After over three years of attending classes, taking tests and putting together, submitting, correcting and re-submitting an extensive portfolio, then taking an 80 hour/sixty question final exam, I am now an official CCIM designee.  Here is a brief history and description of CCIM:

CCIM, owned by the National Association of Realtors, was founded 1954 and is now the premier distinction for commercial real estate professionals.  CCIM was founded Jay Levine, the first President, and Jim McMichael, the first designee.  Since its inception, CCIM has grown into a global organization with more than 15,000 members.  The four core courses of CCIM include Investment Analysis, Market Analysis, User Analysis and Financial Analysis.  Each course is 5 days and includes a 4 hour exam.  After passing the 4 core courses and two elective courses, a cumulative final exam is all that stands in the way of a potential designee.  Even though CCIM presents a time consuming challenge for candidates, in my opinion it is undoubtedly worthwhile and I will explain why.

CCIM is respected by anyone that has been in the commercial real estate business for any length of time; it is automatic credibility.  Additionally, the information and resources are tremendous.  CCIM teaches practical techniques for real estate professionals (brokers, investors etc).  It gives you an understanding of Real Estate on a different level and enables you to perform analysis that you didn’t think possible.  I’ll put it to you this way, I thought that I generally understood some forms of analyzing real estate investments beforehand, but after going through CCIM, I realize how little my understanding was before.  Not only is it formulas and techniques, but you gain an entire new perspective on real estate investment, you conceptually grasp the material.  Internal Rate of Return, Depreciation and Cost Recovery, Basic Employment, Net Present Value and much more become topics that you understand and appreciate.  Also, CCIM membership gives you access to their “Site to Do Business” program which is terrific for site analysis (demographics, etc).  Membership also gives you connections, but not just ordinary relationships-relationships with people that put the big deals together in the commercial real estate.  CCIM is more than a designation; it is a career boost, a confidence builder, a credibility enhancer, a connection boost, and a concept coach (Sorry, I had a few C’s in a row and I just decided to go with it).

Bob Caperton, Jr.

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