Ready to jump in? Cultivating the Next Wave of CRE Pros

Nicole Canavan

You’ve passed the test and earned your license and your neighbor just told you they want to sell their house. Now what?

Unless you are at a brokerage that has a strong training program for new agents, chances are you learned real estate by being “thrown in the pool”. Often times it is even worse for commercial real estate – with much of the business being done by residential agents who do not know what they are doing. According to the Massimo Group, there are 80,000 commercial real estate agents and 100,000 “resi-mercial” agents – that is, residential agents trying to do commercial real estate.  Back in the day, I was one of those agents. “Thrown in the pool” with a commercial listing at a brokerage that didn’t have a commercial department or much support, it was on my shoulders to take a crash course in commercial real estate to learn as much as I could as fast as I could so I could best serve my client. This is not a very effective way to learn.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty recently launched a new program to avoid the pitfalls of residential agents being “thrown in the pool”. A newly developed Commercial Specialist Designation was just launched earlier this summer to familiarize residential agents with the fundamentals of commercial real estate. Courses like these will help bring a new host of agents into commercial real estate at a time when commercial real estate is primarily dominated by experienced but aging brokers nearing retirement. According to the National Association of Realtors®, the average age of a commercial real estate agent is 60. What commercial real estate desperately needs is more mid-level and entry-level talent especially when Millennials are influencing the market – think the new mixed use live/work/play developments that are cropping up nationwide. Verani Realty recognizes this need and with the help of the Commercial Director, David De Lise, the department has made a great push towards obtaining new talent through recruiting and developing new talent from within the company.

For newer agents, or residential agents looking to make the switch, there are a lot of great local resources to further your education in commercial real estate. The local commercial board, New Hampshire Commercial Investment Board of Realtors® offers education courses as well as monthly networking and marketing events. For those more serious in commercial real estate and those with previous experience such as myself, the CCIM Institute offers a Certified Commercial Investment Member designation. To obtain the designation, the candidate has to undergo advanced coursework in financial and market analysis and demonstrate extensive experience in commercial real estate by submitting a portfolio of their work.  The New England Chapter of CCIM is actively working on fostering new members both through networking events and by offering the CCIM 101 course locally.

What else does the commercial real estate industry need? More women. As a woman-led company, Verani Realty has provided countless opportunities for women to succeed in whichever branch of real estate they are interested in. In our commercial department, Joan Blais, was the top producing commercial real estate agent in 2018. Locally, there are additional resources for women who wish to break into this historically male dominated industry. CREW – Commercial Real Estate Women – has a local chapter and provides events, speakers, and networking opportunities to create lasting and meaningful connections with other women working in the industry.  The CCIM Institute supports CREW and currently around 13% of CCIM designees are women. 

No matter what your background, if you have ever considered a career in commercial real estate, you should consider a career at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty. Our diverse and expanding commercial real estate department is ready to welcome you and get you on your way to a bright and exciting commercial real estate career.

Nicole Canavan is a Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty. She is currently working towards her CCIM designation and is an active member of NHCIBOR. She can be reached at 603-566-7305 or by email at

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