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A Day in the Life: Commercial Real Estate Sales Agent

7:30 a.m.: Things start early. Get into the office, check voice mail and go through contact database to line up cold calls for the day. Scan the Wall Street Journal or the local paper's business section to see if clients, prospects or other relevant industry news are mentioned in the paper. Remind self about working on commission and motivate.

8:15 a.m.: Huddle up with partner to discuss to-dos. Perhaps discuss current lease or purchase negotiations and strategy. Divide tasks to be done and make an appointment for the end of the day.

9:00 a.m.: Check in with some co-workers to find out what deals they're working on and if they have some market scoop (i.e. trade lease or sale comparables and find out which tenants are in the market).

9:30 a.m.: Start morning cold calls. Try to set up meetings with decision makers and find out as much as possible over the phone about real estate needs. Determine who makes real estate decisions and touch base. Make note to follow up with marketing material later that day.

12:00 p.m.: Break for a pre-scheduled lunch with a client, prospect, leasing agent or peer. Discuss market conditions and try to extract information that will help get more business or help current lease negotiations.

1:30 p.m.: Check and return voice mail and e-mails.

2:30 p.m.: Check in with clients and clients' attorneys to discuss ongoing lease or purchase negotiations. Make calls to architects or contractors to see how space build out is progressing. Report any time sensitive information to client. Set up building tours for later in the week and try to get a sense what each building is looking for financially and how desperate they are for a deal.

4:00 p.m.: Write follow-up letters and prepare marketing material for prospects. Call internal accounting department to see check where commission checks are. After explaining the time value of money to them, threaten them. Call back and apologize and beg so checks come in a timely fashion.

5:00 p.m.: Check in with sales manager. She wants to know which deals will close this quarter and if everything is on track to hit forecasted numbers. Complain about the accounting department and pump her for information about where sales numbers are in relation to co-workers'.

5:30 p.m.: One last meeting with partner to recap the day. Discuss any problems and come up with solutions. Make follow-up phone calls together to leasing agents or clients. Gossip about the day's market activity. Set a meeting time for the next day.

6:15 p.m.: Finally get to mail (in this business you get a lot). Receive a written response to a request for proposal from a building. Make a copy for partner and review the details. Hand another copy to the analyst to run the numbers associated with the deal.

6:45 p.m.: End of the day. Contemplate whether or not to head to an industry function.