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What is a CCIM?

Posted by Jeff Edberg on September 16, 2015
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ccimThe 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 13,000 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 the industry-leading technology platform STDBonline, 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.

CCIM Institute Milestones

1954 Investment Property Exchange and Taxation (IPET) courses are created. Administered through the California Real Estate Association, the IPET courses lead to the Certified Property Exchanger (CPE) designation.
1967 The CPE designation becomes part of the National Association of REALTORS®.
1969 The CPE designation is renamed the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation, which remains in place today.
January 1969 First CCIM designations are conferred to about 300 members, including Jim McMichael No. 1) and Jay W. Levine (No. 2).
1970s The CCIM membership program and educational courses continue to expand nationally.
1972 First instructor auditions and training sessions are held. Bob Ward, CCIM, who later would have the Ward Center for Real Estate Studies named in his honor, becomes an instructor.
1982 CCIM’s peer-reviewed scholarly publication, Commercial Investment Journal: The Journal of Advanced Real Estate, is launched and later evolves into Commercial Investment Real Estate, the organization’s award-winning magazine.
1991 Commercial Investment Real Estate Council, which administered the CCIM designation under the Realtors National Marketing Institute, receives institute status from NAR and is renamed Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute.
1992 CI 101 is taught in Russia, marking the beginning of CCIM’s international expansion.
1996 CCIM Quarterly Market Trends, a market survey report based on member transaction data, is added as a member benefit.
1999 STDBonline, Web-based site analysis program, is released, giving members access to demographic and financial reports.
1998 The CCIM Education Foundation is established through a bequest from the estate of Victor Lyon, CCIM.
2001 The Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute changes its name to the CCIM Institute.
2007 The Ward Center for Real Estate Studies is created to provide education about current commercial real estate topics and trends.
2013 The Institute begins a national campaign to raise the profile of the CCIM designation among the highest levels of the industry. This includes promoting CCIM designees’ data-driven approach to commercial real estate through the RealShare Conference Series, Fox Business Network, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Real Estate Forum, National Real Estate Investor,, and many regional and local outlets.

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