Top Organizations to Build Your Commercial Real Estate Network

No man is an island in commercial real estate. That is just not how brokers roll in the biz. From building and selling to leasing, and then reselling again and again, commercial real estate can be quite a journey.  And real estate professionals need to do more than simply brush shoulders with hundreds of people along the way. Professionals thrive with a network of leads and contacts. Exposure is key, so many brokers join associations that help them stretch beyond personal connections to reach a larger network. But a membership buys you more than just an exclusive contact list. It also comes with the privilege to work with organizations who aim to advance a vibrant commercial real estate industry through advocacy, influence, and education.

Here are some of the top national associations for commercial real estate brokers. They are essential to networking, boosting your credentials, and staying educated and competitive in the market.

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Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR)

SIOR gives qualified brokers a number of services to grow their business--everything from mailing list access and LoopNet listings to connections with public relations and marketing specialists. Accessing a SIOR membership is no small deal. The designation is usually assigned to by specialists who have at least five years of commercial experience, in which they have locked down a serious number of sales. These members are recognized by corporate real estate executives and commercial real estate real estate professionals as the most capable and experienced brokers working in the market.


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International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

Retail real estate offers more than just financial profits. The industry is known for playing fundamental role in the social, civic, and economic vibrancy of communities around the world. It fuels economic development--largely because of the generation of sales tax--and boosts job opportunities. ICSC provides access up-to-date analyses on the shopping center’s marketplaces. Members work side by side in a diverse community to maximize their profitability and enrich the social fabric of the places they call home.


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Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International

BOMA has been a leading real estate organization for over a century. It focuses on the people behind the project, working to keep the building functioning and in profitable order. Members connect with building owners, developers, leasing professionals, and managers. They also access information about everything from development and energy consumption patterns to local and national buildings codes to occupancy statistics.


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National Multi Housing Council (NMHC)

NMHC is a panel of real estate professionals dedicated to shaping the public policies relating to multifamily tax laws, building codes, and regulations. One of the main goals is to promote apartments as an attractive housing option for all Americans. Members have access to a career guidance staff and business directories, as well as an invitation to attend and engage in the member-only meetings and forums.


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Urban Land Institute (ULI)

ULI is that largest non-profit in the world, uniting cross-disciplinary experts in real estate and the environment. Their mission is to educate decision makers and leaders of the practices that respect the built and natural environments.The association’s focus on sustainability also provides many opportunities for members to learn about green-building trends and benefits of environmental responsibility, now and for the future.


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National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP)

The NAIOP provides advocacy, education and business opportunities by connecting members in a powerful North American network in the CRE development and investment industries. It is the leading organization for developers, owners and investors of office, industrial, retail, and mixed-use real estate. The organization boasts over 19,000 members nationwide and focuses supporting industry professionals through their large and powerful network.


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Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)

In 1988, a group of women a the WICRE-NN convention in Los Angeles began operations of the CREW network with just 11 chapters and 1,100 members. Today there are 10,000 members worldwide in more than 70 major markets. The CREW network is the industry’s premier business networking organization dedicated to influencing the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of women.


Paying the membership dues will not magically make you a better agent. You have to be active within the organization in order to benefit, so pick the ones that will help you expand your network, credentials, and knowledge of commercial real estate.


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