How To Make Real Estate Designations & Accreditations Work For YOU!

By
Real Estate Agent with Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL 676419

 

As real estate agents and REALTORS® there are a variety of designations and accreditations that can be earned to further advance both knowledge and professional expertise.  Many question if there are actually any benefits to investing the time and money in the extra education.

Plain and simple:  Yes, it is worth it!  There isn't a whole bunch of fanfare involved in attending and graduating from the classes.  It is more or less a cumulative effect of exposure to vast amounts of information, great ideas that are shared and helpful hints from other veterans of the industry.  Sometimes it is simply a jump-start, a kick in the pants to re-energize and motivate.  Sometimes is just one thing; that "one thing" that the student decides to implement in their business practices and it "works" to better their career.

How to make designations and accreditations work:

  • Network with other students in your class.  Take your classes in a different locale to network with students and ask for referrals.  Do you get a lot of buyers from Anytown, USA?  Take your next class there and take networking materials - business cards, branded paper pads or a relocation brochure about your area of expertise.  Ask your CPA if you can write off that trip, too.

 

  • Get more bang for the buck.  Take a designation class and add up those hours. (if applicable) Use them as continuing education for your license renewal.

 

  • Take advantage of registering and enhancing your profile on the official site of your designation.  The annual dues usually offer the designee a directory listing with the organization.  Take advantage of the free publicity.  Always put a picture on your profile in the directory listing.  SRES Seniors Real Estate Specialsist, CRS Council of Residential Specialists, REBAC Real Estate Buyer Agency Council - ABR Designation,   Fl.Living.net or your state REALTOR® website, CNHS Certified New Home Specialist,  ePro

 

  • Free publicity.  Send out a press release when you earn that designation.  The local newspapers usually have a "business news" section and publish announcements and appointments.  There are also online press release services available; both free and with minimal charges.  You can also Blog your announcement.

 

  • Your local Board of REALTORS® may actually present you with the certificate of completion at a board meeting.  Be there in person to accept the award.  A room full of people will be able to put a face with the name.

 

  • Refer within your designations and expect referrals from within your designation.  Many designees refer to other designees.  When a CRS is looking for someone to help their Aunt in Florida sell her condo, they often go to the CRS directory.

 

  • You've earned those designations, so use them.  Get them on your website, your business cards, fax coversheet and email signature.  The show you're "in" the business and they can often spark conversation when someone asks what they stand for and what you did to earn them.   

 

  • Professional Relocation companies.  The fact that you've taken the time to attend classes and earn those designations shows drive and dedication to the profession.  When relocation companies are looking for an agent to refer to, they take notice when  an agent is designated.

 

  • Use them to niche market.  Do you work in 55+ active adult communities?  Get that SRES designation and become the neighborhood expert.  Get that logo on the marketing materials for that property.  Do you work with developers and builders?  Get that CNHS and become the "new home expert" in your city. 

 

Keep this in mind:  The flood gates don't open with a roaring stream of customers when you earn a designation.  There is, however, a long term steady drip of leads, prospects and referrals that will enhance your current business plan.  The key to any successful career or business is to have enough "lines in the water".  Now go out there, get that designation and throw another line in the water.

Read Also:  Alphabet Soup: the ABCs of Designations 

 

 

CRS CNHS ABR  epro gri

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
199,865
William Collins
ERA Queen City Realty - Scotch Plains, NJ
Director of Property Management

Chris,

Thanks for the post. I touched upon this in Education, Education, Education...Can There Ever Be Too Much. Coursework Leading to designations and workshops at conventions go a long way toward helping us to develop new skills, necessary for the enhancement of our service. Not to mention the networking opportunities, that are inherently part of the process.

Feb 10, 2007 07:51 AM #11
Rainer
95,645
Jason Price
Mortgage Financial Group, Inc - Eustis, FL

Chris,

Those are some great ideas... I guess I need to work on getting some of these designations and accreditations.  Right now, I only have the one: LNA - License Not Availble :)  I hope to be taking the Florida Real Estate licensing course sometime within the next quarter.

