Realtors® always have more to learn and more designations to earn to show for their newfound industry knowledge. November is Realtor® Designation Awareness month and the perfect time to add to your real estate expertise.
But why are designations important?
“Obtaining designations is a helpful starting point in your profession and extremely helpful for your longevity in real estate,” Debbie Friese, president of the Pike-Wayne Association of Realtors®, says. Friese herself has more than 10 designations and compares them to “adding threads to your blanket.”
Chandler Mason, a member of the Greater Erie Board of Realtors® with over 10 designations and various certifications, adds, “Designations are important because they allow for countless opportunities to continue to learn and improve. I believe designations show the public that an agent is committed to their clients. Designations show that an agent values learning additional aspects of real estate and is open to new ideas.”
But where should new Realtors® considering earning their first designations begin? And how can more experienced Realtors® expand their knowledge even further?
Friese says, “All designations have value and meaning. It depends on what individual line of real estate you’re going down.” She recommends obtaining baseline designations first and then earning ones that pertain specifically to your career interests.
Some baseline designations that Friese and Mason recommend include:
- ABR – Accredited Buyer’s Representative
- AHWD – At Home With Diversity
- C2EX – Commitment to Excellence
- CRS – Certified Residential Specialist
- SRES – Senior Real Estate Specialist
“My most used designation is the CRS designation,” Mason shares, “which comes with a really strong community and opens the doors to a lot of events and additional educational opportunities. I receive several referrals each year through the CRS network.”
Mason’s other favorite designations include those that help him keep up with technology. “I took the e-Pro designation and Digital Marketing and Social Media certification,” he says. “I also really enjoyed the Smart Home certification.”
Friese reminds Realtors® that the real estate industry is ever-changing. There are new designations and updates to previously existing ones, and real estate professionals are never done learning.
“Each decade gives a new perspective on how you’re interacting with your business,” she says. “Some certifications you have taken in the past, you may want to take again. We are constantly evolving.”