Tech Tools Help Close Deals, Continue Education

During the CCIM Institute 102 course about market analysis for CRE investment in July 2015, Paula L. Bruns closed one deal totaling nearly $100,000 in commission, signed up one existing tenant and two new tenants for leases, and proposed six new transactions.

“It has taken me a long time to realize that my deal flow increases when I sign up for a CCIM class,” says Bruns, vice president at Colville Office Properties in Houston. “Do not let your job be an impediment to taking CCIM courses.”CCIM logo

The CCIM Institute confers the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation through an extensive curriculum and experiential requirements.

Smart phones, e-mails, and texting have revolutionized the ability of CCIM students and instructors to conduct business while taking CCIM courses. Breaks and lunch periods provide time to return calls, texts, and e-mail.

“There is an interesting phenomenon in our business that ‘activity begets activity,’” says CCIM senior instructor Gary Ralston, CCIM, CRE, SIOR, who also is a managing partner at Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty LLC in Lakeland, FL. “It seems the second or third offer on a property always happens at the same time as the first offer. I like to think that this phenomenon happens to students during the CCIM courses.”

In fact, Ralston connected on two deals while he was teaching the CI 102 core course in Houston, July 14–17, 2015. He and his students have frequently collaborated on making introductions that result in new business for both of them. For example, a student who serves as a convenience store executive introduced Ralston to the person responsible for his market, and a deal is now pending. Another student got him acquainted with his colleagues at an investment fund based in Argentina, which could be a “game changer,” according to Ralston. He is traveling to Buenos Aires later this month. At the recent CI 102 course, student Simon Ha connected Ralston with a tenant he had trying to meet in his market, which Ha says will help them both.

During three of the four CCIM core courses that Ha has taken for earning the CCIM designation, he always works outside of the sessions. “I know how to manage my time and plan ahead to work through lunches and breaks,” says Ha, principal at Centric Commercial REA in Houston. “I managed the sale of a property while taking CI 102 while also overseeing other deals and managing a few members on my team.”

Online CCIM Course Complements Traditional Offering
Meanwhile, an online version of CCIM Institute’s “Foundations for Success in Commercial Real Estate” launched on August 3, 2015 and runs to August 17, in five sessions. This online course will be offered quarterly and complements the classroom version, which was rewritten two years ago.

“Different platforms appeal to different kinds of learners and different generations,” says CCIM Instructor Mark Polon, CCIM, who developed both the classroom and online versions of the Foundations course. “The Foundations online course is an alternative delivery model for those prefer online formats or who work in a business environment without flexible schedules.”