Hey, Marc wanted me to ask if you want to add another couple letters to your title.  He wanted to know if you wanted MB included as part of your services.  (Mortgage Broker)  J/K... Keep up the good work!

Feb 10, 2007 09:12 AM #12
Rainmaker
605,794
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Saint Petersburg, FL
St. Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
One thing constant in real estate and the world is CHANGE. Earning designations keeps you learning and growing, and exposed to new ideas.  Even the same courses change - if someone took the basic CRS courses 20 years ago, I'll bet they'd find entire new ideas in the same courses today. Keep learning and growing - you and your clients deserve it.
Feb 10, 2007 09:19 AM #13
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Great post, and something I had been thinking about today.  Great timing.
Feb 10, 2007 11:33 AM #14
Rainmaker
253,002
Tina Maraj
RE/MAX North Orange County - Fullerton, CA
Fullerton, California Real Estate 714-403-7901
Great Point. I was never impressed myself with all of the accreditations. I thought it was just another thing to spend money on. I do see you point now.
Feb 10, 2007 12:01 PM #15
Rainer
51,429
John Hruska
Homes Charlotte, LLC - Charlotte, NC
I've considered earning some of these designations.  Once I do, I will use this helpful information to make them work for me.  Thanks
Feb 10, 2007 01:53 PM #16
Ambassador
1,843,943
Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Some great suggestions, Chris. I would also add that getting involved in your particular organization or the local chapter is a great way to network, learn, contribute, strengthen the organization and education, improve our public image, etc. I am on the Board of the SoCal CRS chapter, for example. It's also good for personal development and broadening your perspectives on the business.

Jeff

Feb 10, 2007 02:55 PM #17
Rainer
9,450
Joe Zekas
YoChicago / New Homes Magazine - Chicago, IL

I found a thoughtful discussion of how a PhD should sign his name on Google Answers.

The response included this paraphrase of Miss Manners' view:

"The well-known etiquette columnist ‘Miss Manners' once suggested that, although newly-degreed people may be tempted to display their hard-won titles as part of their names, it's best not to do so. Miss  Manners' analogy was that a person with an advanced degree is like a lady who has invested in some fine silk underwear: she should derive her satisfaction from the knowledge that she is wearing it, and share that knowledge only with intimate associates."

Are you comfortable displaying your underwear to total strangers? Or does etiquette no longer have a place in society?

Feb 10, 2007 06:44 PM #18
Rainer
95,645
Jason Price
Mortgage Financial Group, Inc - Eustis, FL

Joe,

If someone has taken the time to learn more about their trade and has earned the accreditations/designations for doing so, they should display them.  From a consumer's point of view, more letters means more knowledge and training.  Without the letters behind the name, it makes it difficult to know who has the training the you are looking for.  From a professional's point of view, I know that this person takes their job seriously and has dedicated themself to learning all aspects of their profession.

What you are proposing is that CPAs, MDs, PAs, Esqs, and other people remove their titles.  Are you saying that these people too are proudly walking the streets in their underwear?  These people have worked hard for the title and have earned every right to display them.  It shows people that they are truly professionals.

Feb 10, 2007 07:54 PM #19
Rainer
31,090
Gerken & Associates Realtors Brokerage
Gerken & Associates Realtors - Branson, MO
We constantly push for all of our agents to get designations.
Feb 11, 2007 01:36 AM #20
Rainmaker
539,628
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Fl Real Estate
Alphabet Soup: the ABCs of Designations is another great post about designations. 
Mar 15, 2007 09:46 AM #21
Rainmaker
44,257
Rich Quigley
Chicago, IL

Chris,

Excellent post. I have pretty much the same designations that you have and I'm always looking for a way to promote them, as well as educate the consumer (and to some extent, other Realtors). I posed the question about designation awareness last week and your post pretty much addresses the questions I asked.  I also agree with Jennifer that the people who downplay designations are those who have not earned any. Thanks again for some great insight.

