8 Resources Where You’ll Find the Most Important CRE Terms and Definitions

The world of commercial real estate is a complex one, and it takes time to learn all of its intricacies. A good place to start would be to try to understand the most commonly used terms in the industry, as no doubt, you’ll be hearing them a lot if you’re a broker, a developer, an investor, or if you’re involved in the business at all. We’ve compiled a list of 8 helpful resources to help you get started and gain a better understanding of how the commercial real estate industry works. Check them out below:


You’ll find a plethora of both commercial real estate and more broad legal terms on the CommercialCafe blog, and you can also read related articles to better understand each term. The glossary is being constantly updated to include more terms, to help you get a better grasp of how the commercial real estate industry works.


NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, has a Terms & Definitions page that includes a large number of terms used in the real estate industry. The terms are arranged in alphabetical order, and you can also download all the terms and definitions in PDF format so you can have them on hand in case you need them.

3. Adventures in CRE

Adventures in CRE (or A.CRE) is a Texas-based commercial real estate financial modeling, graduate education, career advancement, and networking site that was created by Spencer Burton and Michael Belasco. The A.CRE website includes a glossary of commercial real estate terms useful to anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with the industry. Their list is constantly expanding, and you can also contact them and let them know about a certain term that you’d like to see on the website.

4. CRE Finance Council

The CRE Finance Council compiled an expansive glossary of terms in 2014 that is meant to help you navigate the world of CMBS (commercial mortgage-backed securities). The list is comprehensive, and the glossary takes up 30+ pages filled with financial and CRE-related terms. You can download the glossary in PDF format and keep it on hand or add it to your CRE library.

5. Compstak

Compstak also compiled a comprehensive commercial real estate terms ‘cheat sheet’ on their blog, meant to be a useful resource for brokers or those looking to get into the real estate business. The CRE terms cheat sheet can also be downloaded in PDF format.

6. Boxer Property

Houston-based Boxer Property also has a glossary of commercial real estate terms on its website. The glossary includes all the basic and most common terms in CRE that are useful for any broker, developer, investor or for anyone curious about how the industry works.

7. JBS

JBS Commercial Real Estate boasts an easy-to-scan, easy-to-read, comprehensive glossary of commercial real estate terms and definitions. Here you’ll find definitions on the most important terms in the industry, arranged in alphabetical order.

8. LeaseRef

LeaseRef prides itself with having ‘the best glossary of commercial real estate terms in the world.’ We can’t vouch for that, but the glossary is indeed quite expansive and easy to scan; you can search terms by category or alphabetically, and there’s no doubt that you’ll find the most common and important CRE terms in there.

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