Commercial Real Estate Brokers

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Commercial Real Estate Brokers: Sources of Revenue

Many commercial real estate brokerage firms in the U.S. offer a range of related services in addition to commercial property buying and selling assistance. Examples of additional sources of revenue that commercial real estate brokerages offer include landlord and tenant representation, market analysis and marketing planning, other types of specialized analyses, property management, financial services, real estate-related services, and project and construction management.

Landlord and Tenant Representation Services

  • John Propp Commercial Group, Denver, offers tenant and landlord representation to help clients solve leasing issues.
  • Re-Max offers tenant representation and landlord representation.
  • KW Commercial offers tenant representation and landlord representation.
  • Franklin Street brokerage offers landlord and tenant representation.

Marketing Services and Market Analyses

  • John Propp Commercial Group, Denver, offers a lead tracking system, thorough market analyses, financial analyses, tenant screening, marketing plans, and full-service property management.
  • KW Commercial offers market analysis services and marketing planning.

Property Management and Financial Services

  • Marcus & Millichap offer financing assistance connected with real estate sales in the U.S. and Canada.
  • HFF, with more than 20 offices across the U.S., uses capital markets knowledge and local real estate expertise to facilitate all types of real estate transactions.
  • Commercial property management is offered by CBRE Group, Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles, and by Cushman & Wakefield.
  • Mortgage services are offered by CBRE Group, Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles.
  • Eastdil Secured combines a real estate brokerage with corporate finance and capital markets knowledge to assist clients.
  • Berkadia, a part of Berkshire Hathaway and Jefferies Financial Group, provides capital solutions, investment sales advice, and research services to its clients with ownership of multifamily and commercial properties.
  • Kidder Mathews, located on the West Coast, offers "a complete range of brokerage, appraisal, property management, consulting, project and construction management, and debt and equity finance services for all property types."
  • KW Commercial, Re-Max, SVN, and Mohr Properties also offer property management services.
  • Franklin Street brokerage, based in Atlanta, Georgia, offers property management services, valuation, capital, investment sales, and insurance. In 2017, "Franklin Street was responsible for $500 million in loan originations."

Real Estate-Related Services Offered

  • Re-Max offers development, advisory, and other services to clients. In addition, Re-Max Commercial offers site consulting, leasing, subletting, and asset management services.
  • SVN commercial real estate has more than 100 offices across the US, offering clients assistance in buying, selling, leasing, and constructing properties of all types.

Project and Construction Management Offered for Developers

  • Project management, development, and facilities management are offered by CBRE Group, Inc., a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, and SVN commercial real estate brokerage.
  • Mohr Partners, based in Dallas, Texas, provides business intelligence services, leasing administration, portfolio management, transaction services, asset management, project management services, and capital markets consulting and analysis.


