve analyzed your key skills, experience, passions, and values. But do you know what you’re getting yourself into?

While many find CRE a highly stimulating and fulfilling career path – whether in the investor or brokerage side – some prefer a more traditional and predictable career path. CRE isn’t for everyone.

But for those who crave more control over their time and finances as well as the potential for a healthier work-life balance, a commercial real estate career may be just right.

Why People Choose a Commercial Real Estate Career

Yes, CRE can be a challenge. And we’ll get into the cons of this career path. But when you interview people on this road and ask them what drives them, you’ll find some common denominators. Among the most common motivations are:

  • Money: Always high up on the list for any career path, the potential for a lucrative future is high for focused and driven professionals in CRE. From being a property manager to a role on the investor side, there are several paths to making a better paycheck in CRE.
  • Time: While there may be occasional 10- or 12-hour days, the flexibility in how you spend your time is greater in CRE than in many other occupations. You’re generally not chained to your desk, and you will have more availability for the things that matter most in your life.
  • Freedom: You truly are your own boss in many CRE roles. A commercial real estate career can be substantially liberating – particularly for brokers, those focused on leasing, and those who work their way into upper management positions.

Pros and Cons

CRE is a double-edged sword. There are pros and cons. While you may make more money and have greater control over your time and decisions, you’ll also be called on to problem solve and be at the mercy of investor or tenant schedules more often than in other careers. Some find they just can’t handle the ups and downs of this high-energy field.

Teamwork and relationships management is highly valuable in commercial real estate. Not good working with others? You probably won’t do well in CRE. There is a high level of reliance and interconnectivity in this space that enables good networkers and collaborators to thrive, while lone rangers tend to fail.

When considering if a commercial real estate career is right for you, it’s helpful to know there is high potential for specialization. The diversity of roles is one of CRE’s greatest advantages.

  • You can utilize your analytical side to work in a financial capacity through support acquisitions, asset management, development, etc.
  • You can feed your inner social butterfly in working more on the person-to-person side, building relationships, managing properties and closing deals.
  • Or you can unleash your creativity to scale operations to new markets an employ cutting edge strategies and technologies.

One thing is sure. If you don’t have patience, drive, and a high tolerance for change, don’t consider this field. But if you thrive on long-term investments and excitement from the ups and downs, you’ll love a commercial real estate career.

And if you’re wondering where to start, here’s a quick guide to beginning your job search in these changing times.


· Now’s the Time to Reflect on Your Ideal Career Path | Building Careers (

· 7 Practical Tips for a Healthier Work-Life Balance | Building Careers (

· 3 Biggest Reasons People Pursue Commercial Real Estate Careers | Massimo Group (

· Building Career | How to Choose the Best CRE Investing Career Path (

· How to Begin Your CRE Job Search in this New Environment | Building Careers (

· Is a Career in Commercial Real Estate Right for You? – Verity Commercial

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