Use the month of November to work toward increasing your education, expertise and knowledge to further your real estate career by obtaining a designation.
This month marks Designation Awareness Month by the National Association of Realtors® and now is the time to seek out those designations to add those letters after your name, and more importantly, to show your clients you are a dedicated, committed professional who is continuously learning. Real estate is an ever-evolving business and it’s important for Realtors® to stay updated on the constant changes.
Brian Van Kirk, a Realtor® outside of Pittsburgh, said he has multiple designations, and they have helped him grow his business. “The cost of the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® designation class has come back tenfold in working with senior citizens. The Certified Residential Specialist is also great for referrals and networking,” he said.
“Even if it doesn’t financially benefit me, the knowledge I gain is beneficial,” said Van Kirk. “Think of where you want to grow your business and find something that benefits your business. My big thing is education and I believe what you invest definitely pays off, especially with real estate. You’re going to stand out if you’re competing against other agents; that designation may set you apart from them and you may get clients. You can get your license, but if you don’t invest in your education, you are doing yourself and your clients a disservice.”
Dorothy “Dot” Rhone said her 10 designations are the foundations of her business.
“When I began continuing my education with designations, I wanted a point of difference. I wanted to go above and beyond and be different from the rest. By completing education courses, it gives your clients confidence in your ability and it shows your commitment to our industry.”
“Social media has leveled the playing field,” added Rhone. “Agents don’t think they need the designations anymore, but our industry changes so quickly that they need that education. Once they pass the licensing exam, they think its over. That shouldn’t be the end; that should be the beginning. We have an obligation to stay informed and always be learning.”
There are opportunities among the wide variety of designations and certifications offered by NAR and affiliated institutions to help you be a better asset for your clients. During the month of November, the Center for Realtor® Development is offering a 20% discount on all online NAR designations and certifications courses.
“I was inspired seeing other people in my company get designations and watched them become more valuable, so that pushed me into to sign up myself. Having a designation gives you more credibility in your field and gives you a better skillset. It has helped me tremendously,” said Christine Murray, president of IREM Delaware Valley. “Even just having one designation is better than none. You have to begin somewhere, so just start it.”