Pin Me Up, Scottie

After beginning the journey a little over a year ago, with the help of God, scholarships and my professional colleagues, I can now say I am a CCIM Designee. CCIM stands for Certified Commercial Investment Member. The CCIM lapel pin denotes that the wearer has completed advanced coursework in financial and market analysis, and demonstrated extensive experience in the commercial real estate industry. CCIM designees are recognized as leading experts in commercial investment real estate. Of the more than 150,000 commercial real estate professionals in the United States, only an estimated 6 percent hold the CCIM designation.

I was asked by someone in real estate… so what now in regard to the CCIM certification? She understood what CCIM means but wanted to know what can I do with it. I explained to her that the pin would not open any magical commercial real estate doors but it does signify to the world that I know my stuff. It is one more credential that separates me from a person trying to do commercial real estate deals and puts me on par or above others in this industry. A few years ago, I met with a VP of a national commercial real estate firm about becoming a broker, he used the fact that I did not have this certification and wasn’t licensed as an attorney as one of the reasons I could not be hired, but with the same breath stated he hires fresh out of college young white males. We all know it does not take a degree to sell real estate, especially not a law degree or even expensive certifications.

Getting my certification was already on my list of goals, however to secure the certification, you have to submit an approved portfolio of commercial transactions that were completed within 5 years of the exam date. Transactional portfolios must meet minimum volume requirements:

Three (3) or more qualifying activities totaling $30 million or more; or
Exactly ten (10) qualifying activities totaling $10 million or more; or
Twenty (20) qualifying activities with no dollar volume requirement. I went to work…I wanted to ensure that my commercial real estate qualifications were never questioned again.

Even though my professional focus is commercial real estate, I still have a passion for advocating for affordable housing. I was recently selected to serve the Georgia Realtors. The Housing Opportunity and Diversity Committee shall develop and recommend policy promoting equal opportunity in housing and diversity within the real estate industry. To identify the concerns and needs of the diverse membership of Realtors and to assist in the development of actions to address those concerns and needs. I also was recently appointed by my fellow Board of Directors of Quest Communities (Quest) as the 2021-2023 Chairman of the Board. I look forward to continuing my service. Quest has served Atlanta’s Westside by developing socially equitable housing and providing services to enhance the quality of life for underserved individuals and families.

I also recently joined the Board of Directors of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Association of Black Law Alumni (ABLA). The ABLA’s mission is to augment the resources of the law school and the legal profession by actively recruiting and mentoring black law students through scholarships and career networking opportunities.

This month I also began my training in the national Default Servicing Fellowship. Default services include loss mitigation, foreclosure, bankruptcy, eviction, title curative, and REO work. So far the training with seasoned Attorneys from across the country has been very insightful. I have one more month. I also have three other commercial real estate opportunities that I am considering or involved in. Can’t wait to share that when the time presents itself.

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