Building and Changing

As the CCIM program entered the 1970s, its work became more focused even as it was expanding into other areas and media. The organizational environment was created, and their identity was established. The CCIMs were able to develop marketing and other educational tools for their specialty. They were also able to bring to their curriculum, still the cornerstone of their success, a structure and discipline that they knew was needed.

A one-day educational program had earlier been developed as a feeder for the IPET courses. An adaptation for the CCIM program, Operation Opportunity, was conceived by Victor Lyon. Operation Opportunity used traditional classroom instruction as the basics of investment real estate to interest real estate brokers in commercial brokerage and the CCIM designation program. In addition to being a useful marketing vehicle, Operation Opportunity could solve a problem perceived by many: the five-day courses were too long and too expensive. Over time, a two-day course with examination was developed, Introduction to Commercial Investment Real Estate (CI Intro).

However, by the late 1970s, the CI Intro concept was being reevaluated: students who took CI Intro had two days' worth of material when they took CI 101. Note: in 1975, the CID courses were renamed CI [Commercial Investment], and renumbered 101, 102, and so forth CI Intro was discontinued in 1980, and the feeder course has not been pursued as a national program since.

Another successful program area has been publishing, in which the CPEs were involved as early as the mid-1960s. A Real Estate Traders Handbook, published by the International Traders Club, was a widely used reference tool. When NIREB acquired the CPE and began developing the CCIM program from that base, the Handbook went through several revisions under various titles. As the courses began to build a reputation, the need was recognized for a more comprehensive companion text, one that would discuss the concepts taught in the course but still be useful outside the classroom.

Marketing Investment Real Estate, authored by Victor Lyon, Robert Ward, Dr. Stephen Messner, and Dr. Irving Schreiber, was first published by the Institute in 1975. Through revised editions and special supplements published for various tax law revisions, the gray book as it is commonly called, has gained wide acceptance as a text in college and university real estate and economics courses.

In the curriculum itself, the faculty members were discussing improvements they saw being needed. There was no consistent outline development process, the outlines themselves were not as comprehensive or professional as the instructors thought the material deserved, and many course concepts were taught in varying ways by individual instructors.

In 1971, the CCIMs had 371 designees and approximately 800 candidates, and a faculty of approximately 50 members. Institute membership totaled approximately 7000.

Within the CCIM program, discussions were focusing on the equity rate of return, which many felt was outmoded although it was still taught in the courses. The equity of return didn't consider the concept of the time value of money. A new measure, called the Internal Rate of Return was beginning to be used in other industries to determine the present value of future cash flows.

Victor Lyon and Jay Levine, working independently, both learned of and began experimenting with how IRR could apply to investment real estate. After they learned of each other's work and shared their findings, they were both convinced that IRR was a superior measure of yield.

Victor Lyon presented these findings at a committee meeting, and the faculty committed itself to a total review and restructuring of the curriculum concepts, presentation materials, and the development process.

Victor Lyon, CID Chairman of 1972, was charged with finding an educational consultant to help the faculty resolve the rate- of-return issue and to work with a long-range planning committee on redesigning the courses and development process.

After negotiations with several prospective consultants, the committee contracted with Dr. Stephen Messner, who would later be one of the co-authors of the aforementioned book Marketing Investmen Real Estate. At that time, Dr. Messner headed up the finance department at the University of Connecticut in Mansfield, Conn.

In March 1972, the long-range planning committee spent three days meeting in Chicago. They approached their task by developing a list of goals for the curriculum that a student should be able to do after completing each course in the series, This is a practice the Council has continued over the years, revising the list as needed to give them a touchstone of the CCIM Institute's fundamentals. These skills were then prioritized and sequenced. A detailed framework was developed and adopted for ongoing course development and revisions, as well as for faculty development.

One conclusion of this meeting was that the CCIM Institute courses needed to be expanded to six days: five days of instruction with the examination given on the morning of the sixth day.

Another important decision was that Internal Rate of Return would be adopted as the CCIM standard and written into all of the courses. A two-day seminar was planned to bring past students and existing CCIMs current on IRR.

This three-day meeting was a turning point, a breakthrough, for the faculty and the CCIM program overall. The myriad side agendas were abandoned as the faculty began to feel the strength of their common goals; the end result demonstrated the faculty's tremendous dedication to the CCIM program and their capacity for work.

Ruth Ellis, then executive secretary and later staff vice president of the Council, called it a magic meeting, a name that has entered the Council's internal vocabulary as the informal name for the Educational Long Range Planning Committee, now a standing Council committee charged with oversight of the broad curriculum framework and its major changes and philosophies.

Dr. Messner was awarded an honorary CCIM in 1981 and continued to play a role in the development and planning of the CCIM curriculum.

