President's Desk

Invest in Main Street

As I begin my term as CCIM Institute president, I recall how this organization and its members have stepped up to the challenges of past economic downturns. It’s a scenario that is being repeated this year: CCIM Institute has produced a new national advertising campaign to bring more business to CCIMs in their local markets. “Wall Street to Main Street” emphasizes hiring CCIMs in local communities and making investments where clients can see them every day. See the first ad on CIRE’s inside back cover.

Institute members can leverage this opportunity by investing their time, expertise, and financial resources in local markets and economies. It’s a plan of action that starts with you.

Invest in Yourself. Take advantage of the institute’s networking, education, and technology benefits. In the coming months, the institute will roll out a new commercial property information exchange portal. At the heart of this new listing and data platform is a geographic information system developed and managed by ESRI, the market leader in GIS. This partnership between CCIM and ESRI will “set the standard for information exchange and collaboration in commercial real estate worldwide,” says Jack Dangermond, ESRI president.

In addition, invest in your education by taking advanced education courses through the Robert L. Ward Center for Real Estate Studies. Workshops on negotiation strategies, cost segregation, and feasibility analysis offer proven techniques for updating and expanding your professional skills. Access course information at the Ward Center’s home page: www.ccim.com/education/rlwc.

If you’re a CCIM candidate, the most important investment you can make is to complete the coursework and requirements that lead to your designation. In these economic times, you can’t afford not to be a CCIM. There is no greater proof of your expertise and market knowledge than to have those four letters after your name. Consult the ad inside the front cover to find the courses you need.

Designees, make it your goal to encourage one colleague, client, or friend to take a CCIM course in 2009.

Invest in Your Local CCIM Chapter. CCIM chapters are located throughout the U.S. and several other countries, and the one in your market area needs your support and leadership. A CCIM chapter brings the benefits and capabilities of this worldwide organization to your doorstep, making it possible for you and other CCIMs to leverage the CCIM brand in local transactions. Chapters sponsor courses, bringing the CCIM education to your home market, as well as offer platforms for networking and deal making. To find the chapter nearest you, go to http://chapters.ccim.com/.

Invest in Your Community. As commercial real estate professionals, we are uniquely positioned to leverage our real estate and financial expertise to help our cities and towns face the difficult years ahead. Look for opportunities to do business in your local community and rediscover the resources available close to home. Reaffirm your business connections with local banks, vendors, and affiliated professionals. Volunteer in your schools and service organizations. Patronize your local merchants. Finally, use your status as a CCIM as a springboard to community leadership.

Clearly these are monumental times for the institute, our industry, and our nation. But by working at all levels through networking, education, and technology, we can make the most of today’s opportunities on Main Street and around the world.

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