How to Invest in Commercial Real Estate

Frank Roessler

May 3, 2023


Commercial real estate investing can be a great way to supplement your portfolio. It offers a mix of security, income, and tax benefits.

However, it is essential to understand the ins and outs of commercial real estate before investing. Here are a few tips that will help you start out on the right foot.

1. Understand the market

Investing in commercial real estate can be an exciting way to diversify your portfolio and generate income. However, it’s important to know what you are getting into before you get started.

Unlike residential property, commercial properties are valued differently and often have longer lease terms than residential rentals. This can increase your earnings potential, but it also means you are responsible for more expenses when the property is not occupied.

Market analysis is critical to evaluating commercial real estate investments, especially in today’s economy. Understanding a market’s demographic trends, economic drivers, and hyperlocal trends can yield powerful insights into its future performance.

Ultimately, your commercial real estate investment goals are the primary factor in determining which properties you pursue. Having these clear investment objectives in mind will help you narrow down your search and make smarter purchasing decisions.

2. Know Your Assets

Knowing your assets is one of the best ways to invest in commercial real estate. This includes knowing what kinds of properties you want to own and how much you want to invest.

Unlike residential property, commercial real estate has many more variables to consider. These include tenant needs, the unique attributes of each building, and even local rules and regulations.

The key is to keep your eyes peeled for these factors and ensure you’re making the right decision at the right time.

In addition to knowing your assets, you should also understand the commercial market cycle. This can help you determine the right time to buy or sell a commercial property.

3. Know your financing options.

Commercial real estate can be a significant next step for investors who are looking to move from single-family homes to larger properties that offer more income. It also offers more stability, as long as you know your financing options.

A good place to start is with a purchase money mortgage or investing partner, which can provide funds for the down payment. Alternatively, you could go through a hard money lender to get a loan that requires little or no down payment.

There are many different ways to invest in commercial real estate, including direct investment and indirect investments, such as REITs or real estate exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The key is knowing your investment strategy and working costs into your budget early on. This will help you avoid surprises and ensure that your cash flow meets your expectations.

4. Know Your Contracts

There are a variety of contracts and leases associated with commercial real estate. Understanding them can help you protect your rights, make informed decisions, and clarify any misconceptions.

Commercial property deals often include flexible exit strategies that allow investors to sell or rent out the asset as needed. They may also provide guaranteed buybacks.

It’s important to understand these terms before signing any contract to ensure your rights are protected and the deal is a good one.

Investors should also thoroughly investigate the company, fund manager, or person they are investing with. This includes conducting thorough background checks and speaking with other participants who have invested in the same properties or funds to get a feel for their track record.

5. Know Your Rights

Whether you’re investing directly in commercial properties or buying shares in REITs, crowdfunding, or partnerships, you need to know your rights as an investor. You should thoroughly vet the company, fund manager, or person you’re working with to ensure they follow proper due diligence procedures for each investment opportunity.

Commercial real estate has a wide range of asset types, including multifamily, office space, retail, and industrial property. Each sector performs differently on a macro level and varies based on supply and demand in a specific location. Identifying the sectors that offer the biggest potential in your market is essential to investing in commercial real estate successfully. However, it’s also important to understand the risks involved in each type of CRE investment. Investing in the wrong kind of commercial property can be costly and time-consuming.