Throughout CCIM Institute's history, one of the program's most valued qualities continues to be the real world approach of the instruction. Technical and educational theories and research are used for content and structure, and the instructors are required to have ongoing experience in the actual business of commercial- investment real estate.

Consequently, the instructors speak the same language and confront the same real world problems as the students; they are in close touch with changes and trends within their industry and communities. The credibility the program gains through this reality-based instruction is something that the Council never underestimates.

An instructor development committee was formed in the program's early years. Jay Levine was the first chairman, and Victor Lyon succeeded him in this post. Instructor development remains a critical element in the overall program; recruitment, evaluation, and ongoing development and training have evolved as highly disciplined, well managed areas within an overall quality control system. In 1986, the Victor L. Lyon Award was established to be awarded annually to the faculty member named Instructor of the Year.

It is in 1972 that the CCIM curriculum and other designation requirements begin to very closely resemble what they are in the late 1980s. In 1972, the requirements for obtaining the CCIM were as follows:

  • NIREB Membership
  • CID Membership
  • Local Board of Realtors Membership
  • Successful completion of
    • CID A - Investment Analysis; Exchanging
    • CID B - Commercial Brokerage
    • CID C - Taxation
    • CID D - Case Studies (comprehensive overview of A, B, C)
  • Two demonstration reports (later increased to three). These are reports written on actual transactions the candidate was involved in, showing competence in brokerage and application of course concepts.
  • Resume of commercial investment transactions the candidate was involved in during his candidacy period.
  • Fulfillment of elective credits from a broad range of accomplishments in education and business related experience.
  • Successful completion of an oral interview, conducted at a national meeting. The review panel of three CCIMs could question the candidate on virtually anything from the courses, his demonstration reports, or resume transactions.

In 1978, this was converted to a written examination for four main reasons:

1. To remove the subjectivity of an oral interview testing situation.

2. To decrease the stress factor for the candidates, which is very high even with the written examination.

3. To enable the Council to effectively administer its standards for an ever-growing number of candidates.

4. To enable effective testing of calculations, which were becoming increasingly sophisticated.


One fundamental formula, the IRR, was discovered to have some flaws. It gave too narrow a view of an individual's investment situation and ignored several potentially vital factors, including the duration and size of the investment. A new measure, Financial Management Rate of Return was developed and written into the courses. FMRR required more computing than could easily be achieved with any of the existing tools. In the mid-1970s, the course material and examinations were rewritten for heavy use of hand-held financial calculators. Microcomputers debuted in the CI classroom in the early 1980s, being an integral part of in CI 105, the capstone, or case studies course

In 1974, the National Association of Real Estate Boards changed its name to the National Association of Realtors; NIREB changed its name to Realtors National Marketing Institute. Concurrently, the Commercial Investment Division was renamed the Commercial Investment Council.

The Council Chairman was, ex officio, a Vice President of the Institute. The other NIREB/RNMI division, with its emphasis on residential sales and brokerage management, was renamed the Marketing Management Council, which was previously named the Residential Division and the Office Administration Division and later the Real Estate Brokerage Council.

The professional designation offered by this Council is CRB -- Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager. A third Council of RNMI, Residential Sales, was officially formed in 1976. Its designation, Certified Residential Specialist, was established in 1977.

In 1973, the Council recognized that a missing component in the curriculum was human relations. William Turner, a CCIM instructor from California, was commissioned to develop a six-day course on communications and human relations skills as they relate to the various stages, persons, and attitudes involved in a commercial investment real estate transaction. This course, Principles and Techniques of Effective Communications for Commercial Investment Selling, premiered in 1974 as CIDE, an elective course in the CCIM program.

It was approved as a required course in 1976. In 1982, the case studies course, CI 104, was rewritten to incorporate the key communications skills material, making the course a truly comprehensive capstone for the series. The courses were also re-sequenced, with the communications skills course becoming CI 104 (Impact of Human Behavior on Commercial Investment Decision Making) and the case studies course becoming CI 105 (Case Studies ion Commercial Investment).

In November 1979, the Council designated its 1,000th CCIM. At that time, there were approximately 4,000 CCIM candidates. The extraordinary growth in membership had been aided by an overall restructuring of RNMI membership.

In 1978, CCIM Institute signed an accord with the National Association of Realtors, whereby RNMI's membership magazine, Real Estate Today, was to be sold to NAR, and RNMI would discontinue general membership, which reached 50,000 in 1978, its last year.

RNMI Membership would be composed solely of holders of its designations, and individuals who were enrolled as candidates in the designation programs. Consequently, many general members of RNMI either converted directly to CCIM candidacy or rejoined as candidates during the first years of the new membership structure.


Chapter 4: A National Connection

Chapter 6: Chapters: A Grassroots Connection