While poking around on LinkedIn a couple of years ago, I discovered a program called the CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member). At the time, I was living in Toronto and didn’t know anyone that had taken any of the courses or completed the designation. All I knew was that it featured a series of classes on real estate investment and development – the topics that I was most interested in learning about. After doing more research, I decided that I wanted to take the courses in the next few years.
Fast forward two years and there I was, sitting in my first CCIM class in Winnipeg. CCIM 102 provides the tools necessary to perform a market analysis. Concepts such as economic base analyses, growth patterns and comparative advantage are taught, and then leveraged for the local market that the course is being taught in. The program is so unique because there are a number of interactive elements that allow students to practice and apply what they learn.
My task was not only to take in the information, but also to think about how to create a Canadian version of the course. Currently, the majority of the resources (case studies, PowerPoint presentations, and concept reinforcement activities) are US centric. This makes the instructors lives difficult, especially given that most are American, and not familiar with the Canadian landscape. The good news is that the data available in Canada is similar to that of our neighbor to the south. Additionally, it is updated fairly frequently, so Canadian students can perform the same analyses that Americans do.
I thoroughly enjoyed the classes and I was surprised not only by how much I learned, but how practical the concepts are. Immediately after the class, I found myself asking different questions and looking for different information when examining properties. What are the basic jobs in Winnipeg? What was the absorption rate for class b suburban office space last year? Based on Winnipeg’s job growth, how much industrial space will be needed in the next few years? At the end of the day, 102 doesn’t teach you facts, it teaches you a way to think – it’s up to the user to apply the concepts and make their own forecasts!