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In the commercial real estate market, nothing is more valuable than information. Understanding how macroeconomic trends affect the sector is crucial to navigating challenging events like a looming global recession. Knowing which asset classes will provide strong ROI even when severe headwinds are battering the segment can mean the difference between having a good year and being underwater.
Accordingly, project managers should invest their time and money into broadening and regularly refreshing their industry knowledge. One effective way of achieving that goal is pursuing commercial real estate certifications from highly regarded organizations and institutions.
Getting official recognition for their skills and knowledge can produce other professional benefits for individuals in that role. Experienced project managers can earn new certifications to make themselves more valuable to their firm's leaders. In turn, having team members on staff with respected credentials can help make a firm more distinguished in the marketplace. Staying current with the ideas, methodologies, and technologies driving their field is a smart habit for workers in any rapidly evolving industry. Professionals looking to break into the business can make their résumés stand out to potential employees by securing qualifications.
Here is a look at four commercial real estate certification programs that enterprising project managers should consider earning.
A.CRE Accelerator Courses
Getting a certificate of completion for Adventures in CRE’s A.CRE Accelerator Courses is a great way to add financial modeling to your toolkit.
The accelerator program involves 17 courses, 20 case studies, 40 hours of video content, and hundreds of hours of coursework. It educates candidates on topics like the direct capitalization method of valuing real estate with real-world examples, which provides in-depth information on how complex projects are funded. With that insight, project managers can communicate with their stakeholders more effectively. It offers primers to evaluate real estate income statements for various asset classes and create acquisition, partnership, and development models.
Adventures in CRE also supports its learners by giving them access to a library of supplementary tools to deepen their understanding of concepts covered in the program.
The A.CRE Accelerator program gives project managers a solid foundational understanding of an essential part of commercial real estate development. After becoming certified, you can become a better team lead by creating more efficient workflows for sourcing land, obtaining entitlements, and procuring vendors.
That means completing the Adventures in CRE training program can enable you to advance your career with a raise or promotion. And the certification could be very helpful in securing a new and better position with a different employer.
Certified Commercial Investment Member Designation
The Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation is a valuable commercial real estate certification. Awarded by the CCIM Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, the designation recognizes that an individual is knowledgeable about several essential industry practices and technicalities.
Earning the certification requires candidates to complete the Institute’s extensive educational component, which involves financial, market, and user decision-making analysis, cash flow, risk management, ethics, and negotiation training, among other topics.
The CIMM certification also demands proof of significant real-world experience. Applicants must submit a portfolio that meets one of the following criteria:
- Three or more qualifying transactions totaling at least $30 million
- Ten qualifying transactions totaling at least $10 million
- Twenty qualifying activities with no dollar volume requirement
Finally, CIMM candidates must complete a six-hour comprehensive exam to establish their bona fides. Before taking the big test, you must go through a two-day review that covers the subjects introduced in the Institute’s educational component.
Obtaining the organization’s CIMM certification isn't easy, and according to the Institute, it takes at least a year to accomplish. For that reason, it’s not something new project managers should put on their immediate roadmaps. But having that designation attached to your name can go a long way toward earning the trust of high-level owners and owner’s representatives.
Cornell’s Real Estate Development Certificate
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business Real Estate Development Certificate Program offers significant benefits for aspiring and current project managers.
The 3 ½ month program provides comprehensive instruction on managing a successful commercial real estate project. It goes over everything from how to find market opportunities, select a building site, create a development package, identify risks, and craft a compelling financial pitch. And it strongly emphasizes using data as the primary driver of the decision-making, from project conception to delivery. Because of that forward-thinking curriculum, Cornell's real estate development certification is a worthwhile investment for prospective project managers.
That said, the university’s program can give those with experience in the role a competitive edge. Its administrator uses case studies to teach candidates how to spot, analyze, and mitigate adverse events at a high level. It provides unparalleled insights for team leads interested in taking on more complex projects from large clients.
Cornell's program is also designed to fit the schedule of the busy working professional. You only need to commit 3 to 7 hours a week to earn an official endorsement from one of the world’s elite private universities.
Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Development Learning Courses & Certifications
Since 1936, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) has strived to “shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide” through the efforts of real estate and land use experts. In the digital age, the organization tapped into its institutional knowledge base to create a series of online real estate development courses. Therefore, project managers looking to advance their careers should familiarize themselves with ULI’s learning certifications.
As of this writing, the Institute offers 13 courses and three certifications on crucial real estate sector topics. Similarly, ULI’s Foundations of Real Estate Development Certificate shows the recipient knows the ins and outs of real estate development, investing, and pro forma modeling,
Similarly, the Introduction to Real Estate Finance and Investment course provides an overview of how developers secure capital for their projects. By completing the course, professional managers without a finance background can learn crucial information on how and why investors make their funding decisions.
However, the Institute’s curriculum isn’t limited to introducing basic concepts related to one aspect of the real estate business.
Net Zero Real Estate: Renovating and Building for Profitability course digs into how developers can leverage government environmental priorities to make their renovation projects more lucrative. As Washington has taken steps to cultivate long-term sustainable real estate development, the course offers meaningful insights into the sector’s future.
Because ULI’s real estate courses are available on demand, project managers can attain its certifications at their own pace.
Last month, the Mortgage Brokerage Association warned that America’s rising inflation and economic uncertainty could cut commercial real estate investments by $733 billion this year. If its forecast is realized, development firms must make big project planning decisions amid limited visibility. But for current and future project managers, the best path forward is clear; invest in yourself. Acquiring commercial real estate certifications will set you up for success no matter what challenges tomorrow brings.
Check out our Resource Center to equip your team with the right tools to produce better outcomes.
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