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Quick Answers: What Are Real Estate Designations?

To earn a real estate license, applicants complete 80 to 100 hours of real estate training. Then every few years, agents must pass continuing education to renew their licenses. But the learning and professional development doesn’t end there.

Real estate professional organizations offer real estate designations to real estate licensees. Designations are a great way for agents to demonstrate their real estate knowledge and expertise. Many designations focus on specific specialties.

 

What Are Real Estate Designations?

That collection of letters after an agent’s name likely identifies a real estate designation. They’re a common way agents expand their skills, develop a specialty, and increase their knowledge. Some designations offer exclusive tools and resources.

With specific designations, agents can communicate to prospective clients that they have expertise in particular markets, properties, or transactions. For example, designations can signal that an agent is well-versed in green buildings or skilled at helping senior clients.

The National Association of REALTORS, the largest real estate trade group, offers the most designations.

 

How Do You Get a Real Estate Designation?

To earn a real estate designation, you may be required to:

  • Complete designation courses and elec.tive courses: Most designations require additional education
  • Provide proof of the completion of a certain number of transactions in a subject area
  • Have several years’ experiences as an active agent
  • Be a member in a particular association
  • Submit an application
  • Successfully pass an exam
  • Submit letters of recommendation
  • Provide a resume and portfolio
  • Pay a fee

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What are the Benefits of Earning Real Estate Designations?

Some benefits of real estate designations include:

  • Increase your skills and knowledge
  • Communicate your expertise to clients and customers
  • Increased income and sales
  • Access to specialized updates and programs
  • Access to special tools, publications, and resources
  • Networking opportunities
  • Referral source
  • Discounts on courses and publications

 

What Kind of Real Estate Designations Are Available?

Some NAR designations include:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR): Agents who focus on serving home buyers
  • Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs): Agents who are experienced, accomplished land experts
  • Seller Representative Specialist / SRS: For agents who specialize in seller representation
  • Certified Residential Specialist / CRS: The highest credential awarded to agents
  • Certified International Property Specialist / CIPS: For agents who want to develop expertise in international real estate
  • Certified Property Manager / CPM: For experts in property management
  • Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager / CRB: For licensees with expertise in brokerage management

Property manager, commercial real estate, appraisal, and green building associations also award designations and certifications to their members.