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For the right person, commercial real estate can be an extremely lucrative career. However, success doesn’t immediately follow the first sale a person makes, or the second or even the third. Success requires time, patience and knowledge. It’s a person’s knowledge of the industry that will determine which category he or she falls into: the winning category or the losing category. If you want to pursue and succeed in the wonderful world of real estate, there are a few things you need to know beforehand.

Know Where To Look for Capital

Most people cannot even purchase a home out of pocket, much less buy a piece of promising commercial real estate. Fortunately, many banks like to help customers fund the purchase of commercial buildings, as more businesses in the area means more business for them. However, you should not go with the first bank that approves you. Shop around for the best rates and terms, and work with a company with which you can see yourself working over the years. Remember, success in the business isn’t immediate, and it is likely to take you several sales before you start turning a profit. Until that time, you will need the help from your lending institution to finance structures and other aspects of your business.

Understand Differences in Property Types

Like homes, commercial properties come in all shapes and sizes. Commercial properties also serve different purposes. There are office buildings, apartment complexes, factories and retail outlets. There are movie theaters, bowling alleys, libraries and gas stations. Before you purchase a piece of commercial real estate, it’s imperative that you know what type of business it is best for and how it will be used.

Understand the Market

It’s not enough to know how a building should be used. You also need to understand the market and what your community needs. For instance, if you buy a gas station but there is already three gas stations within a block radius, you may have a hard time convincing someone that your building is a good investment. If you buy an apartment complex in a small town, you may end up stuck with the property, as small-town apartments rarely ever get filled. Before you purchase a building or property, research community needs.

Commercial real estate can be extremely lucrative, but only if you’re smart about it. Find the right lender to work with, understand the different property types and know what the market needs in order to see the most success in your new career.