Question Details

Dan Kingsley, Real Estate Pro in Zumbrota, MN

What Realtor Designation is the most valueable?

Asked by Dan Kingsley, Zumbrota, MN Mon Nov 22, 2010

I have heard all kinds of people for and against designations. But the fact is people still spend money on them. So I am wondering what the Realtors on Trulia believe to be the best designation course is.

Help the community by answering this question:


I believe GRI is the best because it's the most comprehensive. There are no "bad" designations, as just about every course offers some good, useful information. The problem with designations is that agents don't use them properly. Agents plaster them all over their business cards, flyers, web site, and email signatures, but their main marketing target - the consumer - has no idea what the designations mean. In most uses, they appear as "real estate jargon" and detract from the agent's marketing message while wasting precious advertising space. Here's an example. Which words on a business card are more likely to tell the consumer why they should be hiring this agent: A) "Frederika Hammer, Specialist in Santa Cruz Beachfront Homes" or B) "Frederika Hammer, GRI, CRS, ASA, SFR". As a guy who used several agents to buy property before I became a broker, I always looked for an agent who spoke my language. Not one who expected me to learn theirs for the sole purpose of puffing their reputation. Designations should be shown where there is space for a description of what they mean, otherwise nothing is communicated to the client and it's just a contest between agents to show that their string of letters is bigger than the next guy or gal's.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
What is the best designation you ask?
Well I ask you, what type of clients do you want?

Buyers = ABR Accredited Buyer's Representative
General Real Estate - GRI Graduate Real Estate Institute
International buyers/sellers = CIPS Certified Residential Specialist
internet buyers/sellers = e-Pro
Short Sales or REO's = SFR Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource
High Dollar Clients = RSPS Resorts Second Property Specialist
International Referrals = TRC Transnational Referral Certification

I have all of the above designations. The funnest bunch of people are definitely the CRS and the CIPS bunch.

In my opinion the best designation, is the one that teaches you something that earns you money.
Knowledge is power and when you are at the table you can either eat, or be eaten.

RE/MAX Resort Realty
808-874-0600 Toll Free 877-434-6487
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Each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint-
and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you Love and then offer it in the form of service.
I Love what I do. Please let me know if you hear of someone Buying or Selling Real Estate in Hawaii.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
You can have all the designations in the world it doesn't mean an agent knows what they're doing. Most CDPE's have never even done a short sale and when you talk to them they always have to throw in "I'm a CDPE I know what doing” I have agents tell me that all the time. The general public has no idea or care about designations. What matters is hands on knowledge. I guess if I wasn't so busy selling homes I would have more time to sit in classes all day. I'm not saying education isn't important just saying those designations in my eyes makes no difference how much you sell.
Jeff Star
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
Thanks for all the info guys! It is much appreciated!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
It honestly depends on what your niche is or what you want your niche to be before you decide what the best designation is for you. If you live in a retirement community, you may want to look into the SRES. If you live in an area or want to focus on younger buyers, you may want to look at the ePro. If you like working with buyers, you may want the ABR. I think it is not fair to say what is the best overall. I think you need to consider what would be best for you and your career path!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
John Souerbry from Palo Alto hit the nail on the head with this question. While all certifications and designations are very good for you the agent to increase your knowledge and expertise, the initials mean basically nothing to the client or prospect. I know many top agents that don't have one single designation that have a great career based on what they do for their clients, not based on how many designations they have obtained.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010

Yes, I agree with you. Be careful, that might be understood how to make money from your clients instead of make money for your clients.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010

I think the most valuable real estate designation is the CRS which is the certified Residential Specialist. This one really shows you how to make money. Best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
Please allow me to paste what I said from my Certification and Award section in my profile. It can exactly explain my opinion on this question. The other hand, in the REAL real estate world, Go get all you can get now! 2 reasons, first, most people do not believe or understand what I say below. second, do not wait until you think you need it. You may not have time to take the classes if you are busy. Busy life can kill your time and your brain both. Check not ask the super producers when they got the designations. By the way, NAR and CAR always need more money.

Yes, I have but presenting it to the people is not my purpose why I obtain it. By the way, I would like to share some professional terms with you here. Those terms, as the people who click "Real Estate Pro" here, you should know the definitions and how to use them. Otherwise, tell the people and Trulia that you are a money maker instead of a "Real Estate Pro".
1) Real estate agent
2) Real estate broker
3) Real estate sales associate
4) Loan agent
5) Consultant
6) Real estate licensee
7) Realtor
8) Client
9) Customer
10) License (not licensee)
11) limited license (conditional license or qualified license)
12) Certification
13) Certificated
14) Certified
15) Registration
16) Accreditation
17) Award
18) Permit
Look at my writing in Trulia and compare with others, I use those terms very carefully. I can not say my understanding is totally correct but I always pay attention on it to become more "pro". Otherwise even you have some of them but in front of your clients, that is cheating, that is misleading.
Welcome to correct the error in my writing

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
I think its the GRI. Its not that the public is going to go with you because of it but its just good training and shows you care about your career.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
I would have to agree that GRI is the most comprehensive and most recognized.

I feel that value - is in the eye of the beholder. Some buyers will appreciate them - and others won't care.

The most valuable designation for me - is fabulous communication with the clients and looking after your clients best interest - always....

Good Luck!

Gerry Dunn
Associate Broker
Serving Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
I don't think the public understands designations and I agree with the previous post.

David Barr, Broker Associate
Sandals Realty
Twitter: @sarasota_homes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
I see a designation as away to show the public that you are taking your real estate career seriously and that you are working on mastering your craft. All of the designations are great. Some of the harder ones to get are your GRI and CRS. I wish you much luck and success in your real estate career.

Below is a link to all of the NAR designations.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
For residential homes - GRI is one of the top ones.
There are other top designations depending on what niche you're in.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
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