Since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is the largest trade association in the United States (840,000 members), it has the money and the clientele to create and administer on-going and excellent Real Estate educational programs. An option available to Realtors is to work toward becoming a CCIM® designee. A CCIM® designee obtains the CCIM® designation by taking five separate week-long courses and passing the exams at the end of each course. Then the CCIM® candidate sits for a comprehensive, 6 hour exam, and if successfully passed, receives the "red pin" which says "CCIM®". The courses are taught by highly successful practicing CCIM® (having various college degrees) that are carefully screened, trained and tested by the CCIM® institute. Attendees include employees of Fortune 500 companies, brokers for large and small firms, investors, developers, site selectors, landlords, tenants, architects, tax consultants, attorneys, accountants, property managers, appraisers . . . anyone who wants comprehensive, hands-on knowledge about commercial real estate! Of the approximately 125,000 commercial real estate practitioners in the United States, 6,500 have earned the CCIM® designation. An additional 5,500 candidates are pursuing the designation. In the entire Gulf Coast region, only 150 people have successfully completed the CCIM® coursework. Each of the five courses costs about $900 plus hotel and travel for an estimated total CCIM® "red pin" cost of $10,000. CCIM®'s comprise less than 1/2 of 1% of all 1,500,000 real estate licensees. That is why the CCIM® is sometimes referred to as the Ph.D. of commercial real estate.
A CCIM® is a professional who may specialize in commercial real estate brokerage, leasing, asset management, valuation, and investment analysis. The CCIM® community is worldwide with the majority of members residing in the United States and Canada.