On new leases and purchases I am typically compensated by sharing commissions received by the listing agent(s). I can also be paid by a flat fee or retainer, both of which are fully refundable in the event I collect a commission on the transaction. Of note is that even though the property owner writes the commission check, it is the tenant or buyer that ultimately pays the tab as part of their lease payments or the purchase price. Also, if you represent yourself the entire commission is retained by the listing agent(s) and you get no value from the commission that you funded. In my experience, commercial tenants and buyers that represent themselves typically overpay and overlook important aspects of the transaction.