The Value of Real Estate Designations
By Sylvia Shelnutt, DREI
CRS, GRI, PMN, LTG, ABR, ABRM, CBR, e-PRO, RSPS, SRES, ITI Graduate
I have many designations because knowledge is important for my business, and each designation is acquired after completing a course of study. Since the National Assn. of REALTORS doesn't require any special way a designation is listed, I have created my own method. I list my designations in the order of knowledge and importance they have for me.
My designations have taught me how to operate my real estate practice and have contributed heavily to my success in real estate and my current career niche as a real estate trainer. I am very proud of each of my designations. I have presented classes and written articles on the value of designations in the real estate industry. I have also invested heavily in my education and continue to invest each year to maintain my membership in the councils that require yearly fees and furnish updated information regarding the designation they sponsor.
I feel my most important designation is the DREI, Distinguished Real Estate Instructor. This designation is awarded by the Real Estate Educators Assn, a group involved in training all areas of real estate information. This is not a National Assn. of Realtors recognized designation, however, most all of our members are also NAR members. It took me eight years to obtain this designation and when I received it I felt that I had received a doctorate in Real Estate.
The next designation in order of importance is my CRS, Certified Residential Specialist, and so on down the line.
I also teach several segments of designation programs in which I do not hold a designation. I teach the Land 101 course for example because I have a commercial/land company that I worked in actively until I started training exclusively in the mid 90’s. I am passionate about this course because residential agents who occasionally get an opportunity to list land need to have the basic knowledge this course gives to market land. They don’t need the ALC designation unless they plan to do nothing but land but this knowledge is invaluable to anyone who ends up with a land listing.
Agents need to work toward designations that they plan to use in their practice not to just have letters behind their names. They need knowledge to enhance their skills.
I suggest to those who are working to obtain designations to choose them for the knowledge and information they need for your business. Upon receiving a designation, consider writing out the name rather than using the abbreviation on web site, business cards, and marketing material.
Many real estate agents and most consumers do not know what CRS or ABR on a business card means. If they can turn the card over and see the meaning of the initials suddenly ABR and CRS take on a new character and a real estate agent's credibility factor is increased immediately.
(Sylvia Shelnutt, DREI, CRS, GRI, PMN, LTG, ABR, ABRM, CBR, e-PRO, RSPS, SRES, ITI Graduate, Sylvia Shelnutt Training and Seminars, Real Estate in a "NUTT-SHEL," Georgia Real Estate Educator of the Year - 2000, REBAC Hall of Fame - 2005)
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