Candidate Spotlight

CCIM Candidate Spotlight: Devin Mecham

Candidate_Mecham

Nobody really knows what to expect on the first day at a new office — that’s part of the reason for the excitement, the nerves, and the anticipation experienced by many. But for Devin Mecham, the second day proved to be the real eye-opener. It was then, in March 2020, when he was just starting out in his current role with NAI Black in Spokane, Wash., that the state completely shut down in response to the initial outbreak of COVID-19. 

But Mecham, who specializes in office leasing and investment brokerage, weathered the storm. A year-plus into the pandemic, he’s enjoying a career in commercial real estate with big plans to submit his portfolio and take the CCIM Comprehensive Exam in October. We caught up with Mecham, who is a husband and father of five, to discuss a career that has included property management and vocational ministry before ultimately bringing him to CRE.

CIRE: What experience, professionally and personally, led you to see CCIM designation? What was the aha! moment when you knew it was worth the time and effort?

Devin Mecham: If I’m going to do something, I don’t like to just play to play — I’m going to play to win. I started with an online search for CRE education and initially discovered the designation that way. I then found a local CCIM who happened to be the chapter president that year, and I grilled him over lunch about the benefits. After attending CI 101 in Seattle, I was hooked. I knew this was the education and these were the tools I needed to be able to set myself apart from the crowd.

CIRE: Have you been able to put your education to use? How has the designation curriculum impacted your professional abilities?

Mecham: I use the tools that I’ve learned almost daily — primarily those from CI 103 and 104. User decision analysis has been huge. I will say, I think the main impact this education has provided has been the increased confidence I have as I’m sitting across the table from potential clients. I know the math will pencil, and I can prove it.

CIRE: What has been the most challenging aspect of your journey toward the CCIM designation?

Mecham: My biggest challenge was finishing my portfolio requirements. I started at NAI Black literally two days before our state was shut down at the start of the pandemic. It took me quite a bit longer than I had hoped it would.

CIRE: What support structures have helped you during this process? Is there a CCIM who inspires you?

Mecham: I’ve received support from so many people. I’m on the board for the Washington State CCIM Chapter, and everyone there is super supportive. My wife has been an all-star in her support. We have a couple of senior brokers in our office who are CCIMs, as well as the president of the company — all of whom are great inspirations for what I want my career to look like, both professionally and personally.

CIRE: Working in Spokane, what challenges and opportunities do you see in a secondary/tertiary market? Do you expect any fundamental shifts in your particular market related to COVID-19?

Mecham: Even though our market is smaller, we’ve seen tremendous job growth, with much more coming, as well as population growth. Spokane is a great place to raise a family, and our quality of life compared to the cost of living here is amazing. COVID-19 created the need for remote workers. We are also having an influx of people who are moving here from major, expensive markets, making the same wages working remotely, but living here for much less. I think there will be a shift somewhat, but not like what some of the major markets are experiencing. We have a lot of people who are just ready to get back to work and willing to take the steps necessary to see that happen.

CIRE: You specialize in nonprofits and churches. What should CRE professionals who are unfamiliar with this market know about it? What's one particular feature that you appreciate about working in the sector? 

Mecham: As a former pastor, I have somewhat of a unique perspective as to how churches and nonprofits operate. I’m also on the board of the Union Gospel Mission here in Spokane. I’ve been a part of churches that have made sound real estate decisions, as well as some who made terrible decisions. I’m a church guy, and I love seeing churches and organizations operate from a spot of health. One thing to know about it — it takes more time than you’d normally expect. Decisions typically have to go through a board, which can take a while, depending on the organization, and financing takes time because the income of these groups is entirely donor-based. It can be tricky, but it so worth the work in the end. 


For more on the CCIM designation process and curriculum, visit  Earning the CCIM Designation.

Nicholas Leider

Nicholas Leider is senior content editor for Commercial Investment Real Estate. Contact him at nleider@ccim.com.

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