Designations and certifications are not just fancy letters after your name: they are proof of your commitment to professional development. They are recognized and trusted endorsements of your knowledge. They also open doors to even more specialized tools and training as well as referral networks that can give you a big boost in your field.
Here is an overview of some of the many designations and certifications you can earn:
- At Home with Diversity (AHWD): This certification trains agents on diversity, fair housing, and business planning development.
- Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS): CIPS gives agents and brokers access to tools and resources for buying and selling international real estate.
- Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB): This designation shows that you have completed advanced training for real estate business management.
- Commitment to Excellence (C2EX): This NAR endorsement demonstrates a continuing commitment to professionalism. Applicants receive a customized curriculum based on an assessment. C2EX also fulfills NAR’s Code of Ethics requirement.
- e-PRO: Recipients of this online certification program learn how to utilize social media, search engine optimization, and customer relationship management systems to grow their businesses.
- Green: By earning the Green designation, agents demonstrate knowledge of energy-efficient homes and their merits, as well as how to improve any home’s efficiency.
- Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI): Texas REALTORS® awards this prestigious state-level designation to agents who have completed advanced real estate training and coursework. Study areas include contracts to closing, marketing and business skills, and real estate brokerage.
- Performance Management Network (PMN): This designation from the Women’s Council of REALTORS® cultivates skills in business planning, networking, and negotiating, among other skills.
- Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE): This certification shows the recipient is trained in negotiation skills. The two-day course covers handling a variety of personalities and competing objectives.
- Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR): This certification can be earned through a one-day course covering how to develop a short-sale package and resources for sellers, among related topics.
- Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR): This designation from the Real Estate Buyer’s Agency Council provides agents who work with buyers additional knowledge and strategies to help their clients.
- Certified Residential Specialist (CRS): Recipients of this prestigious designation have access to special networks and marketing tools from the Residential Real Estate Council, as well as a qualified consumer leads program.
- Military Relocation Professional (MRP): Earning this certification trains recipients on helping current and former military personnel find housing. Coursework covers the required military procedures, financing opportunities, and unique situations involved in serving this clientele.
- Pricing Strategies Advisor (PSA): Recipients learn how to better price properties, create CMAs, and work with appraisers.
- Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS): The coursework teaches the specialized skills needed for investing in and managing these unique properties. Recipients receive special newsletters, webinars, and an invitation to join a private Facebook group.
- Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES): This designation tells prospects that the recipient is trained to guide homebuyers and sellers over age 50.
- Seller Representative Specialist (SRS): The Real Estate Business Institute awards this credential to agents who can support sellers and anticipate prospects’ needs.
- Texas Affordable Housing Specialist (TAHS): This certification offered by Texas REALTORS® covers the topics of financing, fair housing, and affordable housing.
Farm & Ranch
- Accredited Land Consultant (ALC): ALC is the professional designation offered by the REALTORS® Land Institute for buying, selling, and financing land.
- Texas Residential Leasing Specialist (TRLS): This Texas REALTORS® certification includes training on lease agreements and issues affecting property managers.
- Texas Residential Property Manager (TRPM): This advanced training from Texas REALTORS®, which requires completing the TRLS certification as a prerequisite, certifies knowledge of the property management specialty.
- Texas Accredited Commercial Specialist (TACS): Texas REALTORS® offers this new designation to educate commercial agents on client representation, market analysis, and negotiations.
How do I decide which credential to pursue?
- Which specialties interest you?
- Would this credential help your business?
- Do you meet the experience requirements and prerequisites to take the course?
- How long does it take to complete the course?
- How much does it cost?
- When and where are they offered?
How do I get the most from my designations/certifications?
- Explain to prospects and clients in person and your marketing what your credentials mean and how they benefit them.
- Use your designation’s educational resources and special perks.
- Keep revisiting your course materials. Don’t forget what you’ve learned.
- Network with your peers. Some credentials have dedicated referral networks.
Do credentials expire?
They do not, but many require paying a fee to maintain the designation.
Can I take courses outside of my expertise?
You can take any course you meet the requirements to take.