Are you considering adding a new credential to your name and building out a specialty niche within your practice? November is a great time to get started because it’s Designation Awareness Month. To celebrate, the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD) is offering a 20% discount on designation and certification online courses. But how do you decide which credential to pursue, and which will provide the best ROI?
As someone who is closely involved with the development of CRD credentials, I can tell you all about the benefits and why you should pursue each of them. Instead, I decided that it would be more beneficial for you if I shared an inside, on-the-ground perspective. So I sat down with Ginni Field, ABR®, CIPS, CRB, GRI, SRES®, AHWD, MRP, PSA, SFR®, to ask her how credentials have impacted her career in real estate. Ginni says:
“I have always believed in education, and I know that, without a doubt, the designations and certifications that I have earned over the years directly contributed to the success that I’ve had in my career. For example, when I started to expand my leadership role and became a managing broker, I pursued the ABR® designation. I was motivated to do so because I saw how important it was to provide buyers with a higher level of service in a changing and challenging market. The SRES® designation taught me best practices for working with the 55+ market, which has become an important niche for my business. Earning these credentials and others also allowed me to expand my network and explore opportunities in the teaching and speaking realm. Obtaining additional education is more important than ever, and will truly impact your career for the better.”
As you consider which credential is right for you, it’s helpful to ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a real estate niche or topic that coincides with your personal interests?
- Is there a prominent or underserved population that you can learn to better serve and develop into a specialty niche?
- Is there a specific skill that you’d like to improve within your practice?
- What are your professional goals? For instance, do you want to increase your focus on buyers or win more listings?
No matter which of the credentials you choose to pursue, the impact on your business will largely depend on how you incorporate them in your marketing. Fortunately, once you complete a designation or certification, there are marketing resources readily available to help you spread the word.
Additionally, networking with other designees via Facebook groups or in-person meetings will help you think of new and creative ways to use your credentials to stand out in your local market. Explore the CRD catalog of credentials at https://crd.realtor.
Jennifer Rzeszewski is the vice president of Member Development and the executive director of the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD), NAR’s home for exceptional education. Learn more about CRD at https://crd.realtor.