What is the CRE ™

The CRE or The Counselors of Real Estate is the membership organization established exclusively for real estate advisors who provide intelligent, unbiased, and trusted advice for a client or employer. Founded in 1953, the organization serves 1,100 members worldwide, all who hold the "CRE" credential. CREs are linked to one another by their commitment to integrity, competence, community, trust, and service; and they adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice.

The purpose of the organization is to serve as an information resource and to provide its members with opportunities for professional development, knowledge sharing, and networking, all grounded in a culture of camaraderie.

Please visit the National CRE website at CRE.org.

CRE™ Membership

Membership in the organization is awarded by invitation only through peer, employer and client review. To be considered for membership, applicants demonstrate that:

  • They provide valuable and meaningful real estate counseling services to their clients or employer
  • They hold a senior position in a firm;
  • They are recognized for their excellence, knowledge, integrity, and judgment;
  • They have at least ten years of experience in real estate, three of which are in counseling; and
  • They meet all other basic membership guidelines.


Counseling is a unique real estate specialty. It is not considered a specific discipline with a defined body of knowledge, such as brokerage, management, or appraisal.

Rather, real estate counseling is a processÑone that requires technical competency, thoughtful analysis, and critical inquiry, all of which are directed toward achieving the best results for a client or employer. A Counselor of Real Estate serves as the link between defining the problem and devising a solution of measurable economic value. Essential to the counseling process is the trust and confidence that prevails in the CRE-client or CRE-employer relationship.

No matter the property type, real estate decision makers call upon the Counselor's in-depth knowledge for a breadth of services:

CRE™ Counseling Services

  • Economic and fiscal impact studies
  • Feasibility studies
  • Financing
  • Valuation and appraisal
  • Acquisitions and dispositions
  • Brokerage
  • Development
  • Ownership
  • Asset management
  • Site location, relocation, lease/purchase evaluation
  • Corporate real estate strategy
  • Commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS)
  • Joint ventures
  • Expert witness testimony and litigation support and strategy
  • Arbitration and mediation
  • Investment analysis and strategy
  • Market research and demand/supply analysis
  • Highest and best use studies
  • Portfolio due diligence
  • Property management and performance evaluation
  • Eminent domain
  • Land use/master planning
  • Non-profit consulting
  • Tenant representation
  • Mortgage lending
  • Pension fund consulting
  • Public/private partnerships
  • Workouts
  • Environmental consulting
  • Facilities planning
  • Capital formation and syndication
  • Tax consulting
  • Educational consulting
  • Exchanges
  • REITs
  • Mergers
  • Systems consulting
  • Registered investment advisory services

The CRE - Counselors of Real Estate Designation

The CRE credential is awarded only to those individuals who are invited by their peers into the membership of The Counselors of Real Estate.

A prestigious credential, it serves as an identity and bond in the real estate marketplace.

It declares individual professional achievement in the real estate counseling profession.

It acknowledges an advisor's status as one of the most trusted professionals in the field of real estate.

It demonstrates peer recognition of outstanding intelligence, integrity, and judgment in real estate.

About The CRE Consulting Corps

The CRE Consulting Corps provides real estate analysis and action plans for municipalities, not-for-profits, government entities, public/private developers, and owners of real property.

  • Is your organization planning for the right real estate opportunities for the right reasons?
  • Does your organization have a strategic plan for its real estate assets?
  • Does your organization have a real estate action plan to guide development initiatives?
  • Has your organization's real estate plan been evaluated by an unbiased, objective panel of real estate professionals?
  • Is your organization leveraging its real property assets to meet the goals of the organization or community?
  • Is your organization maximizing the performance and returns on investment of its real estate assets?

As a public service program, the CRE Consulting Corps is designed to provide access to the highest level of expertise in designing effective strategies for sound real estate solutions. Each Consulting Corps project is conducted by a team of volunteer members of The Counselors of Real Estate. The team is comprised of CREs who are selected because their experience and skill sets meet the specific needs of the client. The CRE Consulting Corps specializes in understanding your organization's specific situation and creating a realistic, feasible, and achievable road map for solving virtually any messy, complicated real estate problem your organization may face:

  • The feasibility of community, public/private, or land development
  • Adaptive reuse and urban redevelopment
  • Strategic asset management
  • Financing and capital formation
  • Highest and best use strategy community development
  • Mixed use development
  • Public real estate asset management
  • Historic preservation
  • Transit-oriented development
  • Portfolio strategies

Prior to a projected panel visit, please complete an "Application for CRE Consulting Corps Assistance," which provides a summary of the real estate problem for review by the Consulting Corps Steering Committee.

1. You and the Consulting Corps Chairman will discuss and agree on the scope of the assignment and upon an engagement fee, which will be outlined in a formal engagement letter.

2. To prepare the Consulting Corps team in advance of their on-site work, we will look to you to provide additional resource materials as needed. These could include maps, market information, and other relevant materials.

3. Approximately 30 days prior to the arrival of the panel, the Consulting Corps Chairman, with your assistance, will identify and invite resource people (usually between 10 - 30 individuals) to be interviewed by the Consulting Corps team. These interviewees need to represent a cross-section of the community and provide a wide range of insights relating to the real estate problem, including but not limited to planners, developers, advocates, politicians, tenants, or brokers.

4. A project typically last 5 - 6 days. Upon arrival, we ask that you provide a briefing session to the Consulting Corps team. This would include an overview of the real estate problem being addressed and a site visit.

5. After reviewing extensive materials, meeting with you, surveying the site, and interviewing the resource individuals, the Consulting Corps team members convene for extensive deliberations on your real estate problem. Pooling their sophisticated experience, talent, and skills, members of the Consulting Corps team then create a strategic plan of action that will guide your way to a real estate solution.

6. At the conclusion of the Consulting Corps team members' work, you will meet with the team for a report on their final recommendations.