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Using Down Time to Move Up


Have you been putting off that professional certification because you haven't had the time? Now might be the perfect opportunity to give your career a boost.


Professional certifications verify your knowledge regarding a field of expertise, and that certainly holds true for the commercial real estate industry. Here are some of the key certifications that can make an impact on your career.


Becoming a Certified Property Manager

A Certified Property Manager (CPM)[i] credential shows that you can manage a wide range of properties from residential to office to retail.

The qualifications include:

  • Three years of management experience with large residential properties and one or more commercial/industrial sites.
  • The ability to perform 19 of 36 key management functions, such as hiring and managing staff, contracting site services and analyzing market conditions.
  • Completion of seven certified educational courses or have 20 years of qualifying property management experience.
  • A passing score in the management plan course or on an equivalent management plan skills test.
  • A passing score on the CPM certification exam.
  • Attendance of the approved property management ethics course and a passing score on the exam.


Specialize as an Accredited Residential Manager

An Accredited Residential Manager (ARM)[ii] credential is a more specialized certification that shows prospective employers you have mastered all aspects of residential property management.

The qualifications include:

  • One year of experience managing medium-sized residential properties only or managing small- to medium-sized mixed-use properties.
  • The ability to perform 14 of 29 key management functions, such as personnel management, property inspections and creating and implementing key marketing functions.
  • Completion of one certified educational course or possess a recognized degree in real estate property management
  • A passing score on the ARM certification exam.
  • Attendance of the approved property management ethics course and a passing score on the exam.


Joining the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors

Becoming an accredited member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR)[iii] offers you the opportunity to either enter on the ground floor of industrial and office brokerage or take advanced courses to begin your career in management. You can choose between industrial or office realty, dual industrial and office realty, sales management or executive management.

The qualifications include:

  • For industrial, office or dual realty certification, completion of least five years of active engagement in the field.
  • For sales management certification, completion of at least five years of active sales management experience with 10 or more brokers or salespersons.
  • For executive management specialists, the SIOR requires at least five years of active commercial real estate services management supervising more than 100 brokers in three or more locations or the same number of years with oversight responsibility for a commercial real estate network.
  • Maintenance of a minimum annual production in Gross Fee Income (GFI) for three out of your past four years of experience. GFI is the fee income that is directly attributable to you that your firm receives before splits. The minimum GFI is market-based and set by your local SIOR chapter.
  • Formal endorsements from two Active Designee Members in your chapter who are not in your network or your firm's network.
  • Completion of required educational courses and a passing score on all applicable exams.
  • Completion of SIOR ethics training and a passing score on the exam.


Advantages of a Certified Commercial Investment Member

A Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)[iv] credential shows that you have completed advanced work in financial and market analysis and have applied that education to real-world experiences in the commercial real estate industry. Most members are able to complete all membership requirements within one to three years.

The qualifications include:

  • Completion of an ethics course, negotiation training and additional courses at the Ward Center for Real Estate Studies. The number of elective Ward courses depends on the type of membership you choose.
  • Submission of a portfolio showing that you have either three or more transactions equaling $30 million or more; 10 transactions equaling $10 million or more; or 20 transactions with no minimum dollar requirement.
  • Enrollment in the two-day Course Concepts Review and a passing score on the Comprehensive Exam.


Why you should take the LEED

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)[v] certification addresses the need for green and sustainable building construction and verification. Changing building regulations to emphasize decreased emissions and environmental impacts make this certification especially desirable. You can choose between the LEED Associate and the advanced LEED AP with specialty certification.


  • Study of the appropriate handbook, attendance of online classes, completion of the study guide or attendance of a workshop to prepare for and pass the LEED exam. In order to qualify for the LEED AP with specialty, you must first hold the LEED Associate certificate.
  • A Green Rater certificate from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will allow you to certify LEED Homes projects and the Green Classroom Professional certificate can enhance your ability to advocate for green initiatives.
  • After obtaining your LEED AP with specialty certification, nomination by your peers as a LEED Fellow, denoting your dedication to LEED principles throughout the course of your career.


Certifications jumpstart your career

The right credentials will improve your chances of getting hired while demonstrating your commitment to excelling in the commercial real estate industry and to upholding its ethical standards.






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