Tuesday, June 28, 2005, Vol. 119, No. 113

Commercial Designations Important for Realtors

Designations Spell Benefits for Commercial Realtors


The Daily News

CCIM, AI, IREM, RLI, SIOR this jumbled bunch of letters are acronyms that all have important meaning for the commercial Realtors who have earned the right to place them after their names.

Certified Commercial Investment Member, Appraisal Institute, Institute of Real Estate Management, Realtors Land Institute and Society of Industrial and Office Realtors each signifies a new level of professional achievement to a commercial Realtor.

They are what they say they are professional designations so anybody within our industry knows that anybody who has those designations has a combination of experience and knowledge and that they are proven producers, said Joel Fulmer, senior vice president of Boyle Investment Co. and president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Commercial Council. They mean a lot of things to me, too, in the respect that whenever Im representing someone who has an out of town need, then I can call a fellow SIOR or CCIM designee in another city for some help and know that I will be dealing with somebody who is talented and operates at a professional level and who will represent my client well.

Building awareness. Not everyone in the industry is aware of the significance of these titles. The MAAR Commercial Council is looking to change that, with a forum planned for Thursday to discuss the designations. Commercial Designations Are They Really Worth It? runs from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at MAARs office at 6393 Poplar Ave.

The MAAR Commercial Council has always been very supportive of continuing education for our commercial brokers, said Melanie Blakeney, MAAR staff executive for the council. We host many, many classes for commercial brokers that can help to earn one or more designations. Different designations mean different levels of education and production.

For some designations, its not just attending courses and taking a test you have to produce a portfolio of successfully closed transactions. Some designations require a certain level of experience, a certain number of years in the business.

The forum is open to Commercial Council members and non-members, including people not currently involved in commercial real estate who are considering a career change.

Its a great way for people who are new to the business or people considering commercial real estate practice as a career to come in during one 90-minute session, said Will Barden of Barden Commercial Realty, president of the local CCIM chapter. They can learn what all the designations are, what the difference is in the designations and what makes the most sense for them. I have two CCIM and SIOR and both those designations add value to my practice. Thats why I have them.

Adding designations. It is common for brokers to earn more than one designation.

Youll find that many of the more successful brokers actually do have more than one designation, Blakeney said. We also realize that perhaps people have not earned any designations and are maybe unaware what those letters are after commercial brokers names. We thought that this informational forum would be a good way to introduce people to that.

Representatives from the local chapters of all five designations will attend the forum. Organizers hope the younger generation of commercial Realtors will gain an interest in designations that could further their careers.

Its our interest that all of these people be as well-trained as they can possibly be, Fulmer said. Its not set up to appeal to people like me who are already participants. Its set up for people who are at the beginning of the learning curve and who wish to have information about how they can become better prepared.

Seeking professionalism. Clients want to know the professionals they are working with have the knowledge and portfolio to provide the best service, Barden said.

Its a way to distinguish yourself amongst your peers, he said. Not everyone in the commercial real estate business has taken time to get all of this education, so there is a competitive advantage that you have when youve gone through the education process and youve demonstrated to the institute that youre someone who can provide added value to clients.

But the designations can help with more than clients, Fulmer said. Other professionals also want to know they are working with someone who knows his stuff.

It so greatly shortens the learning curve, he said. You know theyre qualified, you know they have the education and you know theyve demonstrated themselves as producers in order to meet the criteria for designation.