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  • CREF program: 10 total courses to earn CREF certificate
  • Self-paced & 100% online
  • Get full CREF program, community, & more with a CFI membership
  • Get this program and CFI's full training catalog for your organization
  • Manage learning, create custom paths & measure progress
  • For teams of 2 or more learners

Program Overview

10 courses

10 Required Courses

40-50 Hours

Average completion time

Receive a Certificate

To verify your skills

500,000+ 5-star ratings

Best-in-class training, as rated by you

Our Learners Work At:

Your Road to a Commercial Real Estate Finance Specialization

This comprehensive specialization consists of 10 courses and 1 mortgage case study to deliver practical, real-world skills for commercial real estate finance.

10 Required Courses

Take 10 required courses to build your foundation in commercial real estate finance.

Real Estate Fundamentals
4.9 (45 Ratings)
Level 3
3 hours
How to Read a Commercial Real Estate Appraisal
4.7 (11 Ratings)
Level 3
2.5 hours
How to Read a Lease and Analyze a Rent Roll
4.8 (7 Ratings)
Level 3
2 hours
Environmental Due Diligence for Credit
4.8 (14 Ratings)
Level 3
3 hours
Real Estate Financial Modeling
4.9 (68 Ratings)
Level 5
6.5 hours
Construction Finance Fundamentals
4.9 (17 Ratings)
Level 3
2.5 hours
Structuring a Construction Loan
4.6 (5 Ratings)
Level 3
2.5 hours
Construction Loan-in-Process
4.8 (7 Ratings)
Level 3
1.5 hours
Commercial Mortgages
4.9 (20 Ratings)
Level 4
5 hours
Rocky Mountain Holdings Ltd. - Commercial Mortgage
4.9 (23 Ratings)
Level 4
5 hours
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Get Specialized

Specializations allow narrow and deep focus on a targeted subject area, with particular attention to specific analysis techniques and actionable skills.

They are designed to deepen your industry acumen and to prepare you for faster professional growth within the sector.

Commercial Real Estate Finance Specialization Learning Objectives

Real Estate Lending

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  • Understand the important elements of, and process behind, commercial real estate lending – both for income-producing investment deals as well as owner-occupied property transactions
  • Explain the differences and similarities between different types of real estate loans and different property classes
  • Examine key property valuation metrics and how they relate to the credit analysis process
  • Explore the key property parameters that affect the credit underwriting process
  • Understand how key variables drive loan amount, risk rating, credit terms, and commercial mortgage pricing
  • Familiarize yourself with all the important documents and reports required to understand and analyze a real estate transaction

Real Estate Financial Modeling

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  • Understand how a developer or an investor looks at potential development deals
  • Learn best practices of capital structure modeling in Excel
  • Perform sensitivity analysis
  • Understand why joint ventures are frequently used in real estate investing
  • Explore IRR Hurdles and model a 3-tier cash flow waterfall
  • Build and present a development deal summary

Construction Finance

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  • Identify the phases and key players of the real estate development process
  • Explain the line items of a developer’s budget, derive a risk-assessed loan-to-cost, and review development and construction cash flows
  • Determine how the price of debt ties into the construction budget and project evaluation
  • Understand the construction payment cycle and address strategies and processes for non-performing loans

Environmental Analysis and Due Diligence

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  • Explain why environmental due diligence is important in the credit assessment process
  • Identify environmental risk factors at a property or within a business operation
  • Understand the differences between the 3 levels of environmental site assessments (ESAs)
  • Read and interpret a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report

Lease and Rent Roll Analysis

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  • Outline and analyze the key components of a lease
  • Explain a variety of different lease types and how their terms differ
  • Identify red flags in leases that may present issues for a lender or an investor
  • Understand the purpose of a rent roll and analyze the data presented in it

Taught by Industry Experts

Kathy Poettcker

Kathy Poettcker currently runs her own consulting company in the area of real estate and infrastructure finance. Her background includes acquisitions, financing and asset management within investment banking, private equity, and operating company environments.

Lisa Dorian

Lisa Dorian is Co-Founder, and formerly Chief Risk Officer and Managing Director, of CFI. As a finance executive, she gained extensive experience in governance, risk, and compliance, as well as business process and strategy.

Tim Vipond

Tim is the Chair of the Board of CFI Education with an extensive background in entrepreneurship, financial analysis, and investment banking.

