Highlights from this week’s CCIM Global Conference in Chicago

I just came back from the truly worthwhile CCIM Institute Annual Global Conference in Chicago. SVNIC was a sponsor this year, and I attended both in my role as SVN International Corp.’s Senior Vice President of  Franchise Sales, and president-elect of the New England  CCIM chapter.

The CCIM conference brings top commercial real estate professionals together to exchange ideas that help shape the future of the industry. It’s a great opportunity to learn from some of the CRE industry’s best, and also a fabulous place to develop new business opportunities.  The conference this year was very well attended, and we had record traffic at the SVN booth!

CCIM is the leading global real estate industry association and has more than 13,000 members, who conduct $28 billion in transactions annually. Other great facts about CCIM:

  • 67% of CCIM designees hold title of owner, partner, principal, VP, or broker
  • 42% of them average more transactions annually than a typical brokerage specialist
  • 95% of CCIMs said designation has helped them in career advancement

There was a lot to take in at the conference (there were more than fifteen speakers). If you weren’t able to make it, don’t worry! Here are some of the highlights.

Top Legislative Issues Facing Commercial Real Estate

This session was presented by Adriann Murawski, State & Local Government Affairs Representative for the National Association of REALTORS. Adriann talked about policy and transportation, and shared these disturbing statistics:

  • 56,000 nation’s bridges are structurally deficient (as of 2016)
  • 21% of nation’s highways are in poor condition

As a country, we must invest in our infrastructure, and find sustainable mechanisms to move projects forward. Adriann encouraged the CRE industry to get involved in policy making by using its voice, and building relationships with local and national policymakers.

Shrinking Commercial Real Estate Workforce  

The biggest challenge facing CRE is recruiting. An extremely competitive landscape makes it difficult to attract and retain talent.  And we all recognize that our industry lags in diversity.  Although there are many programs in place, more are needed, such as university outreach programs.

Using technology, the industry needs to show people a career path. Those who are interested in entering the field need guidance and mentoring.

Everyone has an opportunity to bring in talent to the industry. CRE lags in diversity, and the industry must  value inclusion. Companies need to assess themselves, and understand how they are viewed internally and externally. Is there an environment of inclusivity?

Attendees at CCIM Global Conference


All about Blockchain

Blockchain and Bitcoin are not the same and should not be confused.  Blockchain provides the means to record and store Bitcoin transactions, but Blockchain has many uses beyond Bitcoin. Bitcoin was only the first use case for Blockchain.

Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, could give rise a new internet era that is even more disruptive and transformative than the current one. Every device will have to change to an entirely new operating system (plan for a new iPhone!).

There will be a new Blockchain economy, and what the internet did for technology, Blockchain will do for value and transactions.  In the pre-Blockchain economy, there were many intermediaries to provide trust. Now the system facilitates much easier connections between peers.

Transformation through Technology

In this session, we learned how commercial real estate firms are integrating technology and remaking the business. Today, a whopping $2.7 billion is being spent in this sector.

The panel discussed issues including:

  • The big transformation around data and data storage. How do we share big data?
  • The challenge in making choices on what technology to use. Their advice is to be proactive instead of reactive.
  • How important it is to recognize tech talent, and to make CIOs more visible.

Kevin Maggiacomo Lunch Presentation

Kevin Maggiacomo, President & CEO, SVN International Corp.

Kevin challenged the audience to always be thinking about collaboration and fee sharing in transactions.  He said that CRE is at a crossroads, dysfunctional, and out of touch with major industries.  This disintermediation in CRE industry is not going away and is a good thing for clients because it puts clients’ interests first.

Kevin said that two out of three investment sales transactions over $2 million are done across state lines, and no one broker knows all the buyers. Deals that are co-brokered, on average, achieve a 9.6% higher sales price.

Obviously, there was a lot that I didn’t cover here. I hope you join me at the next CCIM conference to get some of this information first-hand.