All those little letters after agent's names may not mean what you think!

Education & Training with RE/MAX Access TREC #472264 & #2969

GRI  All those little letters after agent's names may not mean what you think!  I remember my first designation.  It was the GRI and I worked really hard to get it my first year after I got my license.  I worked for a broker who is an industry icon that I respect immensely and she had more little letters after her name than I even knew existed.  I wanted to earn those letters too!

At first it was an ego thing...but once I finished the GRI I knew it was about personal growth and using my new-found knowledge to serve my clients and industry better.  The day I walked out of my last GRI class after a year of classroom learning and work, I said outloud, "One day I am going to come back and be a GRI instructor!"  That is the impact that my GRI experience had on me.  I am now a TREC Certified MCE Instructor and I am working on becoming a GRI Instructor.  I figure that within the next year or so I will be to that point and my dream will be realized.

ePRO  Of course the minute I earned my GRI I ordered new business cards and a name badge, faxed the little logo to my advertising people to incorporate into my ads, added the logo to my website and e mail signatures and ordered these really cool magnetic car signs proclaiming me a GRI.  I guess you could say I was just a little bit proud of my accomplishment!  Here is the first phone call I received:

"Hey Jeani, this is Emily at the Times Guardian." 

"Hey Emily, what's going on?"

"I am curious, I received this FAX saying to add the letters GRI after your name in your ads."

"Oh good, you got my FAX!"

"I'm curious, what does GRI stand for anyway?"

That one stopped me in my tracks...but only for a have to know me personally, I am a quick witted goof ball who is well known for saying things that come to mind that no one else could possibly say and get away with!  My answer:

"Gorgeous and Really Intelligent!" 

Silence on the line..."Wow...Really?"  I burst out lauging and said "Or Grumpy and Really Irritable depending on the day of the week!"  I knew that moment that I was going to need to explain my newly acquired identity.  A few weeks later one of my friends had foot surgery and called me to drive her somewhere in my mini van because she could stretch out in the back seat and prop up her leg.  When we were putting her into the van she noticed my new magnetic signs and said "Now GRI means Gimp Rides Incorporated!"

CRS  Of course my favorite and most lucrative grouping of little letters is CRS which I take much jesting about from my "non" real estate friends...we all know what CRS stands for to that crowd...and I am afraid as I work my way through the 40-something years, the alternate meaning of CRS is holding true!  "Can't Remember S#!&" for those of you not familiar with the vernacular!  We have many little sets of letters that we acquire throughout our real estate careers and I admire those who work to earn those.  Even if you don't ever advertise the alphabet soup, the knowledge you can gain from taking the classes is priceless. 

As clients started to notice my magnetic signs and the GRI initials, they would ask about it...which I loved!  It gave me the opportunity to explain it without being "in your face" about my educational experiences.  Of course I always start the explanation off by telling about what the designation means to me and what I said to the newspaper employee who called that day about the letters.  Do you know that everytime I see Emily who no longer works at the newspaper, she still says "and how is the Gorgeous and Really Intelligent Jeani today?"

I love it!!!!

Posted by

Jeani Codrey

Referral Broker

Real Estate Instructor



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Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Thanks for the laugh, and the perspective.

Aug 24, 2009 08:15 AM #1
Rita Fong
RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 - Marion, AR
Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale

Jeani, it is funny.  But it is true, lots of public don't know what they are, and honestly, they don't really pay too much attention to it.  But you are doing it to increase your knowledge, to be a better agent, and I know you are very proud of what you accomplished.  Good for you!

Aug 24, 2009 08:21 AM #2
Kate Wheeler
Country Homes and Land Murphy NC Realtor - Murphy, NC
CCIM - Murphy NC Real Estate for Sale

 Not only do most people not know what those letters stand for, I've found that most of them don't really care enough to ask!

Aug 24, 2009 08:42 AM #3
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Hi Jeani,

This gave me a good idea about an excuse to contact people.  I will send an e newsletter of postcard explaining what my ABR and SRES mean and then ask for referrals!!

Thanks a million and when I close that amount as a direct result of the cards or e newsletters, I'll send you a gift certificate.


Sybil Campbell



Aug 24, 2009 09:11 AM #4
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Hi Jeani, this is a cute story! Regardless of whether people care about the "letter soup", most would understand and appreciate that an earned designation shows the commitment to education and investment in oneself. 

Aug 24, 2009 01:39 PM #5
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Just think of what those little letters cost. I don't think I have met anyone of the public that knew what they mean't.

Aug 24, 2009 02:47 PM #6
Real Estate Guy in Madison, Wisconsin
Powered by: eXp Realty - Madison, WI
Real Estate Guy

Now just think if every CRS spent a few seconds explaing to each client at an initial appointment and letting every contact in their database know about a designation, do you think the recognition would rise? 


But this is why we need a oneliner:  CRS the  phd of real estate or CRS only 3% of all licenced agents are qualified.

Guy in Madison WI,

Sep 14, 2009 04:34 PM #7
Jeff Rainwater
John L. Scott MPV - Maple Valley, WA


For just $9.99 a month you can have the JTIA designation too! It stands for Jeff Thinks I'm Awesome!  =)


Jeff Rainwater , CNE

Jan 18, 2010 08:00 AM #8
Steve Sandoval
Hacienda Heights, CA

Sharks do not stop swimming, Agent should not stop learning.

Get your GRI & CRS.

Jun 19, 2010 07:33 PM #9
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

Humorous but true! I'm not sure we have any crossovers like the computer and medical fields - that can get really confusing!  

Feb 08, 2011 06:05 PM #18
Randy Mitchelson, APR #goipm & Homeland Heroes Home Loans - Bonita Springs, FL
First Impressions are made at First Click

I saw a Realtor's business card that has the initials P.A. after their name.

What does that stand for?

Aug 23, 2012 10:18 PM #19
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Jeani Codrey

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