In a world of burgeoning businesses and industries, several auxiliary ways and means of income have opened up. This is what is meant by the unleashing of the potency of the free market. One of the primary factors of production is land. This puts owners of the land on the anvil of income generation when the market is ripe for the growth of industries. This also calls for brilliant designer minds’ service as the birth of complexes soon ensue, followed by rental requirements for all those who the market draws to itself from near and afar. What happens, therefore, is the birth and rise of the Commercial Real Estate Sector.

Types of CRE

Various types of Commercial Real Estate properties generate high returns in a business-friendly environment. Some of them include:

Office Spaces  

Office spaces that arise naturally owing to industry-friendly policies. The spaces range from large ones such as the 400 plus acres of land for Infosys in Hyderabad to medium-sized spaces for offices of smaller enterprises in the manufacturing or IT sector. Lease agreements here are usually long-term.


Multi-family properties include multifamily residential complexes in exchange for rental payments. These complexes are also arranged according to price, and their amenities differ accordingly. Thus, larger and expensive projects will require more extensive tracts as housing will include amenities like swimming pools, clubs, movie theatres, etc. Lease agreements can be flexible and can incorporate both long-term and short-term lease services.

Industrial Real Estate

It refers to buildings used to establish manufacturing industries, workshops, assembly-line production units, and warehouses. These are located in areas that are not entirely desirable for the development of residential centres. They are also guided by zoning regulations and have leases that range over five years.

Retail Real Estate

It includes properties that enable retail services like the sale of products to people in general. They could range from shopping malls, strip malls to factory outlets, and can even have single-tenants buildings. The lease agreements are both mid and long-term.

Returns from Real Estate Investment

Returns on investment in Real Estate could incorporate both frequent and regular payments and the growth of capital value. The first is derived from rents whereby the lease agreement determines the terms and conditions of regular payments in lieu of using the property. The second aspect is built on the understanding that the property’s successful market value results in an appreciation of the value of the property over time. This is what translates the property into a capital asset.

A fundraising agency manages rental income, and the rent is realized through dividend distributions to investors. The ability to manage expenses and service debts determine the success of CRE investment. The inspection points include maintenance and repairs, loan payments, hiring and firing tenants, and overall legal compliance. Fund management agencies manage these since they call for a specialized division of labour for efficient handling. In such a case, the rent is a passive income for the property owner since there is an additional cost of payment to the agency concerned. The key to success on rent resides on maintaining as little vacancy per unit as possible and making the occupied units productive.


Appreciation of value is something that is solely determined by the invisible hands of the market. With every chance for appreciation, there also exists a corresponding chance of depreciation. Any property worth having for industrial, commercial, or residential purposes, including bare land, has the potential for appreciation. However, real estate is also a scare sector. This means there are limits to the availability of land. This means that if a certain property witnesses growth in its commercial value, customers will be willing to pay higher rents simply because of the lack of too many alternatives.  Properties in the middle of residential space (primary market) have higher prices, while properties in the surrounding area (secondary market) have a bit lower prices. The lowest prices are those in the tertiary market defined by the outskirts of the major residential area. However, even the latter two markets can provide excellent opportunities in the long run.

Apart from appreciation in value through market forces, investors typically put ‘add-on’ value to an existing property. These include making modifications in the interior decoration of the house or adding or facilities which, despite the costs, typically generate good returns.

When not in active use, a property needs to be deftly handled to provide effective debt-service. These could include rezoning a part of the land from retail to multifamily property or changing entitlements to land.

The measurement of property value relies on specific tools and techniques. These include:

Net Operating Income

Net Operating Income which represents the net revenue earned from a property while in operation. This is calculated by deducting the operating cost of a property from the income generated as rent in a given period.

Capitalization Rate

Cap rate is the most common way of estimating the value of the property. It refers to its uncovered yield. This is calculated by estimating the natural rate of return for a property in a single given year without taking into account the debts on the property. This, in turn, gives one a better understanding of the relative value of properties expressed as a percentage.


IRR is a metric that does not make a periodic estimate. Instead, it determines the profitability of investment during its lifetime by working out the average return rate of the investment throughout different periods. Being an overall indicator, it can be used to make an effective estimate of the future of a given property or the net achievement of a property over its lifetime. It typically means the rate of growth required today to enable the property to equal a projected growth rate in the future to be financially sound like an investment.

Thus, a lot of considerations must be made to get the best of the opportunities provided by the engines of economic growth. It calls for meticulous considerations and prudent judgment.


The category of investment that deals with buildings for various purposes is termed as Real Estate in business.

Commercial Real Estate (CRE) includes investments in buildings and spaces that earn commercial value. They include office spaces and those involving other commercial ventures.

There are two ways of earning from CRE investment- namely, the rent which is measured as the regular income paid in lieu of its use, and Capital Value which is measured as the net value of the property that appreciates in accordance with the market.

Yes. One needs to be familiar with aspects such as Ket Operating Investment, CAPRATE, and Interest Rate of Return.

Apart from the usual metrics of the market-determined by the demand for building in an area, there are methods of generating ‘add-on’ value by renovating and decorating a property or making certain modifications in its paraphernalia.