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What’s in a Certification? The Benefit of Having a CCIM on Your Team

Aubrey Linville Photograph

Posted By Aubrey Linville

Any commercial real estate transaction is complex, and benefits from a team of professionals. One person you may want to have on the team is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM). 

A Certified Commercial Investment Member has the professional training, education and experience to serve the members of the investment-decision team, which should include the investor’s lawyers, accountants and bankers. Able to see the transaction as more than merely the buying, selling or leasing of a particular piece of real estate, a CCIM will view the situation as finding a solution to a problem expressed by the buyer or seller.

Before discussing the specifics of the parcel of real estate the investor is interested in, the focus will be on the motivations, goals, experience, needs and fears of the client regarding real estate investment. These early discussions will include the investor’s long-range plans, including retirement. From these discussions, an idea of the return on investment the client desires will be determined. Also of primary importance, a CCIM can determine the appropriate time for the eventual disposition of the property and the alternative methods available: sale, exchange or refinance.

The expert analysis of the investor’s situation will also reveal the investor’s comfort level with the risks and rewards of each of the disposition alternatives. This will determine what form of ownership should be considered and what type of real estate should be acquired. For example, the risks and benefits of a multifamily investment may be very different than those associated with a NNN investment. It may be decided, as a result of the analysis, that a REIT or a limited partnership, as opposed to sole ownership, would be most appropriate.

When all the various professional disciplines work in concert for the client’s benefit, the result of their coordinated efforts, orchestrated by a Certified Commercial Investment Member, should be a real estate transaction that will serve the investor well in the present and in the future.

The CCIM Institute, in Chicago, confers the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation through an extensive curriculum of 200 classroom hours in addition to professional experiential requirements. CCIMs are recognized experts in commercial real estate broker-age, leasing, asset management, valuation, and investment analysis.