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Todd Norsted, Real Estate Pro in Maple Grove, MN

As a Realtor, which professional accreditations do feel are:

Asked by Todd Norsted, Maple Grove, MN Sun Dec 9, 2007

As a Realtor, which professional accreditations (Such as GRI, ABR, CRS, SRES, etc.) do feel are:

1. Most meaningful, information wise?

2. Understood by Clients, Buyers and Sellers?

3. Have had a marked impact on your business?

I think any additional education is great, just like insight on what's greatest!

Thanks, Todd

Help the community by answering this question:


[I can answer #2 - none mean anything to me (but I will now do some homework and find out what all those pretty initials actually mean for future reference!)}


GRI = Graduate of Real Estate Institute
ABR = Accredited Buyer Representative
CRS = Certified Residential Specialst
SRES = Senior Real Estate Specialist (someone who specialist in helping Seniors)

All good things, and all ongoing education, representing a dedication by the agent, in continuing to further their education in their chosen career. But not commonly known or important to the general public
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 27, 2007
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
First of all, I don't think letters after your name mean too much to clients, buyers and sellers.
The most meaningful and best for my business is CRS, Certified residential Specialist. It is the only residential designation that requires a significant number of successul sales. The council of Residential Specialists provides strong support for members, and there are lots of networking opprotunites. Visit http://www.crs.com.
Web Reference: http://www.spake.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2007
Thanks Elvis ... my point is as a seller and buyer (before now) those initials would not have meant anything to me and would not have made me any more/less likely to chose a realtor with those credentials...

Agree - certainly at least represents agent dedication to the industry!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 27, 2007
Results my friend are the best moniker for anyone!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 27, 2007
I have ABR, CRS & CNS (Certified Negotiation Specialist) certifications, and in the next year or two will be pursuing my GRI.

I haven't found them to be of any value or interest to anyone other than other Realtors. The public doesn't understand them, and doesn't seem to care. The only real benefit, in my opinion, is it shows an interest and dedication to ongoing education in your chosen field. And that's how I stress it when talking to the public about the alphabet soup that often follows our names.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 20, 2007
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
I can answer #2 - none mean anything to me (but I will now do some homework and find out what all those pretty initials actually mean for future reference!)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 27, 2007
As a Realtor, I believe that the most meaningful designation for me, as far as other Realtors go, is that I have my broker's license. I have had plenty of education, especially since I work for Keller Williams. The training is phenomenal. We have guests and real estate professionals in to our Maple Grove office
weekly to teach or speak about real estate related matters. We will be hosting David Knox in January which is 3 hours of continuing education. Last week, we had MNAR Senior Vice President, Chris Gallar, in to speak to us about the market and we received 2 hours of continuing education. All agents from the Twin Cities area are welcome to these events. We also have the unique advantage of having Gary Keller, our co-founder and Chairman at KW write best-selling books that Realtors read religiously. (Millionaire Real Estate Agent, for example.)

My clients don't give a hoot about me being a broker, what designations I have or who I work for. They want to see confidence, good communication, positive referrals from other clients, etc. If I don't have the education to back me up, I don't have the good reputation that I depend on for new and repeat business.

It's like buying a car, you don't have to know what degree and designations the engineers, product managers, etc. had to have to design and build the car, you just want to know that when you drive it out the door, it runs, looks good and has high performance.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 20, 2007
As a GRI I always talk about the importance of additional training in my listing presentations. I think the CRS designation is the most respected by other Realtors. Some of the other accreditations seem to be just slick marketing by people who know we need continuing education each year. I guess they're worth whatever we can get out of them. I have had people ask me if i was a ABR but when I told them a wasn't they still worked with me.
Michael Doyle GRI
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
I've asked this myself for years! My good buddy Steve Goddard, current Treasurer of the California Assoc. of Realtors (CAR) has every designation known unto man!! I find many of them obscure and really not worth my while. While I don't have THAT many, I find the ones I have useful for many reasons.
But first off, the consumer doesn't even know REALTORS from a licensee! NAR has spent $$$Millions on Realtor recognition and so has CAR ("You have a life--we help you live it") so we have to assume the initials after your name don't mean squat to them. So why have them?
Professional advancement and recognition throughout our industry and by many Relocation companies and the professionals who work therein! So referrals are a BIG reason I have the CRS designation. Also, a great networking group of fellow Realtors I belong won't allow anyone in our group unless they HAVE the CRS designation. Only 3.5% of ALL Realtors have this designation.
I also have the SRES--Senior Residential Specialist designation though I consider this one the least effective for referrals but could be invaluable for someone who works the niche market of "aging baby boomers" or the "Mature Buyer/Seller". It's all about Features/Benefits. I have the SRES designation (feature) which enables me to effectively work with the more mature buyer/seller and understand their needs and requirements for purchasing/selling a home including special property tax exclusions, home design requirements and estate issues (features). I closed a $400,000 sale from a client who went on my web site and saw my SRES designation. He was the trustee of his Uncle's estate and needed to sell his "adult community" home.
I just received my CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) designation this last week. I went to Paris and took all the courses summer before last and made some incredible connections both here in the States and abroad. Plus I had a terrific time and can direct you to some of the more charming bistros of Paris!! I received a referral for a $700,000 buyer a few months after getting back from Paris!
But like anything in life it works if you work it! Differentiation in the marketplace is incumbent upon you showing how different your approach to real estate is versus your competition. While some real estate gurus slam designations (one actually spat on the stage when he referred to the CRS designation in a Palm Springs "retreat" I attended!) as a waste of time. These “guru’s” don't understand the referrals inherent, the professional advancement,knowledge shared and learned plus they ignore those large Relocation Companies who value them. The ERC (employee relocation council) has its own designation which I'm also working towards. In the commercial ranks, The CCIM is the "gold-standard" of them all and gains you access into some large corporations and inner agent referring networks which are just NOT accessible by the regular commercial real estate agent.
So all in all, YES! I'm bullish on designations but as I stated, don't expect the phone to ring from consumers as it is NOT going to happen! YOU need to explain the features/benefits of these designations as you would your listing or buying marketing plan. What does TODD offer me which the average Realtor or Licensee does not. Features and Benefits!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2007

