President's Desk

When the Going Gets Tough

In many markets across the U.S. and around the globe, commercial investment real estate is holding its own and even thriving. However, some areas of the U.S. are in different stages and varying intensities of a downward economic cycle, which is affecting sales velocity and leasing scenarios for office, retail, and industrial space. Furthermore, the residential market’s struggles, stress in the capital markets, and the tightened lending arena are making many investors nervous, causing them to sit on the sidelines. However, while some may think these conditions do not bode well for commercial real estate professionals, one could argue that these challenges are excellent news for CCIM Institute members and designees.

How so? In thriving economic times, the margin of error for commercial real estate is very wide. For example, high occupancy rates can offset weaknesses in rents, and smart financing choices can overcome bad operational decisions. In other words, there are many pressure points in commercial investment real estate, such as acquisition pricing errors, poor location choices, and uninformed rent decisions, which, in a thriving, expanding, and growing market, arguably can be overcome by other factors such as abundant or inexpensive capital, market momentum or growth, and even just sheer luck.

Conversely, in difficult economic times, the margin of error is very narrow. Property owners, tenants, investors, lenders, borrowers, and others in the real estate industry can’t expect miscues to be easily offset by other market influences. In short, professionals need the benefits that the CCIM Institute provides — Networking, Education, and Technology.

The networking opportunities provided by CCIM on local, regional, national, and virtual levels are excellent vehicles for obtaining market knowledge, sharing ideas, and gaining relevant information on how to migrate through a down market.

The CCIM educational offerings are crucial to staying informed and knowledgeable about leading practices in the industry. Many of the topics covered in the Robert L. Ward Center for Real Estate Studies courses are developed to provide the skill sets necessary to make informed decisions in any market.

The CCIM technology tools, including,, and the knowledge available at are designed and maintained to provide cutting-edge resources and to help members offer the best possible service and data to their clients.

Ultimately, when the going gets tough, the tough (and successful) look to the CCIM Institute and its programs, products, and services to get going.


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