  • "Many agents, however, supplement their income from other areas of the real estate business with a secondary specialty, such as relocation services (16 percent), residential property management (14 percent), and commercial brokerage (12 percent)."
  • "One solution for a brokerage is renting empty desk space to outside companies or freelancers. Web designers, graphic designers, consultants, and other service based small businesses would love to have a desk and mailing address in a real office space! For many of them, renting a full office isn’t feasible. But the appeal of having a shared conference room and professional address may be a big seller to these business people."
  • "Preferred businesses. If you would prefer a particular type of business in one or more of your spaces, offer a discount... [H]aving an in-house CRE marketing guru is a big selling point when attracting new talent. If you’re in need of a freelance graphic designer, mapper, or web designer – give them a discount. Having these services under your roof may prove to be helpful and profitable."
  • "Most brokerages usually only have 1-2 revenue streams. "
  • "add up all of the money your agents spent altogether on business cards, signs, flyers, web apps, CRMs, websites and everything else they used to run their business,"
  • "“affiliate commissions”, it's simply where a business agrees to pay a commission (usually around 8% but sometimes as high as 20%) based on the sale price for a referred sale."
  • "Start checking with your trusted vendors to see if they offer affiliate programs (if they don't, you might want to find another vendor) and start putting up your links on your brokerage website. When new agents sign up or your current agents need something, you can point them to your trusted vendors page that has all of your links and you can start earning commissions on your agents purchases."
  • "2. Preferred Vendor Program. Setting up your program is not hard at all and comes in handy when you have a random vendor show up asking if he can leave a stack of flyers in your office. Now you'll be able to say, “Actually we have a Preferred Vendor Program that you can apply for if you're interested.” Then hand them a flyer with what the program includes, the cost and the terms."
  • "3. Sell Training Courses. offering free courses would not only help [your agents] close more deals but it would be a great value proposition to add to your offerings to help attract & recruit more agents. You can build your own website and password protect your courses. Or, Online Course Builder. The best solution for creating & hosting online training courses and classes. Best of all, it's all branded and white-labeled to look like it's your course."
  • "4. Sell Marketing Materials. Offering your agents professionally done marketing materials is not hard to do at all if you're resourceful and have the right tools. First, figure out what offerings you want to provide and create a menu. Start simple and small. Here are a few examples of what you could offer: Business cards Yard signs Flyers, brochures, etc. Open house materials, etc. What you're going to do is use to find a freelancer that will create and design the materials only when an agent makes an order or request."
  • "5. Agent Courier Service. Help out your agents and buy them some time by hiring a part-time or contract labor courier. The courier can install signs, pickup signs, swap out riders, pick up or install lockboxes, replenish flyers, drop off earnest money and executed contracts."
  • "flipping and renting out residential and commercial investment properties provide steady sources of income, "
  • "Find deals for buyers for referral fees. If you know where to look for good deals on properties and put in the time, you can bring them to cash buyers seeking investment opportunities. You collect a referral fee; just get the terms in a contract up front. Over time, you can build up a network of buyers and develop trusting relationships, getting a better feel for what appeals to your buyers and streamlining your process."
  • "Monetize a real estate investment blog. Put your know-how into words for other investors. Once you build up some traffic, run digital ads on your blog. But the real money comes from affiliate marketing. Incorporate links to products and services relevant to the topic and your audience, and earn commissions whenever readers buy via the link. "
  • "Give webinars and/or seminars on real estate investing. This is another potentially lucrative way to leverage your experience and expertise. Speaker fees and webinar registration fees run much higher than e-book prices, so you need to sell a lot of books to match the earnings potential of this source of extra revenue."
  • "Get certified as a notary. Notaries attest to the authenticity of signed documents, and lots of contracts and other paperwork require the stamp of a notary present at signing. Becoming a notary is relative low in cost, and can bring in $100 or $200 for a brief appointment. If you’re already tapped into a network that includes real estate agencies, law firms, title companies, escrow offices, and other professionals, you have a decent head start at finding paying opportunities; also, get listed on sites like 123Notary."
  • "Commercial real estate analysis is a combination of quantitative and qualitative data that provides industry professionals with the information they need to make decisions. There are multiple forms of commercial real estate analyses (which we’ll get into below), but suffice it to say each type of analysis can be used by different parties for different purposes. Real estate investors, property managers, lenders, brokers, and various contractors all rely on commercial real estate analysis. "
  • "A real estate investor would want to conduct a market analysis to understand whether he or she is getting a good deal on an investment property. A management company would use a property analysis to determine ways to maximize revenue. A lender would want to see a financial analysis to ensure the borrower could repay the loan being taken out against the property. A leasing broker could use an owner analysis to prospect for new clients."
  • "Services such as Reonomy offer annual fees to conduct commercial real estate analyses. Our platform provides customizable solutions for individuals, teams, and enterprises, meaning we have a solution for you today and as you grow. "
  • "From mortgage, title, or escrow services to insurance and property management, creative brokers are combining complementary business activities and finding new income sources. "
  • "In the real estate industry, ancillary revenue streams usually comprise add-on services closely related to buying and selling real estate. While not all brokerages have the necessary size or resources to branch out into an additional service area, many have still been able to apply their sales expertise in new, creative ways."
  • "(Financial services) By providing both pre-qualification and buyer’s agent services, a broker can streamline the buying process for their clients. When done well, bringing both of these necessary pieces of the process together under the same corporate umbrella can enhance communication and provide a better service experience."
  • " It is estimated that in any market in the United States, approximately 35% to 40% of the people rent their homes rather than own. That is one-third of the population who will benefit from the assistance of a full service property management company. Investors also need quality property management services as well as brokerage services, and may be drawn to a company which can offer both."
  • " property management fees are consistent month to month, providing a solid influx of cash that can be used to supplement and stabilize market ups and downs."
