In the late 1980s, the Council began to focus more specifically on services and programs not directly related to CCIM Institute's educational foundations.
Continually throughout its history, the Council has used membership and market research -- conducted internally or commissioned externally -- to gain a better perspective over the entire terrain of its industry. More importantly, the Council has used this research to guide its plans, both short-term and long-term, and to identify untapped markets and previously unrecognized or emerging needs among its members.
Research has also enabled the Council to identify the value of the CCIM designation -- both perceived value and in terms of dollars. A full-scale membership needs assessment conducted in 1987 revealed that CCIMs' annual earnings were 30 percent higher than nonCCIMs. (A 1984 study had showed a similar differential in favor of CCIMs t earning power.)
While such research findings were gratifying, the Council also saw in the research a growing and need for more direct, noneducation services to members especially for CCIMs designees, if the CCIM program were to continue to grow.
In the early 1980s, a computer software review program was developed to help guide members through the burgeoning number of computer-related products for the real estate industry. The CCIM-RecommendedTM label was established to designate computer products that have met the Council's standards, and the program has proven itself a valuable asset in both marketing and customer service. As the program evolved, the CCIM-Recommended program has been extended to endorse other business-related products and services that qualify under the Council's criteria.
In 1985, a Business Development area was established, with Bruce W. Siegel as its first chairman. Business development was conceived as encompassing programs, products, and services whether developed by the Council or outside that aid members in marketing their professional services in general (as allied to the Council designation promotion and public relation programs and services) and commercial-investment properties in particular.
Marketing sessions -- national, regional, and local -- is one area in which Business Development has been successful, whether by being directly involved in sessions or by providing education and support for interested groups and individual members.
In 1988, the Council held its first National Conference, a large scale, two-day event, just prior to the NAR National Convention. The conference was attended by 450 members, exceeding the Council's estimates for a first-time event. The members were attracted by agenda that included one full day of education sessions and a day marketing sessions, social events, and other noneducation offerings. The interest can unquestionably be attributed at least in part to the Council's rigorous reputation for quality education programming, but the organization was also determined to provide a setting that would give members the opportunity to simply enjoy themselves and each other's company.
The CCIM designation program continues to prosper and change, as does the commercial real estate industry overall. Beginning in 1984, CIREC and NAR have cooperated in legislative and public affairs activities, whereby CIREC members aid NAR in analyzing and pursuing nonresidential issues of a legislative, environmental, or public affairs nature.
Also, the National Association of Realtors in the early 1980s undertook a structural audit to examine every facet of its membership's priorities, activities, and operations.
Concluding that its nonresidential members were benefiting less than those concentrating on the housing industry, NAR has consulted the Council to gain the CCIMs' perspective and insight into the plans and needs of the nonresidential real estate professionals. In this and other areas, both inside and outside the NAR umbrella, CIREC is becoming increasingly sought out as the organizational focus point for expertise in a broad range of real estate-related matters.
The CCIMs are in general extending their influence outside the classroom where they first began teaching people the importance of creativity, painstaking analysis, hard work, and perseverance. The Council's program activities have brought it into contact with many other businesses and organizations that share the CCIMs' desire for increased professionalism. As the CCIMs look forward to, their next 30 years, they see among their number people with the same qualities, vision, analytical ability, and enjoyment of their work. The people they work with that helped the first 20 years be as successful as they have been. They have no doubt that the end of the next 30 years will see the CCIM designees and CCIM Institute continuing to grow, change, and contribute to their profession.
Chapter 7: The Earning of Autonomy