I always advise new licensees to educate themselve, using the professional accreditations as vehicles.

I also inclued the recommendation that they consider taking CRE, appraisal, and mortgage broker courses, even if they do not continue to obtain their CCIM designation, or appraisal or mortgage broker licenses.

The knowledge is invaluable.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2007
Duke, thanks!

I do utilize the accreditaion courses to get my Continuing Ed hours, and agree on the level of commitment, but just wondered how my peers felt about accreditations......

Thanks again, Todd
Web Reference: http://www.toddnorsted.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2007
Hi Todd,

This question will get you a lot of opinions... 8^) Here's my $.02...

Some will say none... that the customer doesn't care and have no idea what they mean anyway, don't waste the money. For me, I think they are an indication of the amount of commitment you are making to your proffession and you need to enlighten your clients to this fact.

I have invested in getting the ABR, GRI & e-PRO designations and I am planning to persue the CRS. I your area you are undoubtedly required to complete a certain amount of Continuing Education to update your license, why not do it by acquiring these levels of training. It's kind of like a twofer...


1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2007
Good question! No. 1: Most meaningful to me is my Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI). This is a broad range of learning modules which have helped me move forward in my career. Helped me to be really up to snuff with technology as well as really understand liability issues. How it helps my client is by really understanding the law and keeping my clients in compliance and better explaining disclosures and liabilities to them.

No. 2 Most buyers and sellers don't really understand all the fancy letters but, you do find some that are well versed and get it and want someone who has gone the extra mile to educate themselves. Not to mention as professionals we should promote ourselves and explain the acronyms so they become well ingrained in the public minds as a very positive thing for them.

No. 3 Yes, my GRI and Certified Short Sale Negotiator (CSSN) have really helped to launch my business.

I'm very pro education in every form and I'm an explorer by nature so keep on learning or stay in one place it's up to you but, you will reap what you sew in life and in business.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 13, 2011

This is a great forum for those people considering additional designations. We agree that the GRI is a meaningful avenue to go down but are yet uncertain of its accurate ranking. Could ePRO be tops? It has the potential.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 8, 2008
Without question, the CRS is the top dog of the certification programs. It's the most demanding program educationally closely followed by the ePRO, the ABR, the SRES and then the GRI. They are all good programs. I recommend the training highly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 8, 2008
Thanks for asll the great answers and input everyone!!!!!
Web Reference: http://www.toddnorsted.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
I took off the "alphabet soup" on my cards because consumers do not understand what they mean. I also took off Lifetime Million Dollar Club member because consumers assume that means I have millions and therefore can reduce my commission... not the case:)

I make it a point to take an educational class each month that will actually benefit my business by benefiting my clients. Some give me initials and others do not... that is fine by me.

I think consumers are more concerned about what we are going to do for them and the "alphabet soup" does not tell them how they will be treated or how their homes will be marketed or how well they will be represented when buying their next home. A track record of sales can provide some of that information but I think we would all agree that history does not dictate the future. I think for most consumers it is a meeting of the minds and personalities. They meet with two to three agents and choose the agent that best suits their personality and goals. Sometimes a divorce is needed when the agent does not live up to their expectations or the seller does not live up to the agents expectations... a divorce can go either way.

Relocation companies in Georgia are helping fewer and fewer transferees. Companies are tired of paying the high fees associated with the relocation companies and getting little benefit in return.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 27, 2007
None of the above. I think the e-Pro and Certified Ecobroker are more useful and meaninful to clients.
Web Reference: http://www.epronar.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 26, 2007

It's an interesting question. For now the consumer doesn't know what the certifications mean when they first make contact with a REALTOR for the first time. With the numbers out there on how many people work with the first person they come in contact with, it would seem to me that the letters after your name don't truly mean much to the client as long as you can still service them. Now, as a buyer's agent I would firmly believe that I should have some formal education from an accredited organization on how to effectively represent that side of the transaction, but I don't think it must be ABR. My feeling is, if I worked for a smaller firm without a training staff then I would feel more of a need to get the accreditations. However, I work for a firm here in Massachusetts that has a massive training program and focuses on providing us with a very strong core of programs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2007
What a good question and some great answers. I am curious to hear from some Massachusetts Realtors. Has anyone benefited from ABR? To me it seems like another way to pay dues since not many people have heard about REBAC. Any thoughts?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2007
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