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Considering a career in commercial brokerage?

Becoming a commercial sales or leasing specialist can be an attractive career path for Florida real estate professionals. But it takes patience, time and training to make the transition, according to veteran commercial brokers.
“There are a number of people who have made the change very successfully,” says Larry Richey, senior managing director, Cushman and Wakefield, Tampa. “But you should try to have a nest egg, because it takes some time to learn a new market and become productive.”

Richey advises joining a local commercial board and taking an introductory course from the CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) Institute. Go to for a list of course dates and locations. It’s vital to have strong analytic and financial skills in order to assist customers in developing business investment models, he says.

Cynthia Shelton, director of investment sales for Colliers Arnold in Orlando, says it’s easier to break into the commercial market by representing individual owners and users of smaller properties, such as neighborhood retail centers or industrial/office properties.

“When you start out,” she says, “you should spend 100 percent of your time learning everything you can about a certain product type, such as retail shopping centers, or a geographic market.”