Kyle Peterdy

Kyle is VP, Commercial Banking & Credit with CFI. Kyle’s background is in commercial lending, including real estate transactions and construction project financing, where he spent significant time assessing physical environmental risks.

Explore Your Career Options

  • Credit Analysts

    Analyze and structure real estate borrowing for various types of capital providers like banks, REITs, and Pension Funds.
  • Risk Manager & Credit Adjudicator

    Assess and approve transactions for banks and other financial institutions.
  • Private Real Estate Lenders

    Work with private capital providers and family offices to underwrite more effective real estate loans.
  • Real Estate Investors and Advisors

    Understand how lenders and external capital providers assess transactions to seek out better deals and negotiate better structures.
  • Commercial Mortgage Brokers

    Analyze and package deals more effectively to facilitate quicker turnarounds and better terms for clients.
  • Commercial Relationship Managers

    Work with commercial real estate investors and developers on behalf of lending institutions.

What Our Students Say


Love that I could understand the terms and processes, not having any prior knowledge of Real Estate.

Giselle Palmer


Introduced us to unique considerations in modeling the real estate industry, including differences in sale and construction timelines, maximum land loans, and tiered waterfall equity. These considerations can be complex, but the course introduces these concepts in a digestible way.

Jude Baguio


I specialized in real estate management as part of my undergraduate degree but this course still exposed me to a variety of topics I needed clarification on. Highly informative and I will be recommending this course to my colleagues.

Paolo Hermogenes


My understanding of real estate financial modelling has been improved a lot. Easy to follow and includes great templates as well.

Sigit Syahranie

Frequently Asked Questions

Will these courses help me advance my career?

Reviews from learners who have taken CFI courses and the FMVA® certification program include numerous stories about how people have been able to advance their careers. There is a proven track record of CFI graduates marking successful transitions into the careers of their dreams and this is based largely on the resources that we make available to our learners upon enrolment. Our training is designed to be fully practical and simulates the experience of being trained as a professional financial analyst. Additionally, we offer a wealth of information through our free career resources. The unique blend of all these elements is what sets us apart from other e-learning platforms when it comes to giving you all the tools you need to create a successful career in finance.

Admission Requirements

This specialization bundle is recommended for learners and professionals with knowledge or experience in commercial finance or commercial real estate. A fundamental understanding of credit is necessary for a successful learning experience. To take the courses and complete the exercises, learners will only need access to a PC and/or Mac, Microsoft Suite (2016 or newer), and a stable internet connection.

What is the duration of the program?

It takes an average of 40–50 hours to complete the entire program. However, you are given the freedom to complete all of the training at your own pace! Please see the “What You’ll Learn” section for recommended study hours for each course to give you a better idea for your time management.

How much time do I have to complete the courses?

Take as much time as you need. You will have access to all courses and all future upgrades in your subscription. You can review the video lessons as many times as you like and complete the courses at a pace that is most convenient for you. All of the required courses, resources, and assessments to obtain the certifications will be provided, for as long as your subscription is active.

How are the exams conducted?

Learners are required to complete an online assessment (MCQ’s, Fill-in-the-Blanks, and Excel Questions) at the end of each course. You can take the exams at your own schedule and will need to earn at least 80% to pass the course and earn your certificate of course completion. Please note that course exams can be repeated as many times as you need.

Can I download and edit the course material and templates?

Yes! You can download and edit the Excel models and templates included in your courses. All of the files needed in a course are available for download. Please note that while our study materials can be downloaded, the lecture videos are only available online due to copyright infringement issues.

How do I earn my certificates?

You need to complete all the video lessons, quizzes, and final assessments in each course to earn your course certificates. The certificate will then be available on your learner dashboard and also emailed to you as soon as you have completed all of the requirements.

Can I take individual courses instead of completing the whole program?

Yes, you may enroll in the courses available from the program individually. Please let us know whenever you’re ready to upgrade to the program and we’d be happy to issue you a unique coupon code (which will credit the amount already paid).

What currency are your courses priced in?

All of our online courses and programs are priced in USD.

What payment methods do you accept?

As this is a recurring payment, we accept all major credit and debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

Are there any additional fees or costs?

None! The program tuition includes everything and there are no additional fees required to earn your digital certification.

More Questions?

Please Email us and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions!

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