Perspective and experience have defined my path as a professional. As a homeowner, former REALTOR®, lifelong learner and a leader for the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD), I am grateful for a unique outlook on the real estate industry.
Being responsible for the success of the 10 designations and certifications that CRD offers has given me a deep appreciation for the value agents can gain from earning credentials. For me, raising agent awareness about the importance of credentials happens every day, not just during NAR’s Designation Awareness Month in November.
Here are some of the reasons why designations and certifications are so valuable:
Develop specialized industry knowledge. Through CRD’s credential courses, agents can elevate their careers with coursework that’s carefully curated to build expertise. This is key when representing certain types of clients or utilizing vital skills like pricing or negotiating.
Stand out in a crowded field. Over 230,000 of NAR’s 1.5 million members hold at least one NAR credential, and just over 23,000 have earned the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation. This elite group routinely tells us that their ABR® designation made a difference in their ability to attract and cultivate loyal buyer-clients.
Gain valuable referral opportunities. Buyers and sellers aren’t the only people interested in a real estate professional’s credentials. Agents who’ve earned designations and certifications rely on the associated membership directories and networking groups to identify qualified agents they can trust with their referral business.
Higher earnings potential. Building a successful real estate career takes time and effort. But with specialized education, agents can increase their earning power.
Designations Versus Certifications
While all credentials are beneficial, you may wonder how they differ. Typically, designation courses are at least two days long/12 hours of education, and may involve verification of transaction experience.
Designations also offer a broader collection of member benefits. For example, the ABR® designation includes customizable marketing tools, networking and referral opportunities, a monthly newsletter, and other resources that help members keep their skills sharp.
Extensive member benefits are one reason designations have annual dues. Certifications have slightly fewer member benefits, but no membership renewal reminders. Once you earn the certification, you only have to pay a one-time application fee!
Learn, Earn and Save
During Designation Awareness Month, NAR offers discounts on courses leading to its credential programs. To take advantage of a 20% discount on online courses offered through CRD, including the ABR® Designation Course, visit onlinelearning.realtor.
And if you’re attending the 2021 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Diego, please stop by CRD’s booth (1650) at the expo. We’d love to meet you and answer any questions you may have about our credential programs.
Jennifer Rzeszewski is the vice president of Member Development and the executive director overseeing the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), the largest association of professionals focused on representing buyers. REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation. Learn more at abr.realtor.