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Commercial real estate advisor: What I do and how much I make

Barton Thompson, a 30-year-old Associate Advisor at Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors, earns a base salary of $18,000 and makes around $100,000 in commissions. He specializes in multi-family properties, helping investors profit from buying and selling. Building trust with investors can take months or years. His job also involves marketing properties and managing sales. He enjoys the autonomy of his commission-based role.

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  • hopper cool style avatar for user zhiwenglim
    I have a question for Mr Barton Thompson. In your experiences as a real estate advisor, what is the most memorable event for you and how does it change something in you work?
    (5 votes)
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Video transcript

My name is Barton Thompson. I am 30 years old. I'm an Associate Advisor here at Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors. My base salary is $18,000, but this year I will make $100,000 in commissions roughly. I specialize in multi-family which are apartment buildings. And my job is to talk to investors that own apartment buildings in this market and help them make money by buying and selling their property. A typical sales cycles for a real estate broker from the very beginning is to get to know the investor. Because you're not the only broker in this market. You need this investor to choose you, and then once you do some work together, you build a lot of trust and you could have a working relationship for a very long time. You could spend months or years talking to and getting to know an investor before they're ready to sell a property. You go from getting to know that investor through a meeting and getting to know that investor's building. You'll let that person, you'll tell that investor how much that property's worth, and then you're working towards getting a listing agreement. And you'll have six months to go and sell this property. So then you'll be putting together marketing material and a marketing campaign. You'll tell the market about it. And then those will typically lead to answering a lotta questions and doing a lot of property showings. And then looking at offers and choosing one to go under contract with. If I do my job as a broker in keeping the deal together, the property closes and everyone, I get paid, the team gets paid, and the client walks away happy. This job is really meant to be based on commission, and there's a lot of brokers, commercial brokers, that play in my space that do what I do that never get a base salary. That's actually more common. Just to set expectations, it is very typical that you will work your tail off for 12 months and not see anything from it. Because you need to put that time in to the market. And so those first two years are a grind in the way that I'm sure many sales jobs are, and that can be hard if you aren't receiving an income right away. Typically around that fourth year is when you as a broker hit your earning potential, which actually you know considering other industries is pretty quick. What I love most about what I do is the autonomy that I have because almost everything that I earn is in commissions. So if I don't show up to work, then I'm not working towards getting paid later. But that means that if I wanna take a Friday off and go snowboarding because the snow is great, I don't need to ask anybody's permission. That's what I love most about the job, that I am fully responsible for my own success. And so when I have a good year, you know I know that I'm set up with a great team, in a good firm, in a great market, but I also know that I earned that, that nobody gave it to me and there's a sense of pride in that as well.