You see brokers, appraisers and other professionals with trails of initials, designations streaming from their names, their websites, their advertising.
Your reaction may be like the public's when they see the blur of letters.
Start to play word Jumble in their head.
To figure out what the letters might stand for. Are some of the public impressed, or in awe or do the letters go right over their head?
In the military, rank is everything.
In education, on a resume, a well stocked credentials cupboard can either impress the fellow or lady on the other side of the desk.
Or it can intimidate if you are better qualified for the job you are after than the person interviewing you is for theirs. And they know it.
Or it may be standard to see certain level designations for consideration for the job.
I am impressed with E-PRO education and the GRI long process for earning your certification. But some designations are nothing more than send me $450, work on this booklet at home or on line, or sit thru the class, and here's your gold star.
What was that Visa number and expiration number again?
The logo is sharp and people will notice and remember it. The label pin you will wear everyday looks a little like a 1959 Cadillac's distinctive tail fin!
Some designations brokers run with touting them like the Holy Grail but in reality "earning" them was not much more than send in your funds in three easy payments and Presto...you are knighted ABC designation suitable for framing. Education is needed to keep up with industry advancements and to learn together new ways of doing your job.
The continuing education license credits we earn each year to keep our shingle on the wall and realtor state and national conventions all help in the education process.
But one of the most important designation is not tied to your Visa or Mastercard plastic card. It is the reception and opinion of your customers. What accalades do they bestow upon you...what common themes do you hear from the ones that are grateful for your help and professionalism?
Testimonials are not reduced to acronyms or a cluster of letters that stand for something special. But it would be neat to see the TSTH designation appear on real estate brokers, appraisers, banker's business cards and in their propaganda.
Eye brows would raise, mouths would open a little as folks that you flash the new proud designation in front of, ponder about that one. One they have not seen before.
Maybe one they need to add to the cluster they wear on their real estate armament as they work hard in the trenches to list, market and sell property in their market where ever it is on the planet. Do you think you are worthy, or have what it takes to earn this level of professionalism ? At ease, the cost is nothing, but the effort and attention to detail and controlling your thoughts, impulses and being consistently fair day in and day out are crucial. Think you know what it stands for?
If you had a cabinet filled with years of listing, selling real estate testimonials that described you as "Tough Skinned & Tender Hearted". You would be worthy of the TSTH designation.
Bestowed on you not by an organization, not even by your peers...but by your customers from their individual, private experience of you as a person, a compassionate fair real estate broker or agent.
As real estate professionals, we find ourselves not just selling empty homes with little involvement with people. On the contrary, we sell homes with owners on the verge of loosing them. We need to get that property sold before they lose it and their credit, which will force the couple and their kids to move to an apartment after knowing the joys of home ownership.
We deal with couples getting divorced, where we hear what a no good you know what he is, she is...but despite it all, we have a mission.
We see kids involved and want to get this angry, broken couple from "A to B" sizing up the options depending on the financials like a skilled emergency room trauma doctor where life and death are up to that person's quick assessment of the situation many times.
We don't just list property, we sell dreams, we divide and develop land, find buyers for small businesses..buyers that are scared but trusting you to help them get the less than conventional financing thru the hurdles.
We do property management and all of these areas involve people. Emotional, happy, difficult, easy, sad, angry, sullen, grateful, over emotional and like a rock silent people. Many times there is a time factor adding extra stress to the job.
Other brokers that you would think would be the easiest to deal with and understanding of your job. Not always.
Would you dare add the TSTH designation to your list of credentials and would the folks you work with agree you deserve it if asked and they were honest?