CCIM Candidate Spotlight: Kaveh Albekord
Kaveh Albekord's path to his promising career in real estate wasn't a straightforward move from point A to point B. After receiving his master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida in 2006, Albekord left the Sunshine State to work in the medical device industry in the Northeast. In a client-facing role, Albekord grew to appreciate the relationships associated with his work.
Sharing an entrepreneurial spirit with his father, Hossein, the younger Albekord made a major professional change in 2014, returning to Orlando to join the family real estate business. Together, the father-and-son duo run Albekord Inc., a firm Hossein founded in 1995 that handles both commercial and residential properties. With technical skills gained from his engineering career, Kaveh has focused on the commercial side and began his CCIM education in 2017. Commercial Investment Real Estate caught up with Albekord to hear more about his journey to commercial real estate and his goals for earning the CCIM pin.
CIRE: What experiences, professionally and personally, led you to seek CCIM designation?
KAVEH ALBEKORD: You can't spend much time in commercial real estate without realizing that those with the most knowledge and experience in the industry have their CCIM. I specifically remember collecting information on available spaces for lease near a listing one day. While driving around the surrounding area, I noticed that almost all the signs for the spaces had a CCIM's name on it. I knew right then that if I wanted to be taken seriously in this business, I needed to earn my designation. After researching it more, I also knew being able to plug into a network of industry experts would be invaluable when working for a small family firm.
CIRE: Have you been able to put your education to use? How has the designation curriculum impacted your professional abilities?
ALBEKORD: Oftentimes, those who pursue their designation have to take the courses as a formality, even though they already know a lot of the information through their own experience. Since I was coming from a different career and starting in a small firm, I knew that learning through experience was not going to be fast enough for me. I learned more before lunch on the first day than I had in entire courses taught elsewhere. I've used the skills that I learned in my core courses for every deal I've had since my very first course. My clients, especially those that are used to making decisions with their gut, have also appreciated the extra level of analysis that I can provide.
CIRE: Where are you currently in your progression toward the exam? Do you have a target date for taking it?
ALBEKORD: Well, I was scheduled to take the CCR course and exam in April, but COVID-19 thought I'd need a few extra months to prepare, so now I'm scheduled to take it in August of this year.
CIRE: What has been the most challenging aspect of your journey toward CCIM designation?
ALBEKORD: I actually felt that the process of coursework and portfolio was simple to navigate - but that doesn't mean it was easy. I think everyone in commercial real estate would agree that no two deals are alike. Every time I learn how to overcome something from one deal, I try to apply it to the next. The only problem is the next deal has a completely different hurdle to overcome! This makes everything both exciting and challenging.
I'll admit I had some reservations [about working with my father], but not many. What I didn't expect was that a few short years later, he'd easily become the best boss/partner/mentor I could ask for.
CIRE: What support structures have helped you during this process? Have you received help from colleagues or mentor figures?
ALBEKORD: I was fortunate to get involved with the board of directors for the central district of the Florida CCIM Chapter the year after I started my coursework. Having worked with other organizations, I'm always impressed with how organized our district is, and it's a testament to the people who serve on the board. They all approach the industry from different perspectives, and many have been CCIMs since before I could say the letters. Anytime I run into an issue that might be new to me, I know I've got an expert on the topic only a phone call away. For that reason, I highly recommend other candidates become active in their local chapters.
CIRE: What does it mean to you to be able to work in a family business? What does it mean to your clients, seeing a father and son invested in their endeavor?
ALBEKORD: Before I started working with my father, this was the question on everyone's mind. “Are you concerned at all about going into business with family?” I'll admit that I had some reservations, but not many. What I didn't expect was that a few short years later, he'd easily become the best boss/partner/mentor I could ask for. Our clients have always felt comforted knowing that they are working with a team that has the experience and wisdom of an older broker while being able to leverage the latest technology and analysis that a younger broker can offer. In addition, a father-and-son team like ours can welcome people in more as family than as a traditional client.
For more on the CCIM designation process and curriculum, visit Earning the CCIM Designation.