March 30, 2023

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.
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.
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.
There are several programs, including internships and fellowships, that assist transitioning service members with training and hands-on experience.
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. This video explains some of those natural transitions from the military to commercial real estate.
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.
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.
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.
There are several programs, including internships and fellowships, that assist transitioning service members with training and hands-on experience. Cushman & Wakefield, a global commercial real estate services firm with more than 50,000 employees across 60 countries, has more than 100 years of experience.
Cushman & Wakefield is a top-ranked employer of veterans in the CRE industry. The firm has a strong demonstrated history of hiring service members as they leave the military through the Department of Defense SkillBridge program, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship program or hiring for other full-time employment. Cushman & Wakefield is also a military spouse employer partner of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP).
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