June 14, 2024

ABR. CRS. GRI. There are a myriad of Realtor and agent designations, enough to confuse anyone entering the real estate marketplace.  As a simple guide, here are 10 of the most popular designations and certifications you’ll come across, and just what they mean for you.

Accredited Buyer Representation (ABR): This Realtor has met specific educational and practical experience criteria, including completion of a 2-day Real Estate Buyer’s Agents Council (REBAC) core course, the REBAC web course, satellite television education programming, and one elective course. They’ve also passed a written exam on the legal and practical aspects of agency representation, have proven through 5 documented sources that they have met the practical experience requirements, and are a member in good standing with both REBAC and the NAR.

Accredited Land Consultant (ALC): According to the ALC, these professionals “aren’t just land sales professionals, they are the most accomplished, the most experienced, and the highest performing land sales agents.” Candidates have completed a total of six Land University courses, in a live classroom, online, and/or through their independent study program. Applicants must also have a least 3 years of experience in land sales or brokerage, and broker managers must have at least 5 years of experience.

Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM): Agents with the CCIM designation have completed courses covering Financial Analysis, Market Analysis, User Decision Analysis and Investment Analysis. A CCIM member is a “recognized expert in the disciplines of commercial and investment real estate. A CCIM is an invaluable resource to the commercial real estate owner, investor, and user, and is among an elite corps of more than 9,000 professionals who hold the CCIM designation across North America and more than 30 countries.”

Certified Property Manager (CPM): This agent has passed 10 courses given by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), on topics of marketing, human resources, asset management and ethics. They’ve also done work on a management plan for a subject building. They’ve provided three professorial references, and well as pay $500 a year to be a CPM.

Certified Residential Specialist (CRS): This is the highest designation awarded to sales associates, with less than four percent of Realtors holding this certification. It has been awarded since 1977 and recognizes agents who meet stringent requirements, such as 75 transactions within 5 years or $25,000,000 in sales in five years, among other stellar achievements.

Counselor of Real Estate (CRE): Membership in the organization is awarded by invitation only through peer, employer and client review. To be considered for membership, applicants demonstrate that they provide valuable and mean they provide valuable and meaningful real estate counseling services to their clients or employer; they hold a senior position in a firm, are recognized for their excellence, knowledge, integrity, and judgment; have at least 10 years of experience in real estate and three in counseling.

Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI): This designation is for Realtors who are involved in residential real estate, who want a solid educational base of information for their practice. According to the National Association of Realtors, “The GRI program includes 90 hours of coursework on topics from marketing and servicing listed properties to real estate law.”

e-Pro Internet Professional: This training program helps certify real estate professionals and teach them how to thrive in our ever developing technological world. This course teaches how to make an Internet presence, master email communication, create a web-marketing plan, and how to use aspects of ancillary technology such as PDAs, Smart Phones, Digital Cameras, Virtual Tours, and MLS systems.

NAR’S Green Designations: Realtors with this designation have completed 12 core course hours and 6 elective hours in either residential, commercial, or property management. These agents are considered community leaders and resources for sustainability issues. They understand how to seek out and market properties with green features.

Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES): This agent is trained to address the needs of clients aged 50 and above. They have been educated on such topics as housing, finance, and retirement income considerations, as well as the differences in housing options from age-restricted communities to age-in-place to assisted living. They know about reverse mortgages, pensions, 401k accounts, and IRAs. They also can tell you how real estate decisions can be made by Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.


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