I have been a realtor for 31 years and do not have many designations and have never been asked. There may have been business I did not get because of my lack of designations.
I have been representing sellers in the same geographical area for my entire carrear.
Because you asked, and because of the answers, I am going to start gathering designations. Can't hurt. May help. Not so much to get more business but to increase my knowledge in areas other than my little niech market.
As I gain more knowledge by becoming certified, I can be of better service to my clients.
As with any resource, interview and check references.
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
Legends Realty Group
Continuing education always looks good on a resume. If someone takes the courses, learns something, and applies that knowledge to their business practices to make them more successful; THEN I would say yes. Unfortunately you can't judge someone's motivation or ability based solely on a title or designation.
Wisdom is far better than knowledge. Wisdom is good for both they who speak it and those who hear it." Jeremie Kubicek
As an agent with substantial experience and few designations, I have no defense against agents with designations - the fact is, it is clear that they've done the coursework and, where necessary, maintained the membership.
Even the easiest ones to acquire require coursework that other agents haven't invested the time in taking, and while designations aren't the end-all and be-all, they're a heckuva tiebreaker!
In theory, there should be an amount of knowledge associated with any designation....but it the agent that has the ability to transulate this training experience into something that is beneficial to all parties that is most desirable.
In my opinion, it depends largely upon the individual agent.
A whole list of acronyms behind a name does not make a great agent. Some will use them to overcompensate for other shortcomings. Sometimes life experience is the best teacher of all - but you won't see a NAR acronym or MBA/PhD designation for that.
I do think the designations are a benefit to clients, but more then that..they show the Agent is concerned about their profession . The effort it takes to spend the money and time to further your education speaks volumes about the values of that Agent.
On the flip-side...If we are busy selling homes (which is what you want in an agent) it is hard to find time to earn more designations. I tell my prospective clients to pick the agent they are most comfortable with in the end. Selling is very emotional and you should be in constant communication with your agent. You need to feel confident in their abilities and like the person you are working with!
Looking for an agent with designations is a good idea for a starting place. However, it doesn't matter how many letters are behind our name if we can't sell your house!
Clint Nabors, GRI, CNE
Always think how you select your family doctor, dentist, attorney..... you need to trust your Realtor and have a great relationship and good communication.
You want a Realtor who is honest and straightforward you want them to assess your property in today's market especially truthfully, you may not always like what you hear, but the market these days is what it is...
And in a Buyers Market a home is worth what a ready and willing buyer, approved to buy, is ready and willing to pay.... and with so many distressed properties out there, short sales and foreclosures, great competitive pricing and putting the home in its best positioning (staging, upgrading, painting etc.) is essential.
Good luck to you!
Edith YourRealtor4Life and Chicago Connection
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients
The example that I will give you is my SFR. In gaining this designation the National Association of RealtorsÂ® recognised me as a short sale and forclosure resource. I performed my first short sale as a listing agent about 6 years ago. The loss mitigator for the lender at that time covered 3 states. My how things have changed!
As part of my certification I learned about the HARP program before it went into effect and was familiar with the guidelines the first day it could be used.
As for the forclosuer portion just plain old experience and learning over time what lenders will accept for additional clauses in contracts have helped my buyers. I have one very happy buyer who purchased a property with a 203k streamline loan in Wyoming Oh. Their purchase price was 165,000.00. They recently did a refinanace to lower their interest rate, no cash out. The appraised value of the home for the refi came back at 585,000.00. Must be something about the 18 ft ceilings and the 8 x 12 loft area in the master bedroom that helped the value but they were there when they bought the home.
So to make a long answer short designation may not show that someone knows more they just show that the person was serious about learning and showing that they had aquired the knowledge.
The alphabet soup that follows our names means little to the public, and a bit more to our colleagues. But better an agent who has pursued more education as a Realtor or Agent, than the agent who has already decided that they will do only the bare bones minimum of what our continuing education state and federal requirement requires.
The saying is true, education is just entertainment unless put to use. An agent can have a sorts of designations, continued education, certifications, and so forth, if they are not putting them to use and have proven results they mean nothing to a buyer or seller.
Even the best agent can have bad results if their head and heart is not in the "game". My advice to buyers and sellers is to interview, get recommendations and referrals. Then select the agent/broker you feel you will best be able to communication to and who will best be able to facilitate your objective.
So Ben, a question back at you - how would you choose between 2 realtors both with 10 years experience - the one with the econ degree from a respectable university and no designations, or the one with no degree but with ABR, SFR, CRS, CNE behind their name?
BTW, I got my SFR certification online in 2 hours for $89. My econ degree took 6 years and many thousands of dollars.
Thanks for the comment. The fact is that all of the factors mentioned make a good Realtor. Designations, training, etc. can only help us represent you better. The fact remains that skills like knowing your market area, negotiations, knowing the contract, etc. all beneift the buyers and sellers. A good agent has the required training, thinks outside the box and always has his/her client's interest at hand.
The education and testing it becomes to be a real estate Broker, although still not equal to an MBA or PhD, is more intense than any of these real estate designations. If you're looking for a highly educated agent, look for an Associate-Broker. Meaning they have their brokers license but work as an agent under an office broker.
Most importantly, look your prospective Realtor up online at your state division of professional regulation. There you will be able to see if their license is up-to-date, if they have any complaints and how long they've had a license in that state.
Finally, ask them what makes them stand out. What tools or edge does their designation give them to better assist buyers or sellers.
-Look for a Broker or Broker-Associate
-Check them out online to see how many years they've been in business
-Ask them what edge or tools they have that will really help you as a buyer or seller
When real estate agents get designations the designations are earned through taking specialized training, often a test and in some cases production requirements.
Some designations are endorsed and promoted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) such as: e-Pro-Online Marketing, SFR-Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource, ABR-Accredited Buyers Representative, SRES-Seniors Real Estate Specialist, GRI-Graduate Realtor Institute, CRS-Certified Residential Specialist, CIPS - Certified International Property Specialist and others. These designations may be the result of anywhere from 9 to 90+ hours of instruction. Some designations such as the CRS and the ABR have production requirements demonstrating a minimum number of closes real estate sales.
Some designations are issued by private companies with no affiliation to the NAR. The quality of the training requirements for these designations can vary considerably. Some are very good such as (in my opinion) the CDPE-Certified Distressed Property Expert, EcoBroker Certification and ASP-Accredited Staging professional. Many others involve little real training and mostly the exchange of money for a certificate.
The bottom line is that agents possessing the designations I have mentioned above may have a level of knowledge in the areas specified that is beyond that of the majority of agents without designations. I would give preference to working with those agents.
I have multiple designations and the way that I look at it is that it is more training to help better service the buyers and sellers. For example, I have an ABR and the is an Accredited Buyer's Agent. The training that I have helps me to better service a buyer. I have many other designations and have been very successful in this busiess. But, it does come down to the agent and the broker in terms of using what they learned to help better service you. Please email me if you have any other questions.
Frank Dolski MBA, ABR, e-PRO
Cartus Certified Relocation Specialist
Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors