President's Desk

Tech Tools Are Key

An online search of the word technology generates 1.8 billion results — but that’s not surprising. The proliferation of computers, the Internet, various types of software, and hand-held communication devices has had a dramatic impact on all our lives.

Like most industries, commercial real estate has changed forever with technological advancements that let practitioners do their jobs better and, in turn, serve clients more effectively. CCIM Institute has stayed at the forefront of making useful technology a key member benefit.

The institute’s commitment to technology started with a presence on the Internet and has evolved to a suite of valuable services and tools that are second-to-none among those offered by industry associations. And we continue to incorporate ways to bring technology into the CCIM education program.

Our most recent member survey reveals just how important CCIM technology is to both designees and candidate members. In a survey conducted this year, designees reported they visited www.ccim.com on average six times each month, while candidates visited the site seven times monthly. By comparison, in a survey conducted in 2000, designees indicated that they visited the CCIM Web site five times a month, and candidates, four times a month.

STDBonline (www.stdbonline.com) understandably remains very popular among our members, registering around 1,500 users per day. In this year’s survey, 81 percent of designee members reported using the site. Upon its launch in 2000, an estimated 72 percent of designees used the site. The percentage of candidate members using STDB has remained constant at around 69 percent.

STDB and the newly re-launched CCIMNet commercial information exchange are certainly the most high-profile technology features offered through www.ccim.com. But CCIM Institute’s technology footprint also includes the following initiatives.

  • The Blackboard academic suite, an interactive gateway to CCIM education courses, allows students and instructors to communicate online before, during, and after CCIM courses. The site also hosts information on the designation process and creates an online forum for CCIM Institute committees.
  • The online education course series consists of six non-
    designation courses that offer commercial investment practitioners convenient, affordable educational opportunities outside of the traditional classroom.
  • Curriculum redesign work continues on rewriting the core course content. Efforts also are underway to develop alternative delivery strategies for the new curriculum to include online and classroom instruction. In addition, a comprehensive education knowledge base is under development, featuring a Web-based software tool and a database of education content.
  • CCIM podcasts were launched in early 2007 and are available at the CCIM podcast page (http://podcast.ccim.com). These audio and visual features cover institute history and technology, review past conferences, and provide insight on RERC/CCIM Investment Trends Quarterly.

Making technology a priority has taken the institute far. In fact, it is woven into the very fabric of the CCIM Institute strategic plan. These technology assets are a part of what makes CCIM designees distinct in the marketplace. We will continue to enhance the array of technology tools for the benefit of CCIM members and the real estate industry.

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