Candidate Spotlight

CCIM Candidate Spotlight: Joshua Abrams


Some careers are straight lines — perhaps the fulfillment of a purpose discovered in grade school or high school to be a teacher or musician or business owner. But others are winding roads that take the individual from one industry or expertise to another, seemingly unrelated. For Joshua Abrams, vice president with Bradley Company in Indianapolis, his first career was a relatively brief stint in the technology sector before he found a destination in commercial real estate.

Receiving his degree in informatics from Indiana University in 2014, Abrams spent a few years as a technology consultant working with local government agencies. But he soon made a change — one that now has him pursuing the CCIM designation with a goal of receiving his pin in 2023.

CIRE: With a background as a technology consultant, your career path took a bit of a turn to arrive at CRE. What led you to this field?

Joshua Abrams: I really fell into real estate by luck in the end of 2016. A friend that I went to high school with, Cooper Laikin, called me one day and suggested that I should come interview at the company (then RESOURCE Commercial Real Estate; now Bradley Company). After meeting the principals of RCRE, I knew that this family-oriented company was where I wanted to be. I was willing to start over (as my college degree was in the technology field) and was blessed to have a terrific mentor who took me under his wing.

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

Abrams: I grew up having a strong emphasis on education and lifelong learning, which was a big influence in seeking out the CCIM designation. Sam Smith, CCIM, SIOR, my mentor and business partner, pushed me to seek it. While the idea of going to school again was daunting, I quickly realized that Sam had been preparing me for the designation. The deals that I had worked on were great preparation for the CCIM courses, and they allowed me to succeed in the courses at a high level. I really committed myself to CCIM Institute after I took the free Financial Calculator course. The ability to apply what I learned in that course to my personal life made me realize that the CCIM designation was something I needed to pursue. Frankly, every adult should take that class to understand key financial principles when it comes to buying a home or car.

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

Abrams: Of course! It’s provided me with an extra set of skills that are extremely valuable to many of my clients.

My parents always told to be the first one in the door and the last one out, which in a commission-only business is instrumental in succeeding.

CIRE: What support structures have helped you during this process? Have you received help from colleagues, mentor figures, etc.?

Abrams: I believe the values that have been instilled in me from my parents, my Jewish upbringing, and from my colleagues have helped me throughout the process. I’d like to also thank all my course instructors, as they have been amazing! I am blessed to have learned from Eric Hillenbrand, Dave Bickell, Jeremy Cyrier, Jim Rosen, and Walt Clements. They all were fantastic teachers and just amazing people.

CIRE: Where are you currently in the progression toward the exam? Do you have a target date?

Abrams: I have taken all the courses required to sit for the comprehensive exam and plan to do take it in 2023. I’m currently in the process of submitting my portfolio.

CIRE: Coming from a background focused on technology, how has this mindset or the skills required for such work impacted your career in real estate?

Abrams: It has been a new learning experience, as little to no skills from my previous career were applicable to real estate. I went from installing Windows 7 and department programs on a computer to cold calling and networking for my next paycheck. The values that were taught to me as a child have helped me succeed in the real estate world. For example, my parents always told to be the first one in the door and the last one out, which in a commission-only business is instrumental in succeeding.

CIRE: Is there a particular deal that has been especially interesting or unique in your recent career? What made it so special in your development as a commercial real estate professional?

Abrams: In 3Q of 2019, I won an opportunity of a lifetime. Sam and I were slated to be the third group that would interview to do a very large single-tenant investment sale. We knew that our competition was going to be tough. While we have had experience with single-tenant sales, we knew we needed to team up with the very best to have a chance at winning. By sheer luck, Sam received an email pertaining to CCIM Institute from Tim Hain, CCIM, of B+E Net Lease. After doing a little research on B+E Net Lease, we quickly realized that they were the perfect match for this single-tenant investment. With the help of Camille Renshaw, CCIM, and Tim, we were able to blow our competition out of the water and ended up getting our client a price point that was 20 percent more than what our competition was offering. I’m very thankful I had the opportunity to work with Camille, Tim, and Sam, as well as the client, on this deal because it was an unbelievable opportunity to see all of what CCIM offers in action.

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

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