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.
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 nano-second...you 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!"
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!!!!