In October of this year, Erin Freel, Broker Associate at Boyd Real Estate, LLC earned her CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) designation from CCIM Institute. The designation was awarded during the fall CCIM Comprehensive Exam testing session in Chicago. Fewer than 10 percent of commercial real estate professionals are CCIMs, and that 10 percent averages 42 percent more transactions annually than typical brokerage specialists.

To earn this prestigious designation Erin had to complete more than 160 hours of case-study-driven education that covered topics such as interest-base negotiation, financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, investment analysis, and ethics in commercial investment real estate. She also had to compile a portfolio of three or more qualifying transactions totaling $30 million or more and pass a six-hour comprehensive exam.

The CCIM’s rigorous program qualifies its designees to “minimize risk, maximize ROI, and optimize the value of real estate,” according to Leslie G. Callahan III, CCIM, 2022 global president of CCIM Institute. For over 50 years the CCIM designation has been the gold standard for commercial real estate professionals, including appraisers, brokers, asset managers, developers, lenders, investors, and other allied professionals.

Thad Boyd, founder of Boyd Real Estate Group said, “We are so proud of Erin’s CCIM designation; it adds value to our team. Becoming a CCIM is hard work and takes a tremendous commitment, but anyone that knows Erin is not surprised. She exudes enthusiasm for whatever she is doing.”

Some of that drive and edge comes from the fact that, after attending the University of Florida, Erin Freel became an independent business owner for the next 22 years. She noted, “I know how I like to be treated and what kind of service sets you apart. Giving more than is expected and being consistently responsive will make you stand out in any given enterprise.”

Switching gears into real estate was a bold challenge, but Erin says that she was surprised to love it as much as she did, observing, “A new part of my brain came alive. My husband, Nicolas Blaser, is the Market President for Truist Bank and has 30 years of commercial lending experience. He’s my greatest sounding board and advisor. We talk shop at home all the time, and his expert advice and encouragement made commercial real estate a natural move. I love working with business owners and investors and ultimately helping people create their own American dream. And I’m proud to be one of two women out of only eight total CCIMs in Ocala.”

Membership in CCIM includes the industry’s best technology and operational platform that allows entrepreneurial and mid-sized businesses to compete with the largest multinational providers. CCIM’s mission is to provide a larger vision of the commercial real estate provider, leveraging investment analysis, opinions of value, and underwriting to become a leader in sourcing capital, building a cash-flow vehicle, and ultimately creating value.

Erin added, “It’s evident that when dealing with someone’s life savings or group investor amounts that may run into the millions of dollars, a lot is at stake. These types of buying or selling negotiations need to be accurate with comps and calculations. All of that requires a high level of trust. For me, putting in the long hours of studying and training for the CCIM was a commitment to earn the trust of my clients, create maximum value for their commercial real estate portfolios, and continue on a path of life-long learning through the CCIM organization programs.”