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Certification Comparison


The CRI Charter is the finest broad-based certification available for real estate finance, investment, and consulting professional. The CRI Program established a “foundation” that complements existing designations and certifications that are more focused on particular aspects of commercial real estate.

CCIM Comparison

The CCIM Designations is a well established and widely held real estate designation focusing on networking & continuing education for leasing, sales, and property management professionals.

Its curriculum generally covers basic financial and market analysis, as well as user and investor decision making. However, significant areas of the real estate investment arena are not addressed fully by the CCIM, including: due diligence, mortgage underwriting/finance, mortgage and lease contracts, appraisal techniques, financial market instruments, securitization, and a host of portfolio management issues.

The CRI represents the most comprehensive examination in the real estate field and I pursued this designation for both the personal challenge and the opportunity to differentiate myself within the profession. Also, I was compelled to pursue the CRI because of the exemplary people and companies comprising its membership.

Dave Krueger, CRI, CCIM
Portfolio Manager, U.S. Bank

CMB Comparison

The CMB is a fantastic designation for dedicated and experienced mortgage professionals. The designation, offered through the Mortgage Bankers Association, is the industry standard within the mortgage banking world and symbolizes respect, credibility, ethics and achievement.

The CMB curriculum has a deep focus on critical areas within the mortgage finance industry, including real estate finance, managing profit and risk, and crafting a long-term mortgage investment strategy. The CMB’s focus on the mortgage industry, and its significant time requirements, suggests that it is geared towards professionals who are absolutely dedicated to the mortgage finance industry. Alternatively, the CRI Certification’s curriculum covers a broader spectrum of the real esate investment and finance world and should appeal to committed real estate professionals who believe that their careers could follow a variety of courses.

The industry needs to be able to rely upon a measurable standard of excellence for its real estate professionals. The CRI exams and designation is the ultimate methodology for the industry to use to ensure the full faith and confidence of its practitioners. The first exam (of two), written by industry experts from a content survey by 3,000 senior real estate executives across the industry, measures everything the transactional professional needs to navigate from origination through closing a transaction. The second exam measures not only the ethical content of the practitioner but everything a management professional needs to know to manage a collection of investments in their portfolio. The CRI designation will be the minimum standard of excellence for all the real estate professionals at Cohen Financial.

Jack Cohen, CRI, CMB
President & Innovation Officer, Stronghill Capital, LLC

CFA Comparison

The Chartered Financial Analyst designation is the most widely recognized designation within the global investment community. The designation is known for its rigorous examination process, exceptional ethical standards, and professional excellence.

The content areas covered by the CFA Institute extend well beyond commercial real estate and tend to focus more on corporate finance, capital markets, and investment decision making techniques and analytics. As Real Estate has grown in importance as an asset class, the CFA Institute has included various real estate topics to its “Alternative Investments” portion of the examinations. There are several other areas of overlap between the CRI Society’s curriculum and that of the CFA Institute as well, including Ethical Conduct, Capital Market Instruments, Asset Allocation, Capital Structure, etc. However, the CRI Charter curriculum’s focus on all the critical areas of commercial real estate makes it the “foundation” certification for dedicated commercial real estate professionals.

The CRI has given investment managers the ability to demonstrate their knowledge of real estate, as well as their dedication to higher ethical practices in the real estate industry. Although there are many other designations that relate to financial analysis, the CRI designation sets itself apart by being solely dedicated to the field of real estate.

The CRI certification provides objective and tangible demonstration of commercial real estate knowledge and competency. The Society itself is a community of experts that is truly improving the demonstration of expertise in the Commercial Real Estate industry.

Neeraj Hingorani, CRI, CFA
Principal of Trivium Investment Management Co.


Learn more about the curriculum differences between the CFA and CRI Certification.

Time Commitments

Compare the time commitments between the CFA and CRI Certification.

Other Considerations

Learn more about the other considerations between the CFA and CRI Certification.