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Last week, Crunkleton Associate Broker Eric St. John traveled to San Antonio to complete the final steps of earning his Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation! We are very proud to have him on our team and admire his efforts.

Recently, we sat down with Eric to discuss what the designation means, how it benefits both the broker and client in transactions and his plans for growth moving forward.

What does it mean to have your CCIM?

There are many reasons why someone in the commercial real estate industry might work toward a CCIM designation—gaining investment expertise, credibility, networking, improving negotiation skills, and much more.

Anyone who has earned a CCIM has completed an advanced level of coursework in financial and market analysis and has a proven track record of success in the industry.

After a lot of studying and dedication to the process, I am honored to join the other talented professionals who have earned their CCIM. It’s wonderful to be recognized in a group of industry leaders who are dedicated to the profession and strive to create the best outcomes for their clients and partners.

What other benefits are there to having your CCIM?

For a while now, I have been an affiliate of CCIM so I’ve had access to some member benefits. Now that I am an official member, I will have more benefits and additional trade tools.

Being a part of the national online directory can also help with referrals. Let’s say a commercial real estate firm out of North Carolina is thinking about doing a deal in Huntsville. One of the first things they may do is look at the CCIM directory and discover other CCIMs in Huntsville.

Basically, it gives them assurance that the person they are reaching out to has a solid baseline of skills and industry expertise.

What was the greatest challenge of earning your CCIM?

I’d have to say it’s the time commitment. The material can also be very tough to grasp at times.

When you are busy in your career it’s not easy to take a week off for classes or testing. However, I really do enjoy learning new things and getting to apply them to current projects I am working on.

How important is continuing education to the commercial real estate industry?

In order to hold our real estate licenses, we are required by law to have continuing education every two years.

One of the reasons for continuing education is to ensure that we are updated on the laws surrounding our business. The good thing about the commercial real estate industry is that there are a lot of ways to acquire knowledge and prevent yourself from becoming stagnant.

What’s one thing about the commercial real estate industry that people new to the business should know?

It sounds cliché, but experience is your greatest teacher. I am not only talking about your successes but your challenges too.

Every deal is dramatically different, and the way you handle or approach new deals is all based on experience. Even if you are leasing a space for the second or third time, there are going to be different terms that create hurdles.

You quickly learn to approach things differently and maneuver the challenges. The more deals you do, the better you are at seeing what those hurdles are early on and steering around them.

Always recognize the areas that trip you up, because those same issues are likely to happen again but in a completely different context.

When a deal gets complicated, I don’t shy away. It is crucial to pay attention to how deals function and navigate your clients with confidence.

What is the next goal you have in your career?

I may seek out other certifications in the future. It depends on what projects I am working on and what time I can dedicate to it.

One of the best things about a career in commercial real estate is that there isn’t a ceiling. You can always push yourself in the next deal or project to be an even better asset to your client while further developing as a professional.

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