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Certifications Courses, Is It Where You Go To "Buy EGO"

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Publicover Realty Group, inc BK3013613

I'm sure this will generate lots of strong opinions from all sides, and that's good.

First, let me say, I applaud and congratulate those agents investing their time and financial resources in attaining that extra level of knowledge and skill. Even I have gone the extra mile to get a certification.

It really is a place to go to "BUY EGO", and rather expensive at that. I love those courses that get you there in levels. You know, 300 to 400+ Dollars at a time. Sort of an educational PONZIE scheme.

You finish step one it's worthless, you finish step two it's worthless. It's only after completing step three and $1000+ later you get the official title.  There are some AGENTS with 5,6 or more of these designations on their business cards, i.e.: CRS, CIPS, CLHMS, CRB, GRI, ABR, e-Pro, and some newer ones like CIIIS, and TRC? There are many more. Go ahead, tell me you know what they all are. I sometimes think, all the time and money they spent gathering such ego badges, they could have applied it to being an MD or MBA or PHD that most everyone  including the general public would immediately recognize what it meant and at the same time make some real money.

The other issue about all of this Designations, Certifications and so on, has created a whole new industry/business, there's now fully employed instructors, organizations probably as big as some fortune 500 companies with dues to pay for executives, lobbyists, staff rent, pins badges, decals and you know how much it costs for travel and entertainment. It has now become a "product" that's hawked and promoted at every conference,and real estate get-together. Oh! don't let me leave out one important link to this interesting chain. None of these are recognized as being of value unless they get an official OK from NAR.

The bottom line. Is it worth it to the Agent wearing that "Pin"? Has he/she received a ROI for all this or do we just "BUY EGO"?

This Blog is not meant to marginalize the importance of continuing education, it's just some thoughts about the whole experience.

Would love you comments.

Comments (9)


I agree wtih what you have said. Lots of money spent and how much does that expense translate into true knowledge appicable to the profession. Know lots of people without degrees who are much smarter than those with degrees.

Feb 01, 2011 11:03 AM
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Hi Bob: Now I know why you wanted me to read the post! ....  I think I will answer with a psot of mt own! LOL Gay

Feb 02, 2011 02:58 AM
Mark Peek
Roseville Rocklin Real Estate - Keller Williams - Roseville, CA
Peek Real Estate Group - Roseville CA Real Estate

I wanted to write a blog post on this exact topic. Agents can spend Thousands of Dollars on "Ego" and never sell a house.  I had one specific situation recently wher an agent wrote an offer on my short sale property.  He claimed to be an associate broker, and had about 5 or 6 designations after his name on his email signature to make himself feel more important.  His "knowledge" caused him not to get the deal.   My seller did not wan't to pursue his offer at all. 

Feb 12, 2011 06:36 AM
Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker
Aloha Kai Real Estate - Clearwater, FL
Licensed in Florida, Washington, and Hawai'i

Hi Bob. This is a hot issue. I like some designations. For example, the ABR, CRS, CCIM, and GRI designations are valuable especially when used.

Mar 07, 2011 04:51 AM
Eric Slifkin
Keller Williams Realty of the Treasure Coast - Palm City, FL

You cannot even apply for a CRS designation without having completed 25 transactions. That tells your clients up front they are dealing with an experienced professional. I have found the courses to be informative and well taught. It is the one designation I value the most. Once you gain the designation, CRS continuing education offers the opportunity to keep you up to speed on trends (i.e.: the SFR designation) without demanding too much of your time and money. They give you the basics to build on.

That said, I get spammed constantly with offers for various designations, webinars and magic bullets that promise to take my career to the next level,  most of which go into the junk mail folder.

I will take more courses or obtain additional designations but only those that offer real value and satisfy my coninuing education requirements.

Mar 13, 2011 05:48 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Bob, Way back in the days of the dinosaur, I wrote this post..Alphabet Soup – Those Letters After My Name…and the Two Letters You Don’t See 

i still go to seminars, listen to speakers, webinars, get together with other agents CRS, WCR etc. I attend functions at our board and occasionally do a presentation. I have "bought' my share of ego over the years and have no regrets.


Mar 24, 2011 11:40 AM
Bob Publicover
Publicover Realty Group, inc - Stuart, FL
Thinking outside the box


It was never my intent to diminish the importance of continuing education. I just think some folks place a greater importance on the"letters" the get than the information.

I to, attend many seminars, conferences on Board functions and thankful for the information I take with me.

Mark understood the intent of this blog and made a good point.

Keep up the good work Margaret.


Mar 24, 2011 12:59 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Bob, Just left you a message. I used to put my designations on my cards before someone asked for Margaret Romegri.

Thank for responding, BTW, I have a brother in Hobe Sound.


Mar 24, 2011 02:28 PM
Bob Publicover
Publicover Realty Group, inc - Stuart, FL
Thinking outside the box

So when does it end. Soon an Agent will need  2 business cards, 1 for their contact information and one to list all the certification, including all the pretty logo art.work

Jul 24, 2011 02:56 AM