  • "consider buying a property management franchise, one that offers the systems and training brokers need to get their new ancillary services up and running in a relatively short amount of time. "
  • "Vacation rentals can present a lucrative path to profits in the real estate marketplace. Not only can you make some side hustle income from vacation rentals, but you could potentially make a significant amount of money and build up a substantial passive income stream if you're in a highly-trafficked tourist locale. Places like Los Angles, Miami and other tourist hotbeds are well known for having high demand for these short-term rentals. I've long been a firm believer in the vacation rental market. The best part? You don't even need to own the properties to make money. Some of the world's most successful property management companies that specialize in vacation rentals don't actually own the homes but do provide a high-end consumer experience. How do you participate? Leverage existing relationships with owners in your area. Network with others. Build bonds. Create systems. Ensure the upmost satisfaction. Go above and beyond for anyone staying at the homes you manage. And see how you can help to take some of the time and stress off of the present owners' existing rental businesses. If you have a property, list it on a site like Airbnb, HomeAway or FlipKey before managing vacation rentals for other owners."
  • "Hard-money lenders provide short-term loans to people who normally wouldn't qualify for those loans. In order to participate in hard-money lending, you'll need some capital behind you. These are loans that are often at high interest rates because they're for very brief periods. To close your first deal, you could turn to a hard money lender. If you have what you feel is a "sure thing" but lack the capital, this could be your best bet. You could also become a hard money lender, but you'll need some capital. This likely isn't going to be the first way you start out making money in real estate, but as you build your network, capital and a solid portfolio of deals, you could provide these bridge loans and make a great rate of return."
  • " Commercial Property Income Commercial properties can produce income from the aforementioned sources, with basic rent again being the most common, but can also add one more in the form of option income. Many commercial tenants will pay fees for contractual options like the right of first refusal on the office next door. Tenants pay a premium to hold these options whether they exercise them or not. Options income sometimes exists for raw land and even residential property, but they are far from common. "
  • " Real estate investment trusts (REITs), mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), mortgage investment corporations (MICs), and real estate investment groups (REIGs) can be known as alternatives within the real estate sector. These investments are generally considered to be vehicles for deriving real estate income but they have varying processes for doing so and varying processes for entry. With a REIT, the owner of multiple commercial properties sells shares (often publicly-traded) to investors (usually to fund the purchase of more properties) and then passes on the rental income in the form of a distribution. The REIT is the landlord for the tenants (who pay rent) but the owners of the REIT record income once the expenses of operating the buildings and the REIT are taken out. There's a special method to assessing a REIT. "
  • "The list below offers a few choices for supplementary income sources that will blend perfectly with your real estate profession: Appraisals Property inspections Providing BPOs Writing contracts Property management Market evaluations "
  • "More than 70 percent of real estate agents polled by the NAR had a specialty in a secondary real estate market. The majority of those specialists were brokers in residential real estate. Others included property managers, relocation specialists, and commercial brokers. If you are able to broaden your experience to include even more niche areas like real estate consultant, land development, or appraiser, you can boost your income."
  • "Build a databank of referral sources and send them a regular newsletter.... The best referral sources for commercial loan leads are by far commercial bankers and commercial real estate brokers (both leasing and sales specialists)."
  • " Buying commercial real estate is often a complex process. You'll likely need to hire experts to help with some of the steps. Which and how many experts depends largely on the type of property you're purchasing. At the very least, you'll need to hire an accountant, commercial real estate lawyer, commercial realtor, and a mortgage broker. If the property is more complicated, you could need other specialists like tax experts, accountants, lawyers, notaries, appraisers, engineers, and/or environmental specialists. "
  • "Friedman Real Estate offers services including local economic analysis, real estate market analysis, comparative rent/sale surveys, broker opinions of value, financial and operational analysis, site inspections, lease file audits, environmental reports, property condition reports, title work, value add analysis, zoning reports, economic incentives, vendor contracts, mechanical systems review, ADA compliance, and more."
  • "Commercial real estate brokerage firms provide services for investors, owners and tenants by combining local market insight, specialized expertise and premier tools and resources. They assist clients with their purchasing, selling and leasing requirements based on their individual needs. Many larger firms also offer additional services, like property, project and portfolio management, property appraisal and development, and business consulting."
  • "CBRE Group, Inc., a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s biggest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2018 revenue). The company has more than 90,000 employees and serves real estate investors and occupiers through more than 480 offices worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services."
  • "Kidder Mathews is the largest independent commercial real estate firm on the West Coast with 800 professionals in 22 offices across 5 states. They offer a complete range of brokerage, appraisal, property management, consulting, project and construction management, and debt and equity finance services for all property types."
  • " If your business is outgrowing its current space, a RE/MAX Commercial Practitioner is your ideal partner for locating space, negotiating the most effective lease rate, and assisting in the strategic planning of your operation expansion. Your RE/MAX Commercial Practitioner will assist with every stage in the relocation process, from site consulting and leasing or subletting to strategic planning and asset management. Backed by a successful global network, a RE/MAX Commercial Practitioner is the best choice to represent you as a tenant. "
  • "offers tenant representation, landlord representation, a lead tracking system, thorough market analyses, financial analyses, tenant screening, marketing plans, and full-service property management."
  • " Mohr Partners - Dallas, Texas For over 30 years, Mohr Partners has been serving real estate needs in Texas and beyond. Mohr’s team has a comprehensive approach that includes business intelligence services, leasing administration, portfolio management for investors and much more. They see their role as offering informed solutions that can help companies and investors make the best of their real estate position. Whether it’s transaction services, asset management, project services or capital markets consulting and analysis, Mohr Partners is a respected name in the commercial real estate industry. "