It is only within the last quarter-century that real estate practitioners have gained acceptance as professionals in the true sense of the word. Most of the education, self-regulation, and standards of practice to ensure integrity and quality of service to the consumer, are voluntary.

The education and other requirements for obtaining and maintaining a real estate license are administered by the licensing commissions in the individual states. However, in addition to the work of the commissions, many trade and professional associations have evolved, giving the practitioners a broader resource for education and professional development.

By the very nature of people's lives and national economy, the housing industry is the largest segment of the real estate business. Consequently, the majority of the nation's approximately two million real estate brokers and salespersons serve almost exclusively the buyers and sellers of single-family homes. The main thrust of the trade and professional associations for real estate practitioners is also logically toward the residential segment.

There is, however, the large field of what is commonly known as commercial-investment real estate property bought, sold, and owned for business or industrial use, or as an investment for the appreciation in value of a property over time or for the tax benefits of ownership. 1987 statistics estimate that 5.4 percent of real estate licensees nationwide name commercial-investment real estate as their specialty in practice.

In this field, it has been the Commercial-Investment Real Estate Council, now named CCIM Institute, which has gained recognition as a leader in education and progressive change. The Institute's mark of achievement of its standards of learning and professional practice is the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation, highly valued by those who have attained it and widely respected in the business community.

CCIM Institute is one of three professional associations comprising the Realtors National Marketing Institute, chartered in 1923 and itself the largest of nine affiliates of the National Association of Realtors. The National Association of Realtors, the largest trade organization in the United States, serves and represents the interests of the real estate industry and profession as a whole. Each of the nine affiliates serves a distinct field of specialization within the industry.

The purpose with this history is to recount the origins and evolution of the CCIM designation and CCIM Institute, sharing its perspective as the association has grown and changed.

Chapter 1: Acknowledgments

Chapter 3: The Beginnings