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CRE brokers made big money in 2018 and expect to make more this year

After the last commission checks are cut and other compensation added up, a healthy majority of commercial real estate brokers say they will have made more money in 2018 than in 2017, according to the latest Apto National Broker Buzz Poll.

Conducted this month by commercial real estate software company Apto, the survey showed 2018 was a very good year for most brokers.

And commercial real estate brokers expect more of the same in 2019.

The survey showed that 58 percent of brokers made more money than in 2017; Some 60 percent completed more transactions than in 2017 and; 79 percent predict they will make more money in 2019

“Rising macroeconomic tides in the U.S. lifted commercial real estate boats in 2018,” said Tanner McGraw, founder of Apto.


“The sector, including commercial real estate brokers, benefited from the strong U.S. economy even as interest rates have risen and amid some signs that commercial property prices are leveling off.

“2019 bodes well for the macro-economy and the commercial real estate sector, though there are plenty of jitters with the U.S. government partially shut down and over trade, interest rates, and questions about whether the corporate tax cuts will be as much of a boon in 2019.”

The survey found that most commercial real estate brokers are in it for life. Asked if they expect to be in the real estate business for the rest of their careers, 93 percent of brokers said yes, with only seven percent responding no.

Asked to predict the future of the CRE brokerage profession, 41 percent said that 10 years from now there will be “fewer CRE brokers than today,” while 32 percent predicted “more CRE brokers than today” and 27 percent said there will be “the same number of CRE brokers” as today.

McGraw observed: “For many producers — the men and women engaged in facilitating transactions and advising clients — commercial real estate brokerage isn’t just a job or a profession, it’s a sport, it’s a way of life.

“They live and breathe the asset class, the people, and the sales and advisory culture. I’m not surprised so many brokers are committed to brokerage as their careers.”

According to the most recent survey by job site Indeed, the average annual salary for a commercial broker in New York City is $110,061.

Apto, a commercial real estate software company, said its survey showed 25 percent of brokers made less money last year than in 2017 and 14 percent made the same.

Some 26 percent of brokers completed fewer transactions in 2018 than in 2017; 14 percent completed the same number.

Six percent of brokers predict they will make less money in 2019, according to Apto, while 15 percent predict they will make the same money in 2019.

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