What Are All Those Letters After a Realtor's Name?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President

A Brief Explanation of Realtor Designations & Education 

A while back a friend of mine asked what all the letters and abbreviations after my name were after I sent him an e-mail.  For reference, my e-mail signature looks like this: 

Brian Block, Esq., REALTOR / Attorney
Block Real Estate Group, LLC
RE/MAX Allegiance
5100 Leesburg Pike, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22302

So here's an explanation of all of these designations:

Esq. -- This is short for Esquire.  In the U.S. it generally may be assumed that, when "Esq." appears on business cards or stationery, the man or woman so identified is a member of the bar.  I am a licensed Virginia attorney and a member of the Virginia State Bar.

ABR -- short for Accredited Buyer Representative.  To achieve this designation, Realtors must complete and pass the exam for a two full day course on all aspects of buyer representation and document a qualifying number of buyer transactions.  ABRs maintain membership in the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council and keep up to date on important developments in buyer agency.

CRS -- short for Certified Residential Specialist.  This is like the graduate degree of the real estate industry.  Less than 4% of Realtors nationwide have earned the CRS designation through signifcant experience, rigorous educational requirements (over 60 hours of classes), and demonstrated sales volume.  The training involves all aspects of real estate with a strong focus on technology and customer service.  CRS Realtors can attend the yearly Sell-a-Bration conference to continue their education and learn from other experienced CRS Realtors.

e-PRO -- denotes an Internet Professional Realtor and signifies that the Realtor completed extensive training on using the web and is prepared to employ the latest techniques and services fro the benefit of clients.

GRI -- short for Graduate Realtor Institute.  To earn the GRI designation, Realtors must complete over 90 hours of specialized real estate courses.  A Realtor who earns the GRI designation has shown his or her commitment to the industry and towards serving the client.

SRES -- short for Seniors Real Estate Specialist.  This specialized course of study focuses on real estate issues that are important to senior citizens, including retirement, reverse mortgages, downsizing, health care, and IRAs.  After completing this course, an SRES Realtor is uniquely suited for helping senior citizens and their families with their specialized real estate needs.

When choosing a Realtor to help you with your real estate needs, it is important to look at their designations and ask about their continued education and commitment to keeping up to date with the latest news and practices.


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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome


Brian, Thanks for sharing.

I am in the middle of the SRES course right now, having taking day one this past Saturday. Here is a post I wrote last year.

Alphabet Soup - Those Letters After My Name...and the Two Letters You Don't See -
Jul 09, 2007 12:14 AM #1
Real Estate Guy in Madison, Wisconsin
Powered by: eXp Realty - Madison, WI
Real Estate Guy


May I invite you to join our group Certified Residential Specialists?

And link your article to the group.  Could get you more traffic.

ALso I think it would add to the group discussion.  Thanks for the article.


Nov 26, 2007 02:42 PM #2
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Very impressive alphabet soup after your name.  At an ABR class the instructor made a great analogy.  He said when he needed oral surgery, He did not know what the designations after the surgeons name were.  he just knew he needed a surgeon with them.

    • Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®
    • ABR, AHWD, CRS, e-PRO, GRI
Nov 29, 2007 07:42 PM #3
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Brian Block

Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate
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