Why Veterans Should Consider These Jobs in Commercial Real Estate

Man and woman looking at building plans

The housing boom may be hard for veterans looking for their next house, but those in the real-estate industry are pleased with their productivity – and profits.

There is more to real estate than buying and selling houses – trillions of dollars more. Commercial real estate accounts for trillions of dollars of value and market share in the U.S., and it is a great option for veterans who are looking for a career path that is different from their military career.

What Is Commercial Real Estate?

Commercial real estate, or CRE, deals with properties that are used for businesses, workspaces, multifamily complexes, government buildings and more. Usually, these properties are then sub-leased to other businesses or organizations, and they range in size from small storefronts to large shopping centers or corporate headquarters. CRE also includes hotels, office spaces, restaurants and health-care facilities.

Jobs in Commercial Real Estate to Consider

1. Administration, Human Resources and Accounting

Functional support roles in any industry, including roles in administration, human resources, and accounting, among many others, are vital in CRE. These roles require skills that are transferable from military jobs as well and can be done in any industry. As a bonus, these jobs are often remote and have flexible hours, which can be very appealing for those who are interested in working outside an office, whether at home or another remote location.

2. Engineering and Maintenance

The buildings and workspaces that CRE companies maintain require full-time maintenance and engineering staff. Imagine iconic skyscrapers, stadiums, large retail spaces like the Mall of America in Minnesota, and even the multipurpose buildings that host offices, entertainment venues and apartments. They require upkeep and specialized skills to maintain. 

Specialized skills that veterans may have learned in the military – such as aircraft or vehicle maintenance – will give them an advantage on reading schematics, learning about HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems, or managing other critical systems in buildings.

3. Appraisal and Valuation

The value and benefits of a particular property affects commercial property sales. Just like in residential real estate, appraisers are necessary to determine the value and characteristics of the property. Commercial appraisers gather intel and report on the property to help banks, financiers and dealmakers make the best decisions possible. Gathering data, writing reports and working in a remote or varying location are valuable skills for appraisers, and they transfer well from military intelligence fields. This is also a great option for military spouses, who may be looking for a remote or transferable position as their service member transitions to civilian life.

4. Property Management

Another option in commercial real estate is the role of a property manager. From large office buildings to downtown office parks to luxury condominiums, a property manager and their team handles all areas of the building, including maintenance requests, landscaping contracts and rental agreements. It’s a fast-paced job with room to grow into managing larger properties, making it perfect for transitioning service members who want a challenge.

5. Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

The dealmakers of real estate are brokers, and it’s the perfect job for those who like a challenge and take joy in closing a contract. Brokerage teams connect clients with office space for growing organizations, secure a lease for a property ownership group or facilitate the sales and purchases of new space for growing or downsizing entities. Commercial real estate brokers are the business development side of the real estate industry. Veterans who are interested in risks and rewards may like this job. Most of these positions are commission-based, making them some of the biggest earners in the industry.

How to Get Started

There are several programs, including internships and fellowships, that assist transitioning service members with training and hands-on experience, including the Department of Defense SkillBridge program and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship program.

Find the Right Veteran Job

Whether you want to polish your resume, find veteran job fairs in your area or connect with employers looking to hire veterans, Military.com can help. Subscribe to Military.com to have job postings, guides and advice, and more delivered directly to your inbox.

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