Commercial real estate is often leased to businesses that benefit from being able to locate in places where they can't afford to buy buildings. Leasing also allows the owner to manage the expense of the building's maintenance. Commercial building owners often list available lease properties with a real estate agent to help find interested business owners and create a smooth leasing transaction. The building owners pay a commission to these agents, similar to a real estate sales commission — typically a percentage of the lease amount.
Commercial leasing commission percentages are usually higher than those for home leases because the value of the commercial lease is often greater. The commission amount is calculated based on the total value of the lease, or how much the building owner is expecting to receive over the term of the lease. Lease agreements are usually for three-, five- or 10-year terms, according to the Regent Property Group.
The average commission percentage for leasing commercial properties is 4 percent to 6 percent, according to the Office Space website. This percentage might be higher if the lease term is shorter, such as one year.
If you're a building owner leasing a building for $3,000 per month for a three-year term, the total amount you can plan to collect is $108,000. You would pay your real estate agent an average of between $4,320 for a 4 percent commission and $6,480 for a 6 percent commission.
Certain real-estate leases are handled through brokers. A broker is the real estate company owner or manager who hires and manages the agents. He's often the initial contact and main marketer of the real estate company, and he assigns a building lease to one of his agents. When a broker is involved, he's paid the commission. He then disperses a portion of the commission to the leasing agent. This portion averages 50 percent of the full commission amount, although the broker may disperse up to 90 percent, according to Century 21 Commercial's website.