CCIM Education

Retail Education

CCIM courses hit the mark for shopping center students.

Part of the strategy for promoting CCIM Institute’s education program to a wider audience is partnering with other established commercial real estate professional development programs. For the past several years, CCIM has sponsored sessions at the University of Shopping Centers, hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers on the campus of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. This year, nearly 500 retail specialists took part in the three-day event that featured 57 classes at all levels, from executive to entry-level professionals. The program’s aim — to offer practical information that can be used immediately in business — dovetails with CCIM’s own focus on accessible knowledge.

As part of the Advanced/Finance and Financial Analysis curriculum, CCIM Institute hosted four sessions, two each presented by CCIM instructors H. Blaine Strickland, CCIM, president of HBS Resources, Inc., of Orlando, Fla., and Walter S. Clements, CCIM, president of Clements Realty Advisors in Glenview, Ill.

Strickland presented two sessions: comparing leases for different spaces and measuring a user’s cost of occupancy, both drawn from concepts presented in CCIM’s CI 103 course. Strickland’s students included executives from several well-known retailers, as well as retail real estate investment trusts and development companies. He was also struck by the classes’ diversity. “About one-third of students attending USC were international, and from quite a distance.” His classes included students from Russia, Colombia, Romania, and U.A.E.

Clements tackled trade area analysis based on CI 102 concepts and win-win negotiations. He shared basic concepts of feasibility analysis and a case study for a retail center he developed in a suburban Kansas City location. He incorporated STDB data, which provides CCIM members with access to ESRI data in addition to several other valuable tools.

“The CCIM concepts were spot on for what the attendees needed to know — how to analyze demographic and psychographic data from a user’s perspective to speak directly to the needs of the potential tenant,” Clements says. “Many of the participants were amazed at the incredible value of being a CCIM and having access to this data.” He also illustrated how to slice and dice the data “to help a retailer decide if a particular location is optimal for their unique product or service.”

The subject of successful negotiations cuts a broad swath across day-to-day activities for retail tenants, landlords, and developers, Clements notes. “The interest-based approach is extremely helpful in any negotiation experience.” It also brought some interesting reactions from students, especially those from other cultures. “The students were from nine different countries. The negotiations concepts of high integrity and expending your energy to satisfy everyone’s needs through an interest-based model were truly enlightening for most of them.”

ICSC’s international student body is not surprising, given that most retail companies are focusing expansion and development efforts globally. The top 250 retailers worldwide derived almost 25 percent of their 2012 profits from cross-border operations, according to Deloitte’s “Global Powers of Retailing 2014” report. Emerging economies show the most retail promise: Latin America’s retail revenue growth in 2012 was the world’s highest at 14.7 percent, with Africa/Middle East next at 13.5 percent. In contrast, U.S. retail revenue growth was 4.3 percent for 2012.

The globalization of retail real estate also presents a growth opportunity for the CCIM education program as well. Strickland says that only 20 percent of his students knew about the CCIM program. “They were generally not familiar with the requirements and had not been previously exposed to the information that I shared,” he says.

Clements’ experience was similar and he saw a great deal of interest from the students. “They were very serious about learning about the CCIM program and the content.”

The enthusiasm of the students was “inspirational,” Clements adds. “One can always tell if the audience appreciated the information and delivery by the number of people in line after the presentation requesting copies of my slides. Even though we provided written outlines of the materials, they still had a thirst for more.”

In addition to Strickland and Clements, three other CCIMs led courses: Charlotte Strain, CCIM, senior vice president of asset management for The Rappaport Cos., in McLean, Va.; Ralph Conti, CCIM, principal of Ra Co Real Estate Advisors in Atlanta, and John M. Crossman, CCIM, president of the Crossman & Co. in Orlando, Fla.

In October, ICSC is partnering with the Lusk Center of Real Estate at the University of Southern California to present a West Coast University of Shopping Centers program.

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