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How valuable is a CCIM Designation to an Attorney

I thought I would share with you a recent email that I received inquiring about a CCIM designation could help an attorney.

Hello, Howard.

I was wondering if you would share your experience with the CCIM designation.  What has it added to your ESQ? I could have been a perpetual student.  I love to learn and the CCIM will of course be fun and informative.  But I am curious whether the designation has made a difference in your law practice (as opposed to your broker practice).  I am a commercial real estate attorney, big firm trained, concentrating in development and finance and with a significant office leasing practice.  As exec, I have run international office, warehouse, call center, retail, data center portfolios.  I am sure I can qualify for and achieve the CCIM, but at what return on the time and money invested? 

I responded by stating:

I have been a member of CCIM but never obtained the designation.  At a few points in my career, I was an active broker, primarily in office and retail leasing. However, I perceive that the value in the designation lie primarily in the area of purchase and sale of real property and in the education received while working towards the designation.  To me, the effort that it takes to obtain the designation positively reflects on you as a real estate professional and means that you put considedrable value in hard work and professional knowledge and competence.  These are attributes that I would be looking for in broker. Unfortunately, I do not think that most buyers and sellers generally recognize the full value of the knowledge and experience that the designation reflects.

If you are looking for more knowledge, by all means pursue the designaton. If you are looking for more titles to put after your name, the designation doesn’t hurt and may even help, particularly among your fellow designees, who will fully appreciate the designation.  The knowledge that you gain while pursuing the designation should be invaluable. 

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  • Pamela Crawford

    I wasted time interviewing real estate attorneys in Dallas (& was even sent a bill! from one whippersnapper) to choose the best one for a purchase agreement & NNN Lease. The only one who was superior in every way was a CCIM designated older atty. He said he refused to negotiate or go to court for me but he was impeccable in his fine tooth comb vetting and changes in the contracts.

  • hfklaw


    I think finding and choosing the right attorney or professional to help you is a daunting task and not for the light hearted. Designations age can give you an idea of the knowledge and education that the professional availed themselves of, but is not a guarantee of their competence, trustworthiness or professionalism. Word of mouth is probably, still the best way to make your decision. With that being said, an attorney who also has a CCIM designation is someone who apparently takes themselves and the responsibilities seriously.