Are You a Doctor or a Real Estate Agent?

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with Hillier Real Estate

In my previous life I worked with the marketing of medical education, a lot of the doctors had so many designations we had to limit them to fit in our marketing materials. Some of the physicians understood but others took it as a personal attack of their work to achieve the designation with various medical societies and insisted that they all be included.

As a real estate agent, you have your NAR accredited designations, REO designations are popping up from everywhere that some asset managers require of you, luxury designation from various institutes and groups, and on and on and on. You too, have put a lot of time and effort to receive these deisignations. So my questions are:

  • Which accreditations have you taken the time to achieve?
  • Do you think it was beneficial to your business?
  • If you have taken the time to earn the designations, did you stay with the NAR accedited ones only or have you sought others from other real estate groups?
  • Looking back, which designations would you recommend to a new agent that you feel would benefit them the most in starting their real estate career? 
  • If you are now working with REOs, which do you earned and which have the asset managers requested you to have before working with them?
  • I know most clients don't understand the designations - - - but should they? Are the designations not being promoted enough so that clients know that it means that you have added additional training to be a specialized agent?

real estate agent

 

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Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

I think the designations are good to have because of the education you get from them. I have obtained my ABR and am taking courses for my GRI and find them very informative. I do agree that clients do not know what these "letters" stand for, but I think it is worth taking the courses just for the information that we learn.

Jun 01, 2009 10:44 AM #11
Rainmaker
698,114
Sharon Paxson
HÔM Sotheby's International Realty, BRE License 01501912 - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - HOM Sotheby's Int'l Re

There are a few designations that I would like to get, however they would be for the purpose of helping me with my continuiing education.

Jun 01, 2009 10:50 AM #12
Rainer
198,419
Jeani Codrey
Jeani Codrey Referral Broker & Instructor - New Braunfels, TX

Yahooooo....I always love a good education and designation debate!!  So here is my tag line...

Jeani Thomas Richie, Broker, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, TRLP and I just finished my RSPS.  I would like to get my ABR, CRB, and SRES too.

I am a Certified MCE Instrcutor, company trainer and Leadership Facilitator and I LOVE LOVE LOVE education!  I push designations and here is why...the training required to get and keep a license is SAD!!!  It is no wonder there are so many lawsuits in our industry.  I have no respect for agents who do not take every opportunity to further their education constantly and take the minimum standards way out.  We hold in our hands what is in most cases the transfer of ownership of the largest asset that most people own and we owe it to our clients, brokers, peers and ourselves to educate ourselves to the MAX! 

My goal is to become a GRI instructor and ultimately dedicate more than half my real estate time to teaching.  The reason...I was SO impressed with my GRI training that I walked out of my third class and said out loud...I am going to come back and teach this one day!  As for the merit...My CRS has made me the most money and strangely enough TRLP (I am a graduate of the Texas REALTORS Leadership Program) has made me the second most money.  People see my commitment to excellence through education and they send me referrals from all over the country.  It has more than paid for the time in the classroom and the tuition costs.

As for how the clients benefit...I no longer use initials alone...I write out what the letters stand for and online I hot link them to the page on the related website that says how working with a designee benefits them as a consumer.  That is my two cents!  Thanks for bringing up this very important topic!

Jun 01, 2009 10:51 AM #13
Rainmaker
599,030
Nancy Conner
Managing Broker - City Realty Inc - Olympia, WA
Olympia/Thurston County WA

I agree that the education part is wonderful, but to expect consumers to make choices based on our alphabet soup is probably pretty unrealistic.  I had a client who told me what he thought would be more meaningful to him was if I had my masters degree on my business card.  It is not in a really relevant field (Public Admin) but he said for for him, this would indicate a more educated agent in a way real estate specific designations do not.  New perspective for me!  I do value my ABR designation though & the extra resources it provides(plus being an easy one for clients to understand).

Jun 01, 2009 10:57 AM #14
Rainmaker
221,210
Scott Baker
www.eHomeReports.com Coldwell Banker West Shell - Liberty Township, OH
Realtor Homes for Sale in Cincinnati, West Chester, Mason, OH Area

I think the designations mean more to us than to the public. I have never had a client ask me what my designations meant. I agree with those that have said they value their designations because of the additional training and knowledge needed to achieve the designation.

Thank you

Jun 01, 2009 12:37 PM #15
Rainmaker
518,032
Rob D. Shepherd
Coldwell Banker Coast - Florence, OR
Principal Broker ABR, GRI

In our area here (Florence Oregon) on the coast they do mean something. I have the ABR, and GRI. A few times a year we get calls from clients wanting to speak to a GRI, I'm the only one in our office with that, so I get the lead. I value the GRI most as it was the most effort and hours to earn. Many of the things I learned there have helped.   Your Florence Realtor     Rob Shepherd ABR, GRI

Jun 01, 2009 01:44 PM #16
Rainer
6,420
Realty Dot Com (Realty.com)
Realty.com - Charlotte, NC

Theres always more to learn.

