(Updated August 2013)
Though both the U.S. and world economies remain in a somewhat precarious state, the commercial real estate market has shown incremental improvements since the economic collapse of the 2000s. Navigating the commercial real estate landscape often requires deft knowledge and skill, but the resources below provide guidance and background on how to get started. (K. Stockert, Information & Web Content Specialist)
Some Facts About the Commercial Real Estate Industry:
- Estimated average commercial transaction in February 2013: $1.0 million, (Source: Commercial Real Estate Quarterly Market Survey, NAR Research, July 2013).
- Commercial REALTOR® members completed a median of 8 transactions in 2012, (Source: 2013 NAR Commercial Member Profile).
- 52% percent of REALTORS® name lack of available financing as a major obstacle for commercial real estate this year, (Source: 2013 Commercial Real Estate Lending Survey, National Association of REALTORS®).
Primary Business Specialty of NAR's Commercial Members:
- Investment sales: 27%
- Land sales: 26%
- Office leasing: 25%
- Retail building sales: 21%
- Retail leasing: 21%
- Office building sales: 20%
- Multi-family building sales: 18%
- Industrial building sales: 17%
- Commercial property management: 12%
- Development: 8%
(Source: 2013 Commercial Member Profile, National Association of REALTORS®).
For more commercial market data, go to NAR's Commercial Research Page.
The Commercial Real Estate Market
Commercial Real Estate News, (The Wall Street Journal, n.d.).
Commercial Real Estate Forecast Update: 2013-2014, (Forbes, Feb. 2013).
The Course of Capital: Accepting the New Normal, (Commercial Property Executive, Feb. 2013).
It's Déjà Vu All Over Again, (The Appraisal Journal, Winter 2013). Q
Commercial Sales Charge Ahead in First Quarter, (Commercial Connections, 2013).
The Road Ahead, (Commercial Property Executive, June 2012). Q
Accelerating Recovery by Private Sector Investment, (Commercial Property Executive, June 2012). Q
Maintaining Property Values in Tough Times, (Mortgage Banking, Dec. 2011). Q
$789 Billion in Debt Finally Starting to Flow to Marketplace, (Pensions & Investments, Dec. 12, 2011). Q
Revenue Improving, But Recovery is Slow, (Financial Executive, Nov. 2011). Q
Real Estate Savvy: What You Should Know, (Franchising World, Oct. 2011). Q
Commercial Real Estate: The Basics
Understanding Commercial Real Estate Indices, (Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management, Sept.-Dec. 2012). Q
Protecting Tenants, (REALTOR® Magazine, May 2013)
What Dodd-Frank Means for Commercial Real Estate, (REALTOR® Magazine, July 2011).
7 Tips for Negotiating a Better Office Lease, (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 2010).
Getting started in commercial real estate, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Jan. 2007).
Resources for Getting Started
The Source — a blog brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS® Commercial Division
Commercial Connections — NAR’s quarterly commercial real estate publication
CommercialSearch — for commercial property listings
NAR Education Matrix — courses in commercial real estate.
CCIM Institute — The CCIM Institute confers the CCIM designation and is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) — The source for education, resources, information and membership for real estate management professionals.
Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® — The leading professional commercial and industrial real estate association.
Research on Your Own
To search for the most recent articles on this topic, visit ProQuest and enter subject terms such as:
Commercial real estate Enter into ProQuest text box as su(commercial) AND su(real estate)
Many websites, such as Wikipedia, can be great resources to quickly get oriented on a subject before conducting more in depth research. However, anyone in the world can create and maintain a website or write a seemingly legitimate article and may, intentionally or unintentionally, publish false or "misinformation." When reviewing information on the Internet, you should always consider the ABC's:
- Accuracy. Is the information accurate? Can you confirm the same information using other resources published by a different author or organization?
- Author. Who composed the information? Can you easily identify the author and contact the author or website publisher?
- Bias. What bias might the author or author organization have?
- Credibility. What is the author’s or author organization’s credentials for publishing the information? What expertise, experience, or education does the author have in this area that makes him or her qualified to write on the subject matter?
- Critical Eye. When was the web page last updated? Is it possible the information might have changed since this web page was last published? use your discretion and critical eye to determine whether information you find on the web (or even in books and news sources!) is trustworthy. Putting websites to the ABC test will get you started in developing a strong critical eye.
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Commercial Mortgages 101 (Kindle, Adobe eReader)
Commercial Real Estate Investing (Kindle, Adobe eReader)
Commercial Real Estate Investing in Canada (Adobe eReader)
Commercial Real Estate Investment (Adobe eReader)
The ABCs of Real Estate Investing (Kindle and Adobe eReader)
The Commercial Real Estate Revolution (Kindle, Adobe eReader)
The complete guide to buying and selling apartment buildings (Kindle, Adobe eReader)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.
The commercial real estate tsunami: a survival guide for lenders, owners, buyers and brokers, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2011).
After the fall: opportunities and strategies for real estate investing in the coming decade, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009).
Commercial real estate investing: a creative guide to successfully making money, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008).
Field Guides & More
These Field Guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:
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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.