Cleveland Area, Cleveland Business

Six Essential Steps to Commercial Real Estate Success

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Are you interested in getting into the world of commercial real estate? This week I welcome back guest blogger June Duncan, who shares some things to think about if this is an area that you are interested in pursuing. Enjoy!

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Working as a commercial real estate developer can be a lucrative career path for savvy entrepreneurs. It’s often mistaken for easy money, though, by people who underestimate the work it entails. Indeed, if you are thinking about pursuing this path, there is a very specific skill set that you will need to succeed. Cleveland Appraisal Blog shares some tips.

Setting Yourself Up for Success in Real Estate Development

1. Obtain the right qualifications. In most states, you will need a license to practice real estate. Some states may even require the completion of a specific training program before you can apply for licensure. It’s important to ensure that you have these qualifications before you jumpstart your career.

2. Hone your ability to find a great property. Perhaps the most important trait for a commercial real estate developer is the ability to identify an ideal piece of land. If you see a property and instantly envision its potential, this is a great field for you — but you need to be sure that your vision is viable. Hone the ability to discern a development deal from a bad bargain.

3. Network to get funding. Unless you have bank accounts with a massive cash reserve, you’ll need to find a way to finance your development projects. You can go to a bank or apply for loans, but another fantastic resource is your ability to network. Networking with potential investors will help you establish valuable relationships.

4. Hire the right team. Once you have a property and a plan, it’s time to start developing — and you’ll need a solid team to help you do so. Hire construction professionals you trust, and maintain oversight of the project throughout its duration. This will help you ensure that the construction staff is safe. It will also ensure that the future users of the development are living or working in a safe structure, too.

5. Invest in marketing. You’ll need to market your development once it is complete. Whether it’s a residential building or a retail mall, you want to attract tenants and clients so that you can start generating profit. Hiring a skilled sales team is a great way to do this.

6. Be clear with contractors. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the scope of a development project. Its execution relies on contractors who are reliable. To ensure that all parties are in agreement, you should compose contracts for all contractors and clients you do business with. You might write and revise these contracts in Word, but once they’re done, you should use a Word-to-PDF converter.

The Role of Lighting in Safety

If your development happens to feature a parking garage, you should be mindful of features that could improve its safety. It’s important that drivers be able to see clearly — even in the dark — and an efficient lighting system is the best way to facilitate this. Sufficient lighting is particularly important in areas with pedestrians, canopies, or tunnels, so look for options that are ideal for a canopy or tunnel lighting system. According to experts, a well-lit area is also likely to increase security and discourage criminal activity.

Start Your Real Estate Career With Confidence

Becoming a real estate developer might seem like the ideal career if you are smart, driven, and willing to invest time and money. In order to succeed, though, you need to invest in the safety of your team and your development’s future users. Installing enough lighting can help you accomplish this. With the aforementioned six steps, you can be confident in your new career as a real estate developer.

Thanks so much, June for sharing these tips and helpful links for those looking to get into commercial real estate. And thank you for reading another article from the Cleveland Appraisal Blog! I’m glad you’re here! I’m working on new articles of my own.

If you’re looking for some great information on co-ops and condos, my friend Tina Larsson, co-founder of The Folson Group, just had her book, “Living the High Life” published. It offers some great tips on safety, cost-cutting methods, upgrades to meet carbon emission strategies, and a lot more! I just purchased my copy! You can get yours by clicking here.

Tina shared some great tips on being efficient on my podcast episode, “Be Efficient and Raise Your Property Value”.

Speaking of podcasts, my latest episode is out where I interview the CEO of Sun West Mortgage. They are using some pretty cool technology in their business! You can listen right here at the Cleveland Appraisal Blog. I hope you enjoy it!

This week I leave you with a few dad jokes!

Have a great weekend!

If you enjoy listening to podcasts, check out mine. I hope you enjoy it! You can find me on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Google Play Music, Sound Cloud,, RadioPublic, Deezer, Breaker, Stitcher, and other feeds.

You can also listen right here at Cleveland Appraisal Blog!


I am a member of the National Association of Appraisers. If you’re an appraiser, and you’re looking to join an appraisal organization, please check them out. The NAA is made up of fantastic appraisers from across the country who are working hard to keep their fellow appraisers up to date on what’s happening.

Click here to visit their website.

If you’re an appraiser and you’re looking to gain some new analytical skills, check out George Dell’s Stats, Graphs, and Data Science 1. Click here to register.

Here are some links to other articles I think you might also enjoy… 

Sometimes Leaving The Housing Nest Can Be Painful – Housing Notes by Jonathan Miller

What Does A Real Estate Appraisal Include? – Birmingham Appraisal Blog

Saying goodbye to pandemic home price gains – Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Turning a Corner – October Newsletter 2022 – DW Slater Company Blog

Unacceptable Appraisal Practices from Freddie Mac –  APPRAISAL TODAY

For my readers in the CLE area… here are some articles related to news in our local area that you may enjoy… 

Ingenuity Cleveland keeps creative fires burning with help from CDC friends – Douglas Guth of Fresh Water Cleveland

Cleveland Road Trip Guide: 12 Five-Hour Trips for When You’re Itching to Leave Northeast Ohio – Cleveland Magazine

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