Real Estate Agent

I spent time with the real estate agents and broker at RE/MAX Commercial Advisors Inc. The office was really cool since they have converted an old industrial office into a modern, open-concept collaborative workspace. It must be a great place to work but unfortunately a lot of my day was spent on the road. We first went to a huge industrial building off a highway which was being used for clothing storage and manufacturing, and had a clothing store used by one clothing company. The agent was representing the clothing company and the prospective buyer. We toured the building and they talked specifics and numbers (for example, how large the building is; how much it costs per square foot; how flexible the owners are on their sale price; whether there were any environmental problems with the building...). The building was listed for over ten million dollars and the agent would get a few percent of that—not bad at all. However, that agent explained to me that a lot of deals fall apart and it can be extremely hard to get business.

After that I went around with another agent and we took some pictures of a few properties. The pictures were of some stores and he was putting together a brochure/pamphlet that he would send around to other real estate agents and maybe even some of his clients whom he thinks might be interested. After that we went back to the office where some agents were cold-calling, researching properties, putting together brochures, and closing up deals.

Life as a real estate agent can be very exciting and you can make a lot of money, but you must be very good at it, like the agents I shadowed. They said that you must work really hard because all the money you make is commission-based and a lot of agents out there struggle. 


A Typical Day

Commercial real estate agents find clients to lease, sell and buy buildings; they show buildings, and negotiate with other agents every single day.

Top 3 Perks

1) Job autonomy 

2) Meeting people with varying backgrounds 

3) Unlimited earnings 

Job Culture

Indoors and outdoors, lots of phone calls, traveling to see buildings and sites, meeting with clients, taking pictures, creating brochures, negotiating with other agents.


1) High school diploma 

2) Be 18 years of age 

3) Complete a real estate course and pass exams 

- A business degree would be extremely helpful. 

Skills Needed

Negotiation, people skills, analytical skills, communication, listening, computer skills, geographic knowledge, ability to read people.

The Field

- Heavily dependent on the economy. 

- Entry into the field is easy but staying in the business is challenging. 

- Exciting field that gives lots of flexibility and is always changing and growing.