CCIM: What is it and what do they provide Commercial Real Estate Professionals?

4x6Leavitt Digital recently caught up with David Wilson, CCIM, who was recently elected into office as CCIM President for 2018 and asked Wilson to explain the CCIM Organization. If you are wondering what a CCIM is, you aren’t alone! Only six percent (6%) of all commercial real estate practitioners wear the prestigious CCIM pin and have gone through the extensive educational program to become a CCIM Designee. CCIM stands for Certified Commercial Investment Member. Based in Chicago, IL, the CCIM Institute is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS® and has approximately 13,000 members from 31 countries throughout the world.  CCIMs are trained experts who can analyze opportunities to help clients make confident, informed choices. Employing a data-driven approach to commercial real estate, CCIMs guide clients’ real estate decisions using financial and market analysis skills, combined with their own experience and knowledge of local and national markets. With a CCIM, clients have access to an educated, deliberate process.

Although many people think that the CCIM membership is made up of only brokers that could not be further from the truth. Brokers represent about 39% of CCIM’s membership – a substantial number, but one that is well balanced with many other industry leaders.


CCIMs represent all parts of the commercial real estate industry from lenders, developers, appraisers, asset managers, attorneys, property managers, and many more. The CCIM Institute provides focused and practical commercial real estate education designed to facilitate the success of our members – classes such as Financial Analysis; User Decision Analysis; Investment Analysis, and Market Analysis. In addition to CCIM’s core courses, they offer advanced educational opportunities, such as their Ward Center for Advanced Real Estate Studies. CCIM classes have a variety of delivery methods: in class, online, and in hybrid settings. This allows candidates and members a wide array of educational opportunities in an environment that suits their specific needs.

Along with its best-in-class educational offerings, CCIM offers members tremendous networking opportunities, which allow the potential for significant business. This occurs both in the traditional face-to-face interaction, and through new online platforms designed to facilitate business with each other at the highest levels of the commercial real estate industry. CCIM offers some of the best technology services to its members such as Site To Do Business (“STDB”) – a major evolution in market analysis via ESRI’s BAO 4.0 Platform.

If you ask around the industry, it’s clear that companies and other real estate professionals are more likely to seek out experts who possess the CCIM designation, because they know that a CCIM will be trustworthy, knowledgeable, reliable, hardworking, and ethical. Thousands of transactions have been closed annually due to CCIM’s global network, representing more than $200 billion in value. Approximately 22% of CCIMs refer business to one another throughout the world.

One of the great things that CCIM offers is chapters in various regions, states, and countries throughout the globe. Currently CCIM has over 50 chapters in 12 regions where local leadership runs the chapters and has continuous support from the Institute and its staff. The staff at CCIM is top-notch, they work with the local chapters to make sure they run smoothly, and have all of the resources and tools they need to be successful. Many members of the local chapters are involved with networking opportunities, affiliating themselves with the other professional members of the chapters. One thing to note is that chapter members can be anyone who has an interest in commercial real estate. These individuals do not have to be affiliated with the CCIM Institute at all. A lot of chapters, such as the Iowa CCIM Chapter offer great programs throughout the year. For example, CCIM’s Iowa Commercial Real Estate EXPO provides education and networking opportunities for its members and others interested in the commercial real estate industry. Last year, CCIM had close to 400 people attend its EXPO in Des Moines, Iowa.

Every year, the CCIM Institute has two business meetings in various locations throughout the United States and Canada. These meetings usually occur in April and October. In addition, CCIM’s Thrive Conference (in partnership with is usually held in conjunction with the October Business Meetings. Just last October in Austin, TX, CCIM had over 450 people in attendance and two of its keynote speakers were Sam Zell and Emmitt Smith, CCIM. Along with all of the committee meetings at these meetings, it also conducts elections for various leadership roles within the Institute such as board of director seats, executive committee members, treasurer, and future president of the Institute. “In October, 2015, I was extremely honored and humbled to have been elected by my peers to serve as president of the CCIM Institute in 2018,” says Wilson.

So where does CCIM go from here? “CCIM is focused on continuing to promote the CCIM designation and designees as the global leaders in commercial real estate. We will foster the highest quality standards to earn and retain the CCIM designation. We will continue to provide the highest quality education for commercial real estate professionals worldwide and give them the tools to succeed with innovative business resources.”
If you are interested in learning more about the CCIM Institute and how it can benefit you personally and professionally, please visit Dave Wilson also welcomes interested parties to reach out to him personally should anyone have any questions regarding CCIM. “I can honestly tell you that becoming a CCIM is one of the best decisions I have ever made – not only for me, but for my business as well. The people associated with CCIM are the best in the business. We speak the same language, and when you pick up the phone to do business with a CCIM, you know you are dealing with one of the best commercial real estate practitioners in the world.”

By: Brendan W. Hotchkiss

Contributing Author: Dave Wilson, CCIM


David P. Wilson, CCIM

Vice President of Real Estate Development

Ryan Companies

(p) 563-823-8115

(c) 319-290-6777

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