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Looking for a Career Boost? Check Out These CRE Associations

If you are looking to take your career to the next level, joining an industry association might be the answer for you. Besides the opportunity to network with established professionals, commercial real estate associations offer access to education and training, certification programs, industry events, conferences, and advocacy platforms. Playing an active role in your field is guaranteed to enhance your knowledge and boost your credibility. Want to find out more? Check out these CRE associations and choose the ones that best suit your needs.


Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE)

AFIRE represents institutional investors in international real estate and provides a platform where they can communicate. The association usually hosts four educational conferences each year, discussing the most current trends and economic forecasts in the industry. The Winter Conference is typically held in New York City, and features a part focused on NYC and the surrounding areas. The aim is to keep foreign investors just as informed as domestic investors. Besides participating in these global events, members can use resources like market trends, information on tax and legislation regulations, and expertise from leading players to up their CRE game.


Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International

Founded in 1907, BOMA International has 88 local associations across the U.S. and 18 international affiliates in countries including Australia, the United Kingdom and China. If you are located in a market not covered by a BOMA local association, you can join directly and become a Member-at-Large for just $250 a year. Members are kept up-to-date with the key legislative regulatory codes and standards in the industry and have the chance to participate in educational and networking programs. Moreover, the association celebrates excellence in the field by giving out awards like the BOMA 360 designation and The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY).


CCIM Institute

Catering to brokers, appraisers, property managers, investors, corporate real estate executives, and more, the CCIM Institute is the leading provider of professional training in the CRE industry. Their programs, led by established practitioners, help you stay one step ahead of the quick changes happening in the commercial real estate world. Members get access to courses on various subjects, including investment strategy, financial analysis, market analysis, ethics, and negotiation, and are eligible to earn the CCIM Designation, a prestigious certification which helps enhance credibility in the industry.


Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC)

Dedicated exclusively to commercial real estate finance, this trade association provides industry professionals with the chance to learn, connect, participate, and advocate. Members can access leading publications and reports, and participate in mentoring programs, forums, conferences, seminars, symposiums, and more. The CREFC Women’s Network aims to enhance opportunities for women in CRE and the Young Professionals’ Network helps newcomers in the field gain essential knowledge and build meaningful relationships. This member-driven community, which includes lenders, investors, accounting firms, attorneys, and third-party service providers, is a catalyst for positive change and advancement in the industry.


Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network

Present in over 70 markets and boasting more than 11,000 members globally, CREW Network is dedicated to helping women advance their CRE career. It is focused on four key initiatives: business development, leadership development, career outreach, and industry research. All members have access to CREWbiz, the organization’s online member directory that can also be used as a networking and personal marketing tool. Moreover, CREW Network is a strong advocate for educating women about their opportunities in CRE. The association offers scholarships and student memberships and is open to both women and men.


CoreNet Global

Headquartered in Atlanta, CoreNet Global is a non-profit association that represents over 10,000 executives in 50 countries. Their mission is to serve as the voice of the corporate real estate industry and help advance the profession through education, research, networking, designations, and more. This association is open to corporate end users, service providers, and economic developers, as well as academics, students, journalists, and retired professionals. Members 35 and younger are eligible to join the CoreNet’s Young Leaders group and participate in educational and networking events tailored especially for them.


Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)

IREM is an international organization dedicated to advancing the real estate management profession. It supports its members through every step of their career, be they college students, young professionals or industry veterans. IREM also awards certifications to individuals, companies and properties. CRE professionals can enroll in IREM courses and apply to become an Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM). This way, they can boost their credibility and expertise and stay one step ahead of the competition.


International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

Founded in 1957, ICSC works to bring recognition to the retail real estate industry for its crucial role in communities across the world. An association that values integrity, teamwork and diversity, it boasts over 70,000 members. Their Foundation hosts events open to all members, which give professionals in the industry the chance to network with the biggest players in retail real estate, while also giving back to the communities they serve. Moreover, by keeping up with industry trends, including technological innovations, this organization ensures its members are ready for the future.


International Facility Management Association (IFMA)

Supporting 24,000 members in more than 100 countries, IFMA is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals. It works to advance the industry through educational programs, credentials, conferences and expositions, valuable research, and a Knowledge Library, reviewed by FM experts. The annual membership fee is just $219. Young professionals under 35 can join the dedicated group and take advantage of unique networking, educational and career-building opportunities. Moreover, IFMA supports students in the field by offering scholarships and student memberships.


National Association of REALTORS© (NAR) Commercial

NAR is the largest trade association in the country, representing 1.3 million members. The term REALTOR© is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of this association and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Those who join NAR have access to the REALTOR© Store, where they can purchase brochures, courses and more, can subscribe to the REALTOR© Magazine, and join the REALTOR© Party to advocate for their industry. Moreover, if you’re looking to start a career in commercial real estate, on this organization’s website you can find a References section with links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics and more.


NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association

NAIOP promotes advocacy, education and business opportunities, connecting members in the commercial real estate development and investment industry across North America. Their online library is filled with eBooks, videos, articles, and case studies that could help you further enhance your industry knowledge. Also, members can enroll in courses like Essentials of the Development Process, Basic Real Estate Finance, and Leasing, Marketing and Negotiations, earning certificates of study. NAIOP recognizes that the actions of its members have an impact on the environment, which is why the organization is committed to sustainability.


National Association of Real Estate Advisors (NAREA)

This association’s mission is to help real estate professionals boost their knowledge as well as their income. It facilitates learning and networking by hosting CRE live seminars. Members can benefit from discounts with affiliate partners, discounts for educational classes and designation programs, free investment analysis tools, free webinars, podcasts, blogs, and more. The annual membership fee is $199. Once you’ve become a NAREA member and completed all the necessary courses you can earn the Certified Commercial Advisor designation, which helps you increase your credibility. Residential real estate classes will also be available soon.


National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit)

Nareit represents real estate investment trusts (REITs) and publicly traded real estate companies with an interest in U.S. real estate. Their goal is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from real estate investment. Through advocacy, this organization makes sure U.S. policymakers are informed about the important role of REITs in job creation and economic growth. Members have access to investor conferences and educational events, as well as industry news and REIT data. Nareit’s Dividends Through Diversity program encourages the recruitment, inclusion and advancement of women in REITs and the broader CRE industry.


National Association of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF)

NCREIF is a member-driven, not-for-profit association that acts as a non-partisan collector, validator, aggregator, converter, and disseminator of commercial real estate performance and benchmarking information. Its members include investment managers, investors, consultants, appraisers, academics, researchers and other professionals in the real estate investment management industry. Membership plans are tailored to suit your position and your needs. As far as education goes, NCREIF offers webinars, as well as professional certificate programs, courses, and conferences that address important issues and aim to improve industry best practices.


National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)

This association brings together leaders of the apartment industry to guide their future success. It provides a forum for insight, advocacy and action that enable both its members and the communities they serve to thrive. NMHC’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiative aims to spark innovation and organizational success through diversity. The 2019 NHMC Women’s Event will have Arianna Huffington as a guest speaker, and presents the opportunity to network with women leading the rental apartment industry. The association sponsors important conferences that are open to non-members as well, such as The Apartment Strategies Outlook Conference and The Student Housing Conference & Exposition.


The Appraisal Institute

The Appraisal Institute is a global professional association that promotes the highest standards of practice when it comes to property economics. The majority if the Institute’s members are appraisers and property analysts catering to mortgage lenders, financial institutions, government agencies, attorneys and financial planners. This organization offers educational resources and designation programs, while also supporting research and publishing endeavors. Individuals holding the Appraisal Institute’s MAI and SRPA designations are experienced in commercial valuation, including retail, multifamily, and industrial properties. The AI-GRS designation is held by professionals who can provide reviews of appraisals of a wide range of property types, including commercial, industrial and vacant land.


The Real Estate Roundtable

The Real Estate Roundtable brings together senior principals from America’s top real estate ownership, development, lending, and management companies with leaders of major national real estate trade associations, including AFIRE, BOMA and NAR. They ensure the voice of the industry is heard by government officials by working closely with Washington lawmakers and regulators on key issues like tax, capital and credit, environmental, energy, and homeland security policies. Membership is by invitation only, the Board of Directors reviewing all nominations and extending invitations. You can apply for consideration by phone or email.


Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR)

With more than 3,200 members in 686 cities and 36 countries, SIOR connects the most experienced and successful CRE brokerage specialists. Members can access educational resources for professional development, gain exposure through networking events, and benefit from mentorship and guidance programs in order to learn from the best. They can also work towards earning the SIOR designation, a title that brings with it prestige and credibility. The SIOR 2019 Spring World Conference will be held in Washington, D.C., and will provide a unique opportunity to stay up-to-date with next year’s industrial and office real estate trends.


Urban Land Institute (ULI)

Established in 1936, ULI has more than 40,000 members worldwide and strives to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities. Key issues include housing, real estate finance and investment, sustainability, and innovation in development practices. While full memberships are selective and aimed at senior industry professionals, associate memberships are open to all. Associate members gain access to 25% discounts in the ULI Bookstore, case studies and online reports, the member directory, webinars, ULI’s Career Center and more. The monthly cost for this type of membership is only $36.67. Corporate memberships are also available.

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