What is a CCIM?

The PHD of Commercial Real Estate

A Certified Commercial-Investment Member (CCIM) is an expert in commercial-investment real estate. A CCIM has completed a rigorous course of study and fulfilled experience requirements to earn the designation. In all, there are only about 4,000 CCIMs in the United States and Canada today, which represents a very select group of all commercial and investment real estate professionals. Their experience and training prepares CCIMs to identify and meet commercial and investment real estate goals of individuals, partnerships or corporations.

The Making of a CCIM

To qualify as a CCIM, candidates must demonstrate proficiency in commercial-investment real estate by passing course examinations in diverse areas, including real estate analysis, taxation and property development. They must also prepare approved reports on actual transactions.

In addition, the potential CCIM must meet the Commercial-Investment Real Estate Council’s Standards for successful applied experience in commercial-investment real estate brokerage.

As a result, the “average” CCIM today has ten years experience in commercial-investment real estate, and has successfully completed 200 hours of course work.

This training and experience means that when you talk to a CCIM about commercial real estate you’ll get the best possible advice and service available.

How A CCIM Can Help You Meet Your Investment or Leasing Goals

CCIMs are skilled in all phases of real estate investment and leasing, but many have developed specialties that can help you meet investment needs.

The following are some areas in which CCIMs have developed specialties:

Site Selection

Whether they are acquiring land to build on or buildings to convert to new uses, clients need help in selecting the best location for an apartment complex, retail outlet, industrial development, franchise, or office building.

CCIMs work with clients and professional site selectors to determine the most advantageous location for a give business or residential complex. CCIMs knowledge of the marketplace – as well as their ability to analyze such matters as local traffic flow, zoning regulations, availability and pricing of the site-can be invaluable to the success of a project.

Major food and restaurant chains and all types of franchise operations regularly turn to CCIMs for help in choosing the best site for their next business location.


CCIMs are trained to play a primary role in leasing. They can find properties and sites for clients, and structure lease agreements to the maximum benefit of the client. They determine what provisions must be specified in a lease to meet client objectives, including measuring and projecting necessary revenues and expenditures, and analyzing the financial impact of certain lease provisions.

Market Analysis and Studies

The CCIM knows the marketplace, a knowledge invaluable in evaluating an area for a proposed development or relocation.

A CCIM considers a location and how it will “work” for a client. To do this, the CCIM conducts population, demographic and retail supply and demand studies. Added to this information is the CCIM’s knowledge of trends, expert judgments based on the data, and interpretation of findings. CCIMs can help find sites, evaluate them and assist clients in making decisions about sites or a proposed expansion.


Exchanges involve the trading of equity in once piece of property for the equity in another piece of property. Such transactions can help investors to defer taxes on gains and to use equity positions more effectively.

CCIMs can help investors to find properties that have excellent exchange potential. Their knowledge of IRS rules and regulations on exchanges is a major asset for investors. A CCIM also works closely with a client’s attorney and accountant to minimize taxes while maximizing return on equity. Finally, CCIMs advise clients on the best timing for exchanges.


CCIMs play many roles in a syndication. They may act as managing or general partners, advise investors on potential syndications, and evaluate the real estate potential of the transaction. CCIMs are thoroughly versed in tax ramifications of various kinds of syndication, and can analyze an arrangement according to an investor’s goals.


A CCIM is trained in the entire real estate development process, whether the project is a shopping center, industrial park, office building or apartment complex.

A Certified Commercial-Investment Member analyzes on how a proposed development will match the current market needs and helps select the proper site for the development. Moreover, a CCIM can assist in obtaining financing and design and implement a successful marketing plan to sell and/or lease the project.


Corporations operating in many locations across the country often sell and lease back their property to increase working capital. A sale-leaseback is based on a number of sophisticated financial decisions. A CCIM can identify and negotiate with potential buyers and measure the investment’s anticipated yield. CCIMs apply their unique problem-solving abilities to help clients meet their objectives.

Foreign Investment

Foreign investment in the United States provides a flow of foreign currency into the American economy and is an endorsement of a growing marketplace.

CCIMs can help foreign investors gain an immediate knowledge of the local market. The Cam’s professionalism and comprehensive services are all available to the foreign investor.

CCIMs Adhere To High Ethical Standards

CCIMs are members of the National Association of Realtors and subscribe to it’s strict Code of Ethics.

The Commercial-Investment Real Estate Council is also a division of the Realtors National Marketing Institute of the National Associate of Realtors. The Council is dedicated to providing education and leadership to those engage in commercial-investment real estate, to the public and to the government.