Unlike residential real estate, the commercial real estate agent cannot count on a fast start by working with friends and relatives. They aren't buying or leasing offices or retail spaces normally.
Trying to learn a new profession isn't enhanced by stress about making next month's bills. Unless your current sphere of influence is made up mostly of business people, it's likely that your start in commercial real estate will be a gradual one.
If you do have enough in reserve, you should start in Commercial:
The experience you get in residential real estate will not provide a great deal of help in the commercial arena. Everything from the client, through the property types to the sites you use like this, to the contracts and documents are very different.
With enough in reserve, the faster you get your feet wet in commercial the better. If your goal is to be a commercial real estate agent or broker, the experience will be gained much faster in a full-time position in a commercial brokerage.
Do you have the confidence to work with the commercial client:
Unlike residential real estate, the typical client isn't as emotionally involved in the process. You cannot make a living just showing properties until the client goes "I love it...this is the one!" You'll likely be dealing with a business person who will be much more analytical and want a great deal more due diligence from the real estate professional with whom they choose to work.
Prospect-to-closing is usually a much longer process in commercial real estate:
You can't be into immediate gratification and work in commercial real estate. While many home purchases can happen within weeks from the first home shown to closing, the commercial process is much longer in most cases.
Be sure that you'll be able to work with a client for months, with a great deal of research and property analysis before an offer is even considered. Then, after the offer, the process of due diligence is much more involved in commercial property transfers.
Commercial real estate can be quite lucrative if it's your cup of tea:
The commercial real estate agent is one who is willing to work hard, is quite aggressive, and above all, is intelligent and very competent in the special skills required for this niche.
There are few professions that are as financially rewarding, but one must be prepared for the delay until the first commission and the time between deals.
Many would tell you that this is a much more difficult niche than residential real estate. You cannot rely nearly as much on the property selling itself by hitting an emotional chord with the prospect. You'll be called upon to participate in a great deal of analysis of data and financial information. Your clients will be more into the negotiation process and require more of you in the skills that will get them the best deal.
It's different, but if commercial real estate is for you, the rewards can be great.