A Commercial Real Estate Professional’s Introduction to the SIOR Designation

Are you a licensed commercial real estate broker thinking of obtaining your SIOR designation? Have you often wondered what is required to become a SIOR designee? Are you curious to find out if a professional designation from the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® is right for you? Well, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, then our comprehensive guide to the SIOR designation is a great place to start.

According to SIOR publications, “The Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® is the leading professional commercial and industrial real estate association.”  Throughout its decades of existence, this association certified thousands of members both nationally and internationally.  Today, SIOR designees are recognized as top-producing commercial real estate professionals with the highest level of knowledge and ethics in the commercial real estate profession.

So, how did SIOR earn its prestigious place in the commercial real estate industry?  The answer to that question can be found by first reflecting on the history of SIOR.   In the late 1930’s, industrial realtors Frank G. Binswanger and David T. Houston understood that the industrial real estate sector was going to continue to grow at a rapid pace.  They also understood that there was a lack of representation for real estate professionals who specialized in industrial property.

Those factors led these two men to form the concept for the Society of Industrial REALTORS® (now known as SIOR).  In 1940, the National Association of Real Estate Boards (now known as NAR or National Association of REALTORS®) granted sponsorship to SIR giving industrial real estate professionals a recognized national organization.

By its 25th anniversary, the organization’s members were responsible for the majority of industrial real estate transactions in the United States.  Other important milestones in the organization’s history include producing the first annotated bibliography on industrial real estate, focusing on becoming a politically active organization in the 1970s, changing its name to SIOR in 1986, and finally expanding into a global entity in the 2000s.

With each decade, the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® grew its reach and importance as it pertains to commercial real estate.  The designation is now highly recognizable and desirable on, not only a national level, but also a global level.  Now that you understand a bit about SIOR’s history, let’s discuss how you can add this valuable designation to your list of professional achievements.

The SIOR designation is one that demands commercial real estate brokerage specialists to meet a number of requirements that are designed to ensure only the best of the best become designees.  Generally speaking, to become an SIOR designee you must be experienced (5+ years in most cases), a top producer (30+ transactions closed per year on average), a specialist in industrial and office markets, pass educational courses and meet ethical requirements.

SIOR also offers numerous designation categories including: Industrial, Office, Industrial & Office (Dual), Sales Management, Executive Management and Advisory Services.  Along with these designation categories, there are also three levels of SIOR membership – Active, Candidate and Associate.

Because of the amount of membership levels and categories within each membership designation, it is impossible to explain the exact stringent qualifications required to become SIOR designated in the space available here.  We recommend you take a few moments to review the detailed information on the official SIOR website.  However, we will go over the basics of what is required to become a Dual (Industrial and Office) designee in the United States.

To obtain an Industrial and Office (Dual) SIOR designation for an Active Individual Membership in the United States, you must meet a the following requirements.  You must have a minimum of 5 years of documented experience.  You must meet and maintain a level of production measured by Gross Fee Income and specified by your local chapter.  Two active individual members from your local chapter must provide you with written recommendations.  You must pass three mandatory core courses along with completing three elective courses.  Finally, you must pledge to uphold SIOR’s stringent ethical requirements and pass an ethics course.

Why should a commercial real estate professional who specialize in industrial and office markets obtain a SIOR designation?  There are a number of reasons and benefits why you should take the time and effort to become a member and maintain your SIOR membership.  As a designee, you will be part of a worldwide network of commercial real estate professionals.  Because SIOR designees have a global reputation of being the best of the best, other brokers and agents will happily put their own reputation on the line and refer you business.  The designation also offers a wealth of training, networking and career-enhancing opportunities.

However, the bottom line is that with a SIOR designation you will become recognized among your peers and the public as an extremely experienced and knowledgeable commercial real estate professional who closes deals.  By ensuring that its designees maintain their status as top producers, SIOR guarantees that they are putting their members in a position to be known as the go-to professional when you want a deal done.  That reputation, in itself, is an excellent reason to make it a point to earn your Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®.

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