Jun 01, 2009 02:18 PM #17
Ambassador
1,258,050
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

I have never heard of someone calling in and asking (in my area) for a GRI or any other designation.

I am a real estate broker and instructor and I take all the classes I can get my hands on! I have designationa and never use them on my card because it's not all about me. The alphabet soup just confuses people and only impresses other agents.

The only designation I can say that people call because of it is the CDPE. I got 2 calls last week from people looking to list houses with me because they looked online and I"m the only one around here with my CDPE.

I agree the education to get your license is too short / insufficient. It should be more hours plus and apprentice period.

Jun 01, 2009 02:29 PM #18
Ambassador
1,258,050
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

ps--I too removed my photo this year, from my business cards.

Jun 01, 2009 02:29 PM #19
Rainmaker
570,044
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

The additional learning is always beneficial. However, the notion that having an alphabet soup of designations after your name is helpful is simply untrue.  I read the report where customers ranked the various reasons why they selected an agent and the designations finished almost last.

Jun 01, 2009 02:42 PM #20
Ambassador
901,617
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114 - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

At some point along the way, I stopped putting any designations on my business cards and ads, and eventually discontinued membership in those that require an annual fee.  Consumers did not stop calling and I still get referrals from people with an alphabet of initials after their names.  As to photos, they come and go on my cards.  LOL. 

Jun 01, 2009 03:14 PM #21
Rainmaker
1,089,596
Bryant Tutas
Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc - Poinciana, FL
Broker/REALTOR, Tutas Towne Realty, Inc

My designation is Broker. I do think the public understands that one. I have a GRI but don't use the letters anywhere. The education is a good thinjg though. Maybe some day I'll get me some.

My wife has the TLW designation. Does that count for anything?

Jun 01, 2009 05:00 PM #22
Rainmaker
828,063
Marc Swartz
Toronto, ON
CPA, CA - Toronto, Durham & York Regions, Ontario

There are far too many designations for one industry.  Many of them are extremely easy to obtain (just a day or two of classes or correspondence courses, in some cases).  Before I entered the real estate industry, I was not aware of any of the designations and I don't think that most of the public is aware of the designations.  Too many business cards look like alphabet soup.

Jun 01, 2009 07:28 PM #23
Rainmaker
407,620
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

Trust me, no one that is interested in buying or selling understands those letters after your name.

While it is respectful, they have no idea...

To be honest, I don't even know a few.

You knowledge has to be impeccable...however...who knows what those designations mean?

Congrat's on all those designations.  I don't have the time to go to school for all that...I'm barely having time to schedule in my broker's classes.

My mind set was to be a physician, then I decided to marry one instead.

Jun 01, 2009 08:35 PM #24
Rainer
10,904
Linda Schulte
Keller Williams - Alpharetta, GA

I am a big believer in education, as well.  There is just so much to know in this industry!  I try to attend as many classes and seminars as possible and recently received my REOS, Real Estate Owned Specialist.  I have learned a lot on Active Rain, and webinars can be very informative, too.  I would like to get my EcoBroker designation at some point.

Jun 01, 2009 10:24 PM #25
Rainmaker
648,439
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

What really counts is nbot the hodge podge of alphabet soup one has behind one's name, but the experience, expertise, and competence to successfully negotiate, manage, and close a transaction - all of which come with time and continual practice.

Jun 02, 2009 12:02 AM #26
Ambassador
551,222
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

LOL @ Broker Bryant...

There can only be one TLW designation and it's mine all mine :)

Billie...

You've already taken my real first name, now come in here and thank all these nice folks for stopping by to share their thoughts with you. Yes, I'm bossing you around :)

TLW...ROAR!

Jun 02, 2009 06:23 AM #27
Rainmaker
783,104
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

I agree with Roy. Keep educating yourself because you need to learn, not because sticking a few letters on your card means anything. Customers don't care. I have quite a few designations but learned they were just a place to send money each year. Take their courses if you think they have value, but leave the designations behind.

Jun 02, 2009 07:57 AM #28
Rainer
71,840
Bill Saunders
Hot Springs Arkansas homes for sale (Diamondhead Realty) - Hot Springs, AR
Honesty, integrity

I here am a freshman agent, and it is totally confusing...ergo I do nada about designations...perhaps ARA (activerainaddict) should be a designation...

Jun 02, 2009 08:02 AM #29
Rainmaker
534,171
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON

Education is important but amassing designations in my opinion is a waste of time.  The customers and clients that I work with, work with you based on relationship and market knowledge, not because you sat through a class about how to stage a home. 

Jun 02, 2009 09:59 AM #30
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Rainer
178,986

Billie Hillier

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