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Learn & Compare


The CRI® Certification complements existing programs, such as the CCIM®, the CMB®, MAI®, and the CFA®. With the CRI “foundation” in hand, commercial real estate professionals will be well prepared to pursue additional designations that specialize in particular industry niches.

The CRI® Society certifies a Charter holders’ ethics-based competency and their broad understanding of the major components of real estate investing including: property issues and due diligence, analysis and valuation, underwriting, legal issues, capital market instruments, CMBS, and asset management. As such, the CRI® Certification will serve as the “foundation” for your commercial real estate career.

Unrivaled Fexibility

The CRI® Certification is structured in a way that accommodates busy professionals’ most valuable resource: time.

Candidates prepare for the Level I and Level II exams by following the CRI® Candidate Guide and Study Guides on their own-self-directed, schedule. This structure eliminates the need for costly time spent in a “classroom” environment and allows the candidate to progress at their own appropriate pace. To sit for exams, candidates simply schedule his or her exam online. The flexibility that CRI® Society offers working professionals is unmatched by many other designation and certification programs.

Additionally, the CRI® Charter is an affordable certification that focuses on analysis of the commercial real estate industry that others do not.

Test Your Knowledge

Answer five sample questions from the CRI Designation level one exam to test your knowledge!


Who Should Apply

If you work in commercial real estate in any of the following capacities, then consider pursuing the CRI Certification to differentiate yourself among peers.

Commercial Lenders

The CRI Certification confirms your understanding of value, risk and documentation used throughout the lending process. Passing the exam communicates your understanding of analyzing commercial real estate through the use of Capitalization Rates, Loan-to-Value, and Debt Coverage Ratios. The CRI exam will confirm your ability to conduct due diligence through lease reviews, credit evaluation, and borrower financial statements. Lenders with the CRI Certification also demonstrate their understanding of mortgage /securities contracts as well as portfolio management issues. The CRI is the complete certification for commercial loan origination.

Mortgage Bankers & Analysts

The CRI Certification demonstrates the candidates’ understanding of critical issues that affect both borrowers’ and lenders’ decisions – skills that are central to the success of a mortgage banker. The CRI will allow you to communicate this ability to current and potential clients so they have confidence in your ability to effectively place a loan with a lender. The CRI examinations test the ability to calculate debt coverage ratios, determine a net operating income and value the property using capitalization rates. Speak the language and understand the concepts with the CRI.

Commercial Real Estate Agents & Leasing Brokers

Commercial sales and leasing agents are the engine of the commercial real estate market. The CRI Certification is the only commercial real estate certification that can be earned with no classroom sessions and at your own pace. The certification will enhance the candidates ability to understand buyers’, sellers’ and users’ differing motivations and decision making criteria. Reputation and professionalism are key to success. The CRI Certification will announce to the public your continued commitment to professionalism and ethical conduct.


The CRI Certification is excellent for professionals working in commercial real estate development. Now that the development industry is dominated by large institutional organizations and investors, a developer’s ability to understand securitized financing, capital market instruments, and investment performance is critical. In addition to development feasibility and due diligence issues, the CRI exams contain topics like maximizing total return for equity investors, benchmarking asset performance, and a variety of financing issues that are central to commercial real estate today.

Commercial Property Managers

The CRI Certification will give a property manager a strong understanding of an owner’s motivations and investment requirements, making the manager a valuable part of the ownership team. The CRI Certification conveys to property owners a confirmed knowledge of property types, taxation issues, zoning and building code compliance, and lease and mortgage agreements.

Real Estate Consultants

Consultants often act as a “jack of all trades” as they manage projects and advise clients. The CRI Certification will communicate to current and prospective clients that you have the skill set and experience to service almost any need. The examination will test your knowledge of topics ranging from due diligence, lease and mortgage contracts, taxation, income based valuation, real estate portfolio management, securitized loans (CMBS), and capital market instruments.


While earning an MAI is the pinnacle achievement for a commercial appraiser, it takes years of coursework and thousands of hours of experience. An appraiser can demonstrate their exceptional understanding of the commercial real estate market with the addition of the CRI Certification to their resume. The CRI Certification confirms the appraisers’ knowledge of key concepts such as property valuation, financing strategies, lease evaluation, zoning and code compliance, and portfolio management issues.

Real Estate Portfolio Managers

The CRI Certification confirms a Charter holders’ broad based understanding of the critical areas of commercial real estate from both the property and portfolio levels. The certification places a real focus on portfolio management issues, including managing and diversifying risk, capital market instruments, tax strategies, portfolio management tools, and maximizing returns for investors.


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

Time Commitments

Compare the time commitments between the CFA and CRI Certification.

Certification Comparison

Learn how the CRI Society is unique among real estate programs.