Mar 15, 2007 12:03 PM #22
Rainer
5,365
Nancy Craig
RE/MAX of the Poconos - Stroudsburg, PA

Chris - good post.  I have added pictures to both SAREC and REBAC and do use both sites for referring out clients and have also received referrals.  One thing my Broker had suggested is that to the uninformed public the initials don't always translate to anything meaningful so I have both ABR and SRES spelled out on my business card.  I am a retired Geriatric Nurse and love working with seniors so the SRES course was fun - I took it as soon as I entered Real Estate because it was just such a natural.  Networking is key in using your SRES...get involved with your local Aging Office, nursing homes, Assisted living facilities and make frineds with all the silver haired ladies you meet at the beauty parlor!  Just some suggestions.

 

Mar 16, 2007 06:57 PM #23
Rainmaker
539,628
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Fl Real Estate

Way to go Nancy.  CRS now has a whole webpage for designees, too. (in case you have or are planning on getting that)

Mar 16, 2007 07:49 PM #24
Rainmaker
81,843
Jaclyn Erwin
Jackson Erwin Realty, Inc. - Charlotte, NC
ABR,SFR, REALTOR®/BROKER-OWNER Charlotte NC.

Chris,

Such a nice post. Now, I am a former educator--so of course I am bias. (Wait, I'm still an educator---I'm just not getting paid in that capacity). I Love to broaden my knowledge, especially in this field. I am definitely working towards learning more daily, and yearly, I include within my business plan educational goals to accomplish. Now, I've had some agents "laugh" at those of us that strive for designations. It's certainly their choice. But you know, not only is the educational aspect excellent, but also the business attitude, added confidence and responsibility that one gains through learning. I want to learn more. I yearn to learn more. In fact, I believe you can never know it all. However, you sure can improve. And that is what I try to do daily.

So, when I reflect upon my career thus far in real estate, I can't help but get excited. I now see those that thought of me striving more more as "useless" struggling to get business, finding it difficult to maintain. They refuse to change their ways. They complain all the time, and they spend more time now trying to sneak at what the learners are implementing. And while I believe all Realtors face obstacles and have bad days, it feels great to know that I have put what I've learned in place and created a nice foundation for my future. I can only hope and pray that I remain healthy and able to continue working for another 60 years! I Love What I Do. It's My Business, It's My Practice. And, learning more has certainly played a significant role in my success. Kudos for those who strive to learn more! Education isn't more costly than Ignorance.

Mar 16, 2007 08:05 PM #25
Rainer
41,554
Rick Turner
Key Realty - Toledo, OH
Puts People In Their Places!!

Chris,

This is well written article, good information!   By the way, you responded to my post about Northwest Ohio and Walleye fishing, so what part of Ohio are you from, originally?

Rick Turner, Toledo, Ohio 

 

Mar 21, 2007 08:57 AM #26
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Chris

Great Blog. I made sure I sent a press release to my local newspaper. Soon every realtor in town was sending out notices on their designations!

 

Apr 15, 2007 09:48 AM #27
Rainmaker
539,628
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Fl Real Estate
Shameless self promotion.  Count me in on that one, too!
Apr 15, 2007 09:51 AM #28
Rainmaker
81,843
Jaclyn Erwin
Jackson Erwin Realty, Inc. - Charlotte, NC
ABR,SFR, REALTOR®/BROKER-OWNER Charlotte NC.

I had a colleague/agent in the office this week ask what I suggested for her to use as a resource to refer a good client relocating to another area. I immediately suggested for her to navigate to the CRS website and select someone from the listed professionals with this designation. she did just that!

Apr 19, 2007 06:18 PM #29
Rainmaker
539,628
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Fl Real Estate

Thank you for stopping in.

Aug 23, 2014 07:03 PM #30
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
539,628

Chris Griffith

Bonita Springs Fl Real Estate
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