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How a Commercial Agent is Different from a Residential Agent

By Tammy Emineth | December 15, 2021

Although the agents seem to be doing the same jobs, there are critical differences between the two agents that distinguish them. The distinguishing factors that will draw the red line between the confusing agent types are differences in property types, education qualification, clients with whom they engage, and the real estate agent earnings. Below is a comprehensive distinction of the two agents.

Different property types

When it comes to residential real estate, the agent focuses on selling homes for people to live in.

Single-family, duplexes, and other multi-family homes are examples of properties that serve housing or residence.

Condominiums, bungalows, and mansions are examples of these properties, which can be found in urban, rural, or suburban settings. On the other hand, commercial agents are primarily interested in properties that will provide a return on investment for their customers.

A typical commercial agent will specialize in negotiating properties like office buildings, residential complexes, and retail stores, to name a few.

Educational qualifications

Even though both residential and commercial real estate agents require a license, residential real estate agents are not required to have a graduate degree. However, commercial real estate agents are expected to have a graduate degree in business or finance.

The agent is needed to have a thorough understanding of technical languages such as capitalization rate and gross rent multiplier, to mention a few.

Clients with whom they engage

When it comes to residential real estate, most of the business comes from the agents’ sphere of influence or the individuals they know.

Because everyone needs a place to live, and there is no limit to whom the client might target as a lead, referrals from the agent’s previous clients make up a component of the agent’s client list.

Commercial agents primarily work with businesses and investors as clients.

Commercial clients typically expect agents to access cap rates and gross rent information.


Commercial and residential agents may require different types of job training. Commercial agents are more likely to work for commercial brokerages and receive specific training. Typically, their job entails a lot of arithmetic and analysis, and they must be familiar with business concepts such as tax strategy, return on investment, cap rate, and internal rate of return, to name a few.

Residential real estate agent earnings vs. commercial real estate agent earnings

Residential real estate salespersons make a lot of money, but only under ideal circumstances. Their earnings and performance are mainly dependent on two factors: a hot market for a specific period and clients willing to pay, which makes the job of residential real estate brokers extremely challenging. A commercial real estate agent, on the other hand, earns more each year’s commissions on sales, and the fact that their employment is not affected by market conditions.


The commercial agent and Residential agent differences are like day and night. Several factors put the two agents apart. The difference rises from education qualifications, clients they engage into their earnings.  The mode on which they do their operations draws the boundary between the two. For more information, take to John Kinnunen with Join eXp Realty

Tammy Emineth is a writer, blogger, and real estate marketing expert for over 15 years. As a former real estate agent, Tammy possesses the knowledge and expertise to produce content and relevant information about the real estate market and how to market real estate websites and brokerages.
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