Commercial Investment Real Estate May/June 2017 - Page 15

CIRE: What in your political career was most benefi cial to working in real estate? CIRE: How has the CCIM designation affected your relationships with clients and colleagues? Saunders: I worked with a U.S. senator and governor, as well as running for offi ce, so I got to know my future clientele. As a legislator, I was dealing with agricultural leaders, as well as commercial real estate leaders, and I quickly established relationships with those individuals. Through building those connections over the years, I already had established cred- ibility with large landowners, community leaders, developers, and investors. Saunders: Mostly through the recognition I received for hav- ing earned the CCIM designation. Specifi cally, the knowledge of what I’ve learned, understood, practiced, and shared with other commercial practitioners. I have a greater in-depth under- standing of commercial real estate, which can help my clients. For example, I recently suggested a client use a 1031 like-kind exchange for turning nonincome-producing land into income- producing commercial real estate. It’s these practices I learned from CCIM Institute training. CIRE: What advice would you give real estate professionals entering the land industry? Saunders: Further your education and really understand what you are talking about. The more that you understand what you are talking about, the more confi dent you will be. Clients will sense your confi dence and industry knowledge. Focus on your clients’ needs and attempt to ask more ques- tions before you talk. Be more probing and understand what your client is trying to accomplish. Stay focused on helping them reach their goals. Learn, be professional, understand your market, and, most importantly, specialize in one aspect of com- mercial real estate. CIRE: How has the CCIM designation improved your ability to adapt your skills to the land and agriculture industry. Saunders: CCIM has given me a greater understanding and appreciation for the complexity of commercial real estate. It gave me more confi dence to be able to communicate about commercial real estate. I position myself as an expert in land real estate, while my CCIM colleagues try and focus on commercial properties. The more conversant in commercial real estate I am, the more it helps drive better opportunities my way. Gina Orlandi is marketing coordinator at CCIM Institute. CCIM DESIGNEE CHECKLIST Leverage the power of the CCIM brand. Add “CCIM” as a certification on LinkedIn Link to the What is a CCIM page from your email signature Wear your CCIM pin every day Use the CCIM logo on all marketing collateral Share CCIM content, including CIRE magazine articles Visit to share content, download logos, and find links. CCIM.COM May | June 2017 13