United Country Agent Earns Prestigious Commercial Real Estate Honor

Elite CCIM Designation is Both Rare and Powerful

April 29, 2024 (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – A United Country Real Estate agent this month earned one of the highest honors possible in commercial real estate. And now the analytically-minded property professional plans to leverage his expertise to boost business, while better serving his clients.

Brian Lensing, a commercial real estate specialist with United Country Real Estate | Heritage Brokers & Auctioneers has been awarded the Certified Commercial Investment Member (more commonly known by the acronym “CCIM”) Designation. This achievement – reportedly bestowed to only six percent of the more than 150,000 commercial real estate professionals in the United States – is the result of an enormous amount of time and effort.

Based in Chicago and with 59 local chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, The CCIM Institute has been advancing all disciplines of commercial real estate since 1967. The organization provides education, technology and other benefits designed to advance the careers of its members. The CCIM Designation specifically requires extensive education, as well as longtime job experience, and a commitment to ethics and deal-making.

“CCIM Designees are recognized as an elite group of experts in commercial real estate and are proven to help individuals and businesses minimize risks, maximize ROI, and close more deals,” said David Schnitzer, 2023 Global President of The CCIM Institute.

Lensing’s CCIM Designation: An Achievement 15 Years in the Making

For Lensing, a career in real estate wasn’t always on the radar. He initially ran a farming and cattle operation in central Missouri for years, before later establishing a commercial contracting company for retail properties. In 2008, Lensing turned his focus to commercial real estate sales (not unlike those currently featured by UC Commercial Properties) and didn’t look back. Over the past 10 years, he has logged some $150 million in commercial transactions.


As for Lensing’s CCIM Designation, it was an achievement 15 years in the making. “I actually started down this path (at the beginning of my career) taking the first of four courses,” he said. “Being new in the business during a major recession, I couldn’t afford to continue. I went on to have a successful career in commercial real estate, but I always felt like I was missing something by not having the CCIM tools as a resource.”


When things slowed down a bit in late 2023, Lensing said the time was finally ideal to resume the CCIM course work. Plus, by then he had built a decade and a half of industry expertise. “I had already long since satisfied the requirements for experience and volume of deals closed, so I knew it was the right thing to do.”


Earning the CCIM Designation requires more than 160 hours of case study-driven education covering topics such as interest-based negotiation, ethics in commercial investment real estate, and a whole lot of analysis across multiple categories — financial, market, user decision and investment. What’s more, designees must compile a portfolio underscoring the depth of their work experience. The final step is what Lensing described as a “grueling six-hour exam.”

“It’s very intensive, with a huge amount of information to be absorbed in a small window of time, all while trying to take care of your business and live your life,” he said. “During the CCIM pinning ceremony (for new designees; Lensing is pictured here at the event, second from right), the room was emotionally charged. I was proud, relieved and excited thinking about what the CCIM resources could do for me and my clients.”

Lensing said that includes CCIM analysis tools that are extraordinary in their ability to refine financial data to a form that can assist a buyer in making well-informed decisions. In part, that’s the kind of thing that attracted him to commercial real estate in the first place — the analytical process of researching, valuing and marketing commercial assets.

Profitability in Commercial Real Estate: The Devil is in the Details

Real estate buyers’ wants and needs certainly vary depending on many factors, including the specific property type. Purchasing a business versus a home, for example, comes with its own unique set of questions and goals, as Lensing explained.

“There is considerably less emotion in selling a commercial property and ultimately most people just want to know how it can make them money,” he said.

However, that’s often a much easier question to ask than to answer. Lensing points to ever-changing trends in real estate, including issues such as rising interest rates.

“Leveraged (borrowed money) transactions could result in a much lower return on investment if the property is valued the same as it was maybe 12-18 months ago,” he said. “A seller may have to lower their own expectations of the property’s value in order to sell it.”

The biggest potential misunderstanding of value is making assumptions on what a commercial property can yield for return to the owner, Lensing noted. “It is critically important to research and evaluate what produces the income, which is typically the lease,” he said. “When it comes to commercial real estate, the devil is in the details. But doing the analysis and applying the CCIM training and tools … that’s how you fully understand a property’s benefits for the owner. The more proficient I am with that, then the better things are for everyone.”

About United Country Real Estate

United Country Real Estate is the leading, fully integrated network of conventional and auction real estate professionals specializing in lifestyle and rural real estate. The company has been an innovator in real estate marketing since 1925, with a unique, comprehensive advertising program. This exclusive program includes the highest ranked and largest portfolios of specialty lifestyle property marketing websites, unequaled national print advertising, the largest internal real estate advertising agency, an extensive buyer database of more than 1 million opt-in buyers and additional proprietary programs to advertise properties more broadly.

2820 NW Barry Road
Kansas City, MO 64154

Ryan Kane, Communications Manager

All materials contained as part of United Country's website cannot be broadcast, duplicated, edited, manipulated or published without permission.