Best of Both Worlds – Commercial & Residential: A YPN Breakfast Recap

On Wednesday, August 31, 2022, we hosted our monthly YPN breakfast “Best of Both Worlds – Commercial & Residential” at our home base, Manny’s Deli. We were so excited to get together in person, connect with our peers and devour advice from our panelists. You can stay up-to-date on upcoming YPN events by following the YPN Facebook page!


Our guest speakers Tuyen Nguyen, Chicago Real Estate Resources, Shaun R. Pinkston, Keller Williams ONEChicago | KW Commercial, David Thomas, Blue Door Dave Real Estate and Moses Hall, MoHall Commercial & Urban Development, shared best practices and sound advice to help real estate agents looking to break into Commercial Real Estate.

Insecure About Your Inexperience? Use Your Drive to Learn to Overcome It

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t want to work hard.”

Each of our panelists got into commercial real estate because of their dedication to learning the intricacies of their craft. The combination of gumption and willingness to learn proved to be game-changing!


David represented himself when he bought his first six-unit property and used that as the starting point to learn the business. Through that initial transaction, he discovered where he needed knowledge and then began to study it.


Shaun drove through neighborhoods and approached business owners directly, offering her services if they wanted to expand, move or acquire more. Through her nerve and determination, she ultimately landed her first strip mall. She also took commercial real estate courses!


Tuyen got into commercial real estate when her friend wanted to open a nail salon. After that, she approached the landlord of that plaza and offered her services for leasing tenants. Within a year, he enjoyed working with her so much that she got exclusivity over the whole strip mall and also represented all his other properties.

Whether you decide to take the hands-on approach or dive into real estate courses don’t be afraid to take the leap and learn as much as you can in the process.

Use Your Knowledge to Gain New & Impress Existing Clients

Set yourself up for success by asking questions. Tuyen spoke about being diligent by asking the right questions, especially those from a use mindset. “If you know how to ask about their uses and their needs, you can explore new markets. Ask about their use! Everything starts there.”

If you are curious and intentional about understanding your clients’ needs, combined with your market knowledge, you are sure to impress!

David emphasized the importance of identifying attorneys and lenders to partner with before approaching clients. A common obstacle for new real estate brokers, in residential or commercial markets, is the pressure to learn a lot of basic transaction knowledge such as contracts, formulas, reports and terminology. As you build your network of experts, you have extra support from commercial real estate experts to help you in areas you aren’t the most informed.

Shaun added that the biggest way to impress a commercial buyer or seller is to understand all the ways to increase cash flow within a property. Ask yourself, is there value that can be added? Use formulas and models to predict or demonstrate what could happen.

Having your wheelhouse in order will show clients you’re on top of your game.

4 Ways You Can Advance Your Commercial Real Estate Business Today

  1. Keep up with your database: Shaun emphasized the importance of tracking who you meet and what you talk about in great detail. Not only do you stay on top of your stuff, but you will also impress people by looking and sounding like you’re on top of it!
  2. Learn how commercial real estate is financed: David added that studying commercial transactions and financing is especially important. Know your terminology, know the nuances of commercial deals and know how numbers play their part in this market.
  3. Affiliate yourself with people that can help you: Tuyen encouraged everyone to connect with commercial real estate attorneys and lenders who can help teach you about the terminology and transaction process unique to commercial.
  4. Connect with mentorship programs: Commercial real estate has several educational and networking programs for you to join! Consider earning your prestigious CCIM Designation (which also has a mentorship program launching this fall), getting involved with CommercialForum or applying for the Project REAP Scholarship Program.


Chicago REALTORS® · 2022 YPN August Breakfast: Best of Both Worlds – Commercial & Residential