What Are Types of Commercial Property?

Commercial real estate is a trillion dollar industry with over 3 million employees and even more stakeholders. What types of properties are considered commercial?

Commercial real estate, also known as investment property or income property, is real estate with the intention of making money. That can include anything from apartment rentals to factories to retail space. It also includes anyone from tenants to brokers to owners and developers. 

In the United States alone, the 2022 commercial real estate (CRE) market is estimated to be around 1.1 trillion dollars, according to a report from IBIS World. IBIS World states in a similar report that there are nearly 3.7 million people working in the CRE industry. With commercial real estate data like this, it’s no surprise that so many people are looking to join the millions of people in the CRE industry, either as a career or a side hustle. 

At Canyon Data, we are committed to making commercial real estate as transparent and digestible as possible. In large part we do that with the most up to date data, but in this blog we are doing that by discussing the different types of CRE property. Let’s dive in. 

What Is Commercial Property?

Commercial property is real estate intended to generate revenue for the owner. This can happen either through capital gains or rental income. Commercial property is slightly different from commercial buildings in that property can also include things like farm land, medical centers, hotels, and more. The purpose of a commercial building is basically just to house commercial business like office and retail space.      

How Many Types of Commercial Property Are There and What Are the Different Types of Commercial Property?

Generally speaking, there are several different types of commercial real estate properties. While some lists include 3 or 4 types, others include upwards of 8. In an effort to cover all of our bases, we will look at the typical answers you can find to this question.  

What Are the 4 Types of Properties?

The four most common types of commercial properties include:

Office Space

includes office suites, coworking spaces, and office parks

Industrial Use

includes manufacturing locations, warehouses, and factories

Multi-Family Rental

includes duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, and apartments of all types


includes shopping centers, strip malls, major box stores, regional malls, or community shopping areas

What Are the Six Categories of Real Property?

In addition the the four types we listed above, the “six” categories also include:


includes agricultural land such as farms, orchards, vineyards, ranches; also includes areas of previously used or developed industrial land currently vacant or available to be reused


a catch-all including things like medical plazas, self-storage, and other hard to classify properties

What Are the Other Types of Properties?

Filling out the other types of commercial properties we have: 


Includes all types of hotels


includes properties intentionally used for multiple purposes such as restaurant combined with office space, warehouse combined with office space, apartment complexes combined with retail space, etc. 

Special Purpose

similar to miscellaneous, can include parking lots, amusement parks, wedding venues, zoos, theaters, stadiums, etc. 

So, the complete list of property types is somewhere around 9, with some potential overlap between categories. It’s important to note however, that all of these categories still share the same goal:  to provide some level of income to the owner. That income can come from tenants renting such as an apartment or retail space, or from using the property like charging admission to a movie theater or a bowling alley.  

Canyon Data…Leveling the CRE Playing Field

At Canyon Data, we know that commercial real estate can feel mysterious and difficult to understand. One big contributing factor is that CRE has a data problem. In fact, 40-50% of the data  being used in the commercial real estate market is either incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated. That’s what we are trying to fix with our proprietary data solutions

We use a mix of technology and human insight to provide data that’s accurate and actionable, enabling you to make the most informed decisions about any property. Whether you are looking to buy, sell, rent, develop, or contract for a commercial property, you need data you can trust. Unlock your data and demystify CRE today. Contact us now to get started.   

What is the Best Site for Commercial Real Estate? Canyon Data Meets Advanced Needs with Advanced Technology

Here at Canyon Data, our mission is to fill the gaps and solve the incomplete data problem in the CRE industry. Our data-driven insights will give you the information you need to determine the significance of a potential CRE investment. A subscription with Canyon Data provides the data to conduct an in-depth analysis of the benefits and risks involved with a particular property. Gain unprecedented insights with a Canyon Data subscription today. Get a Subscription