Top Reputable Commercial Real Estate Certifications

May 13, 2024
5 min

The commercial real estate industry requires specialists to be skilled and professional enough to guide clients smoothly through all business processes.

To gain that, CRE brokers and agents invest in training and education by achieving specific commercial real estate certifications.

In this article, I’ll analyze the list of top 7 commercial real estate certifications both brokers and clients must consider. For brokers, this article will show how to become a more certified commercial property manager whereas clients will find it helpful in their search of reliable commercial real estate practitioners who have worked hard and invested in professional development.

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What is Commercial Real Estate Certification?


Commercial Real Estate (CRE) certification is a degree or a designation provided by professional associations (e.g., CCIM, NAREA, BOMI International) to represent a certain level of knowledge and experience that every CRE practitioner needs to have.

Having a certification for brokers means having knowledge in relevant areas of law, finance, customs, CRE technology (e.g.,  industry-focused CRM systems, marketing automation, lead generation and nurturing, etc.) and ethics of the commercial real estate industry. Professional designations and certification also signify a commitment to ongoing education and regular participation in the community and industry events.


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Top Commercial Real Estate Certifications and Designations


These commercial real estate certifications and designations help CRE professionals stand out from the rest whereas clients get a list of reputable certifications to pay attention to.


Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)

The CCIM designation is awarded by the CCIM Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS. In CRE business, CCIM designation is one of the most reputable to have for each certified commercial property manager.

Many people have a question: “How to get CCIM certification?” To do that, candidates must:

  • provide their portfolio that demonstrates their experience in the commercial real estate industry
  • complete a curriculum that includes ethics, interest-based negotiation, financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, and investment analysis for commercial investment real estate
  • successfully pass the examination.

As Joseph A. Fisher (CCIM President) states, more than 8,600 designees and 9,800 candidates currently are pursuing the CCIM designation. The number of students taking CCIM courses has nearly doubled in the past five years and is expected to exceed 19,000 by year-end.


Cornell University Certificate Programs

Cornell University offers professional commercial real estate certifications for industry specialists. It provides learners with the knowledge and practical skills they need to understand the essentials of the commercial real estate business.

After completing Cornell University certificate programs, participants acquire a solid overview of property valuation, property management and the cycle of tenancy, commercial real estate asset management, investment and financing decisions, and more.

Ultimately, practitioners will obtain guidance and analytical tools on how to develop successful commercial real estate projects.

According to the terms of certification programs, the courses are required to be completed in the order that they appear.

More information about certificate programs you’ll find in the video.

Certified Commercial Advisor (CCA)

The Certified Commercial Advisor (CCA) designation program is sponsored by the National Association of Real Estate Advisors (NAREA). This commercial real estate certification provides extensive learning of all aspects of commercial real estate.

Brokers that have CCA designation deliver top-notch services to clients with their brokerage needs, whether they are owners, landlords, sellers, buyers, tenants, or investors.

CCA designation includes more than 36 hours of video content and over 500 pages of written material. Moreover, after completing this designation, every certified property manager gets:

  • complete access to our library of deal-tested commercial real estate form templates
  • access to investment calculation tools
  • an upgraded profile on the NAREA member directory of certified commercial advisors.



Certified Manager of Commercial Properties (CMCP)

This is another reputable commercial real estate professional certification provided by BOMI International. Compared with the listed above certifications and commercial real estate designations, CMCP is relatively new.

It is designed for early-career property professionals who are looking to improve industry knowledge and take their careers to the next level by becoming certified commercial property managers.

With CMCP certification, individuals learn how to be effective commercial property managers. Individuals who successfully complete the CMCP Prep Course and earn their CMCP Certification receive competency credit as an elective to be applied to BOMI International’s RPA® designation program.


ICBR’s Commercial Real Estate Certificate Program

ICBR’s Commercial Real Estate Certificate program was designed to bridge the gap between standard pre-licensing education and commercial designations. This program may be interesting for professionals that want to start or refresh their commercial real estate career.

This program offers a comprehensive curriculum with an entry-level look at the commercial real estate industry.

Courses are open to anyone, but those wishing to complete the certificate program must meet the following requirements:

  • Successfully complete all 6 mandatory classes
  • Take a comprehensive exam consisting of 60 questions with a passing grade of 75%+.



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AIR CRE Commercial Lease Contracts Certification

Provided by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.), the certification program deeps the knowledge in various lease contracts. After completing this commercial real estate certification, individuals get a complete understanding of how to use AIR CRE lease contracts when representing a commercial landlord or tenant.

Once participants complete the Lease Contracts Course, they will receive accreditation that sets them apart from their peers and provides the opportunity to practice commercial real estate competently.


Certification at NYREI

New York Real Estate Institute offers a commercial real estate certification approved by the NY Department of State for continuing education credits.

Led by Steve Landfield from the Landfield Commercial Team, this commercial real estate certification provides individuals with a comprehensive survey and examination in commercial leasing, investment building purchases, sales, case studies of commercial transactions, etc.

The certification covers three main topics:

  • Commercial Leasing
  • Commissions & Getting Paid
  • Building Investment Sales & Purchases.

Upon completion of this class, participants receive a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate from the New York Real Estate Institute.

A Commercial Real Estate Certification Is More Than Just a Title


As for the final words, I’d like to say that professional designations give buyers the confidence that they are engaging with a professional, certified property manager. The commercial real estate certifications and designations signify an ongoing commitment to staying informed about all relevant knowledge and doing CRE business of a high standard every day.

Brokers that pursue professional certifications increase their skills, proficiency, knowledge, and, ultimately, their marketability as commercial real estate specialists.

What commercial real estate certifications have you passed? Write a comment and share your experience with us. To get more useful information for commercial real estate professionals, check our case studies and blog posts.


How to Become a Certified Commercial Property Manager?

If you’re in the process of getting a job in commercial real estate or looking for professional improvement, keep in mind that some states in the USA require a specialized license for commercial transactions and services, while others cover residential and commercial transactions under the same license.

To become a certified property manager, you need to choose a certification according to your specialization and complete the education required by the terms of the certification.

What Are the Best Certifications to Have as a Commercial Real Estate Broker?

CCIM, CMCP, CCA, AIR CRE Commercial Lease Contracts Certification, etc.

In addition to those listed here, there are dozens of other designations and certifications to show your experience and expertise in the various commercial real estate sectors.


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