Glenn Roberts of Inman News recently wrote an article on the use and issuance of designations in the real estate industry.

Designations are the initials you might see after a real estate agent’s name – things like ABR, CRS, e-pro, GRI, SRS, SIOR, RCE, RAA, QSC, PMN, GAA, CRIA – RIAOC, CRE, CRB, CPM, CIPS, CCIM, ARM, and ALC, among others (no, I’m not kidding).

I was quoted in the article:

Agents debate value of real estate designations – Are dozens of acronyms available to industry professionals worth the money?

John A. Keith, a Realtor in Boston, meanwhile, said he believes that “the designations are a joke.” Keith said he paid about $400 for classes related to the ABR and ePRO e-Buyer designations, though he didn’t complete the paperwork process for the ABR designation. “I thought it would look good on my business card,” Keith said. “Plus, when I signed up for the class, I had just decided to go out on my own. I thought it would give me additional respect from new clients.” As for the classes, “The instructor was very nice. I learned absolutely nothing during the class, however.”

This irked several readers, apparently.

Comments regarding designations, their relative expense and what was or was not learned seem to reflect a lack of will or caring on the part of these individuals to improve themselves. While making money in this industry is a significant driving force, it represents only part of the success and longevity equation. Going to school, staying abreast of current events and changes within the industry should become the focus. Earning the privilege of placing a few letters behind your name should be residual, not the goal.

I don’t think we agree on this, either. Going to continuing education classes is a good way to make sure you are up-to-date on things. Really, though, the classes are usually kind of sketchy in content and depth, plus they’re not necessarily relevant to your day-to-day jobs – I mean, the classes offered include “selling to old people” and “selling an antique home”.

I’m not focused on making money, not at all. I’m focused on providing my clients with the best service possible.

Having letters after my name and going to continuing ed classes do nothing to help me fulfill my goal.

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Updated: January 2018

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