What is a CCIM Designation?

As a commercial real estate investor, you have the opportunity for high returns on your investments. You need a broker with experience to share market knowledge and help you make informed decisions. What should you look for in a brokerage? 

Education, experience and a good reputation are all attributes to consider when choosing a commercial real estate broker. However, what puts some brokers above the rest is a CCIM certification. 

What is a CCIM? Find out why you should work with someone who has earned a CCIM designation. 

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Understanding the CCIM Designation

A CCIM, or certified commercial investment member, is someone with a proven track record serving commercial real estate clients. 

CCIMs aspire to be the best in their field. This designation represents a level of experience and dedication that goes beyond that of the average commercial real estate professional. Out of all the CCIM designees currently active in commercial real estate, 67% have a title of owner, partner, principal, president, vice president or broker

Becoming a CCIM requires a high level of quality work in commercial real estate. Less than 10% of all commercial real estate professionals have this designation. Professionals who earn a CCIM certification prove that they have what it takes to succeed in commercial real estate and do so ethically. 

How to Become a CCIM

A CCIM designation shows colleagues and clients that you’re excellent at what you do. You’ve put in the time and effort to build your transactional portfolio and continue learning about the commercial real estate industry. 

Different membership types have varying requirements, but all levels require an educational component, with most requiring a portfolio of qualifying experience. 

The entire CCIM program typically takes one to three years to complete, though in rare cases, CRE professionals have completed a CCIM certification in as little as six months. 

CCIM Courses & Education

Potential CCIM designees must take courses on different aspects of commercial real estate, including market analysis, decision analysis, negotiations training and ethics. 


Most CCIM membership types require a transactional portfolio that shows quality of work as well as a breadth of commercial real estate experience. This portfolio must include proof of at least one of the following: 

  • Three or more qualifying activities totalling $30 million or more; 
  • 10 qualifying activities totalling $10 million or more; or 
  • 20 qualifying activities with no specific dollar amount required. 


After taking the educational courses and submitting a portfolio, potential CCIM designees must take a comprehensive full-day exam that tests mastery of the concepts introduced in the courses. 

CCIM Board Interview

The final step of receiving a CCIM designation is interviewing in front of the CCIM board. During this interview, the prospective designee is asked questions about their experience and how they approach commercial real estate. 

Is a CCIM Designation Worth It?

Why does a CCIM designation matter to clients? In the commercial real estate world, a CCIM designation is as good as gold. It proves that you not only know the industry but also have a track record of ethical, successful business transactions. (What all potential clients want to hear!) 

If you’re not familiar with commercial real estate, you might not understand how this benefits you as a client. There are several reasons why commercial real estate investors should seek out a CCIM.

CCIMs help you: 

  • Make informed decisions. CCIMs help you make decisions based on their years of experience, with designees averaging 22 years in the organization.
  • Maximize return on investment. CCIMs have proven track records. Working with an expert can maximize your return on investment and give you peace of mind.
  • Create a stronger strategy. You’ll develop a commercial real estate strategy alongside a professional with a historical knowledge of industry trends—giving you a leg up! 
  • Ensure ethics. A CCIM is someone who has proven to be honest and law-abiding. You’ll work with a professional you can trust who knows the ins and outs of commercial real estate ethics.

Investing in commercial real estate impacts you and others for years to come. Knowing the commercial real estate professional you’re working with has a proven track record of successful business and an interest in continued education in the field can give you peace of mind when making investment decisions. If you’re looking to buy or rent a commercial property, you’ll be in good hands with a CCIM.

Looking for commercial real estate in Branson, MO? Then you’ll want to work with the only CCIM-designated brokerage in Branson: Commercial One Brokers. 

Steve Critchfield and Robert Huels of Commercial One Brokers have 36 years and 29 years of experience, respectively. They both hold CCIM certifications and are ready to help you find a property in Branson, MO. 

Reach out to our CCIM-designated team today! We’ll help you find the perfect commercial property for your business. 

Article written by Steve Critchfield, CCIM, of Commercial One Brokers. Steve has more than 36 years of experience in commercial and investment real estate. He is active in many Branson, MO organizations, including The Branson Lakes Chamber & CVB, The Tri-Lakes Board of REALTORS and the Taney County Partnership, to name a few. 

Find Steve on LinkedIn


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