The Big Three Designations

By MNR News posted 11-18-2022 15:01

What’s your edge as a Realtor®? Perhaps it’s your deal-closing tenacity, your unflappable self-confidence, your knowledge of the housing market, or your charismatic people skills. While these are all good qualities and necessary competencies for real estate professionals, you can bet that most other agents feel the same way about what gives them an edge. In an increasingly crowded professional field and competitive market, Realtors® can’t afford to go to market edgeless.  

According to an article from the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Department of Commerce reported there are more actively working real estate agents in 2022 than at any time since 2006. During the pandemic alone, the Star Tribune estimates that 20,000 Minnesotans signed up and paid fees to take the state real estate license exam. Of course, not all those initially drawn to the profession will stick it out. Minnesota Realtors® CEO Chris Galler told the Star Tribune that “fewer than half of all newly licensed agents make it past their first year in business.” If the barriers to entering real estate remain low, so do the odds of success. Competition may fuel the real estate market, but it can also stifle agents who aren’t ready for the big leagues.

Get Designated. Find Your Edge.

How can you defy the odds and set yourself apart from your growing competition? If you hold the title of Realtor®, you’ve already covered step one. MNR membership, achieved through your local association or brokerage, opens the door to many tools and resources that set you up for success. From there, you can leverage your MNR and NAR memberships to separate yourself from the pack by getting designations. Realtors® who earn designations go on to achieve higher sales than agents who do not commit to ongoing education. Save a little of your tenacity to further your real estate education, and watch your business boom.  

There are over two dozen designations offered by NAR that dive into a myriad of real estate topics and specializations. While every certification program has unique value, three designations stand out as high watermarks for the serious agent. For Realtors® who may not have the bandwidth to catch them all, consider pursuing the big three as you dive into your career.  

ABR—Accredited Buyer’s Representative 

Join a distinguished group of Realtors® by becoming an Accredited Buyer’s Representative. Buyers have historically been neglected by the real estate industry—for many years agency services were only extended to sellers. The ABR shows that you’re a well-rounded agent with a deep commitment to NAR’s Code of Ethics. This designation will equip you to fully represent buyers at every stage of a real estate transaction, while also offering step by step training to enhance your client service skills and professionalism. After attaining this accreditation, you’ll be able to see transactions through the eyes of a buyer, with the expertise to guide them through the complex and emotional process of buying a home. 

Learn more about achieving your ABR designation here

CRS—Certified Residential Specialist 

Reach the acme of achievement in real estate education by obtaining your CRS designation, presented by the Residential Real Estate Council. Heralded as the highest credential an agent can achieve, getting your CRS is like earning a doctorate in residential real estate. Though the most time-intensive of NAR’s designation programs, Realtors® with a CRS certification are proven pros with the knowledge and connections to find continued success. According to NAR, CRS designees earn nearly three times more in income, transactions, and gross sales than non-designees on average. Realtors® who achieve this designation also enter an exclusive network of access to networking affiliations.  

Learn more about achieving your CRS designation here.  

GRI—Graduate, Realtor® Institute 

Offered exclusively by Minnesota Realtors® and recognized nationally, the GRI designation provides agents with cutting-edge, top-end training on every facet of the business. You’ll exit this program with new confidence and a fundamental knowledge of real estate. You’ll also be equipped to help buyers and sellers navigate the changing landscape of the housing market. Think of the GRI as bedrock training for your career, offering you tools, tips, and advice for both short- and long-term success. The GRI provides in-depth examinations of the latest legal and regulatory issues, technology, professional standards, marketing, business skills, the sales process, and risk management. You’ll walk out of the training ready to tackle any challenge you encounter. 

Learn more about achieving your GRI designation here.  

If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, now is the perfect time to start. November is NAR’s National Designation Month. NAR is offering special discount prices for designations through the end of November. Start setting yourself apart by clicking here.