What is a CCIM?



A CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) is a recognized expert in the commercial and investment real estate industry. The CCIM lapel pin is earned after successfully completing a designation process that ensures CCIMs are proficient not only in theory, but also in practice. This elite corps of CCIMs includes brokers, leasing professionals, investment counselors, asset managers, appraisers, corporate real estate executives, property managers, developers, institutional investors, commercial lenders, attorneys, bankers, and other allied professionals.


CCIM Members smile while posing for a photo. A CCIM is part of a global commercial real estate network with members across North America and more than 30 countries. This professional network has enabled CCIM members to close thousands of transactions annually, representing more than $200 billion in value. As a result, the experts who possess the CCIM designation are an invaluable resource for commercial real estate owners, investors, and users.


CCIMs have completed a designation curriculum that covers essential CCIM skill sets including ethics, interest-based negotiation, financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, and investment analysis for commercial investment real estate. CCIMs have completed a portfolio demonstrating the depth of their commercial real estate experience. Finally, they have demonstrated their proficiency in the CCIM skill sets by successfully completing a comprehensive examination. Only then is a designation candidate awarded the coveted CCIM pin, joining the ranks of highly skilled commercial and investment real estate experts.


 Over 15,000 commercial real estate professionals have earned the designation. Currently, 5,500 professionals are pursuing their CCIM designation.


The CCIM Institute was built on a foundation that has remained solid for more than 40 years: The best teachers of commercial real estate investment principles are experienced and successful commercial real estate practitioners.  By combining the best minds to develop and teach the industry’s best practices, CCIM has helped thousands of students propel their careers and grow their businesses. Since 1954, CCIM has evolved into a global organization with more than 15,000 members.


Founded by Jay W. Levine, CCIM, the Institute’s first president, and Jim McMichael, CCIM, the first designee, CCIM has built its reputation on delivering the most in-depth education and analytical tools available in the commercial real estate industry. The first courses were offered through the California Real Estate Association (now the California Association of REALTORS®) and led to the Certified Property Exchanger (CPE) designation.


Levine and McMichael recruited two successful students, Palmer Berge, CCIM, and Victor Lyon, CCIM, from one of the early classes to help develop the CCIM curriculum. In CCIM’s early years, these instructors spent their days teaching courses and their nights writing course material on the backs of envelopes. Their dedication to sharing proven market, financial, and investment analysis methods evolved into the world-class education and technology products and services CCIM offers today.


As CCIM membership has grown over the years, these practitioner-focused traditions have been infused into the many member benefits and services CCIM provides. Hundreds of designees have contributed their time and talent in countless ways, including writing articles for CCIM’s flagship publication, Commercial Investment Real Estate, creating Excel-based financial tools, developing industry-leading technology platforms STDBonline and CCIMREDEX, and rewriting the CCIM educational curriculum to incorporate innovative industry concepts, among others. It is these member-driven initiatives and contributions that have elevated the CCIM Institute’s reputation as the world’s premier commercial real estate organization.


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