CCIM Candidate Spotlight: Meetu Bhatnagar
Meetu Bhatnagar is a real estate agent based in Irving, Texas, currently pursuing her CCIM designation. The president of JMD Acquisitions, she took a unique route to commercial real estate. After receiving her Ph.D. in organic chemistry, Bhatnagar began investing in real estate in 2010. Six years later, she received her license in Texas, where she specializes in investment properties and daycares, though she is pursuing multifamily deals.
Bhatnagar has received the International Sterling Society Award from Coldwell Banker, which honors individuals in the top 17 percent internationally. She spoke with Commercial Investment Real Estate magazine to discuss her journey toward earning the CCIM designation.
CIRE: Can you summarize your experiences, both personal and professional, that led you to seek the CCIM designation? What was the “aha moment” when you knew this was going to be your career path?
Bhatnagar: I started investing in real estate in 2010 as a part of my dream to be an entrepreneur. I worked on the acquisition of a preschool for 200 kids with a value-add opportunity and successfully turned it around quickly. I wanted to have multiple locations, so I decided to pursue my real estate license so that I could do extensive due diligence. Commercial real estate was always my passion, and I was determined to provide the best service to my clients. Pretty quickly, I was among the top three producers in my office. Because of this, I received a scholarship for emerging broker training from my company, Coldwell Banker Commercial. When I went to Los Angeles for the training, I first heard about CCIM Institute from the instructor. Learning how the designation would help me be seen among top recognized leaders in commercial real estate was my “aha moment.”
CIRE: Why did you enroll in CI101? What factors led to taking that first step?
Bhatnagar: I have a background in research and analytics. But really, I am a continuous learner, so I believed that CI 101 would enhance my financial analytical skills. I figured I would become comfortable doing complex financial analyses, making better investment decisions, and providing the best advice to my clients. With all those considerations in mind, I decided to take my first step and enrolled in CI 101.
CIRE: Have you been able to put your education to use? How has the designation curriculum impacted your professional abilities?
Bhatnagar: I recently completed all the core courses, and my education to this point has tremendously increased my confidence and analysis skills. I can thoroughly analyze different scenarios and take the correct course of action. I can better understand the pressing issues and educate my clients about them. I was successful both as a business owner and as an investor before beginning my CCIM education, but the concept of the time value of money has been a hugely significant takeaway from CCIM.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your journey toward the CCIM designation?
I realized that getting the pin will not only enhance my skills and confidence, but it will also grow my business at a faster pace.
Bhatnagar: Really, the hardest part has been finding the necessary time for the courses. But after finishing CI 101, I realized that getting the CCIM pin will not only enhance my skills and confidence, but it will also grow my business at a faster pace. Once I receive my CCIM designation, I will be among the recognized leaders in the industry. My investors, lenders, and clients will all have more confidence in me. Because of this, I have prioritized my education — and it was important to me to finish all the courses as soon as possible. I completed all the core courses in less than five months.
What support structures have helped you during this process? Have you received help from colleagues or mentor figures? Is there a CCIM that inspires you?
Bhatnagar: The biggest support is my family. My husband has made a point to be sure he is available to care for our kids when I travel to take courses from top CCIM instructors. Also, all CCIM designees continue to be very welcoming, inspiring, and willing to give support. Finally, my mentor, Carmela Ma, CCIM, inspires me the most, and she continues to be my role model.
CIRE: What is one thing you’d like to tell yourself in five or 10 years, when your CCIM pin seems like a fixture in your business wardrobe?
Bhatnagar: At that point, when I can envision my business growing at a much faster pace, I know I will be thankful for my decision to pursue my CCIM designation. My pin will be precious to me, and I know I will consider it to be among my biggest achievements. The time and the work will be worth it.
What most inspires you to seek continued improvement?
Bhatnagar: My passion for real estate, my investors’ trust, my self-confidence, and my determination to leave a legacy for my kids — these are the things that keep me seeking to continually improve myself, in my business and in life.
For more on the CCIM designation process and curriculum, visit Earning the CCIM Designation.