The CCIM Designation and How It's Impacted My Career
As a young agent many years ago, I worked for a group of guys who prided themselves on obtaining commercial real estate designations, specifically the prestigious CCIM designation. As a “new to the business broker” I had no idea what the designation meant nor did I truly understand its benefits. Being a millennial or an “old millennial” as the young advisors in my office now call me, I took to the World Wide Web in search of answers.
According to CCIM.com, the CCIM designation stands for Certified Commercial Investment Member. The CCIM lapel pin denotes that the wearer has completed advanced coursework in financial and market analysis, and demonstrated extensive experience in the commercial real estate industry. CCIM designees are recognized as leading experts in commercial investment real estate.
At that time, each of the classes were one week and were taught by some of the brightest real estate minds in the business. You had to take four week-long classes, many of which were offered throughout the United States. And unlike so many of the watered down real estate designations, CCIM required a portfolio of work to earn the pin…i.e. you actually had to sell and/or lease commercial real estate before you can call yourself a CCIM designee.
Earning my designation took two years to accomplish. My portfolio included ten deals totaling more than $10 million in sales/leases. I chose to take classes in New Orleans, LA, a short drive from my commercial real estate office in Baton Rouge, LA. I still keep up with my CCIM colleagues and have closed deals with several of them. Like me, some have gone on to open their own commercial real estate offices.
The designation is more than just four letters behind my name. It shows my colleagues and others in the real estate world that I put in the time to craft my financial, marketing and investment analysis skills. The CCIM designation is held by fewer than 15% of the commercial real estate practitioners in my immediate market.