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Bisnow Exclusive: CCIM Brings Real Estate Education To Veterans


Now veterans can receive their real estate designations from one of the most revered programs in the field...and not pay a dime.

CCIM Institute, known throughout the industry as the Ph.D. of real estate education programs, launched its new CCIM Vets in Real Estate Program nearly two months ago in partnership with the US Department of Veteran Affairs.

The program welcomes vets to receive a rigorous education in real estate—and ultimately a CCIM designation—funded through the GI Bill. Lodging accommodations, travel costs and course fees are all covered.

“We’re very pleased with the response. Veterans have indicated a strong interest and fortunately once they go through our program—because it is advanced education in CRE—a number of the major firms have indicated they’re willing to interview and potentially hire those veterans directly into the industry,” CCIM president-elect Robin Webb tells Bisnow. (Pictured are Steve Moreira, CCIM 2016 president; Mark Macek, CCIM 2015 president; Walt Clements, CCIM CEO; Robin Webb, CCIM 2016 president-elect.) 

Top firms partnering with CCIM to help vets advance in the industry include Marcus & Millichap, Ten-X and Colliers International.

The new program has been in the works for more than a year now, Robin says, and officially launched a little more than 60 days ago. CCIM has 125 veteran candidates taking courses, though that number is projected to grow quickly.  

At present, the program is only available through CCIM’s Chicago offices, but the institute is working alongside the VA to expand the program throughout the country.


US Marines vet Matthew Mellott, a broker at Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is halfway through the program and said he is already seeing results.

“It’s a professional designation that most people recognize in the industry. If you get the CCIM certification, you are in the top 5% of CRE; you’re in the club,” Matthew tells us. “They put you through the ringer with this program in terms of the terminology and the CRE aspects…they train you in ways to make money in real estate and to do so ethically.”

Because the program is tailored for real estate professionals, most candidates have been working in the field for more than two years before they begin. Robin says it is not atypical for students to take one to two years to get through the program. It consists of four core courses, two electives and a minimum transaction volume of $30M. From there, candidates must take a full-day exam to receive their designations.

CCIM is a global commercial real estate educator, with 57 chapters around the world. Courses typically range from $1k to $1.6k and are held at CCIM offices all over the country. 

“This is an advanced education that is immediately applicable to the career. Many people come into our program after being in the business 15 to 20 years and it enhances their ability to perform on behalf of their clients or in many cases, on their own behalf,” Robin tells us. “A number of our members are developers, owners, lenders, title companies, attorneys and CPAs—as long as you have an interest in learning more about CRE and getting better at what you do, the opportunity is there.”