Frankly, I think the big misconception is that it's about the LETTERS, (it's not). No, they don't care, and I don't use it like that....I don't say "ms. seller, hire me because I have the 2nd most designations in my market and #1 doesn't like you") lol. No, but I DO use what I learned and beat other REALTORS all the time. GRI gives additional education and CRS gives Strategy. I highly recommend both of these designations. I know CRS made me an additional $30,000 the first year I had it. I imagine over my professional career, I'll make MILLIONS from being a CRS, but NOT because I can say "hey, I'm a CRS". No, because I applied what I learned. I have 180 credit hours of college too, and ultimately I got a degree or two just for the sake of saying "I'm finally done". But I DO actually use about 30-50 of those credits and make money off them. Think I impress people by saying I'm a "Bachelor of Science"....heck no, and perhaps LESS when they find out it's in Economics lol ("back away slowly and don't make eye contact")
But they are impressed when I can rattle on about macro-economic policy or explain certain concepts or ultimately apply it to daily life. 2 children arguing over the shower is an issue of economics.... So are lines at the grocery store. See?
Anyway, believe me you've lost MUCH MORE than you think, especially by ignoring CRS if you've not taken those classes. As a broker, I will REQUIRE and PAY for my agents to take CRS classes. Either I'm crazy, or I know something you don't :)
Even some CRS's make the mistake of thinking it's about the designation itself, it's about what you learned. You suggested you're impressed if they have a college degree. I'm not, how does that saying go? "the world is full of educated derelicts". While I wouldn't want to trade in my University degrees, CRS makes me more $. But combine CRS with a business degree and you're just plain deadly.
Just my "moderate" opinion. But Consider if you will .... what you have NOT considered.
Just a little piece of this reality for you: One of my favorite analogies to explain this is from CRS who got it from who knows where: 3 animals are stranded on a desert island, there are no other animals.
The stranded animals are a Lion, a Dog, and a Monkey.
Which one survives???
The answer is : The monkey.
The lion eats the dog and the monkey runs up a tree. The lion starves to death whilest the monkey eats leaves and bugs and who knows what else. The monkey survives because he has the most options. In other words, he or she is the most dynamic of the 3 creatures, he/she has the most options in a given environment. So a CRS motto is "be the monkey of your marketplace".
There are brokers in every market that never change, they will be fine until a monkey shows up.
I hope you can gain something from my ramblings!
Broker, CRS, GRI, ePro
Raving Real Estate
Laramie, WY 82070