Why You Should Choose an Agent With Designations

By
Real Estate Agent with Cherimie Crane & Associates
https://activerain.com/droplet/yXx

 

More often than not you will see the majority of Realtors marketing their skills to attract your business are also claiming several titles. Many claim to be number one, some claim to be a top producer and others claim specialties that run the gamut. The label of top producer is obviously one of the more common. Top producer is easily defined and often massaged to mean whatever the individual claiming such success wishes it to mean.

 

Not all slogans, buzz phrases, or choose me mantras are created equal. The consumer can find themselves swimming in a sea of number ones with absolutely no idea how that will impact their personal real estate goal. Real estate, like many other professions, certainly has levels. A professional Realtor is one who has committed to the industry for better or for recession and has yet to change careers while the masses where leaving for higher ground. Besides resilience, there is an easy way for consumers to separate the marketing jargon from the truth.

 

As with all industries, education often determines success. Real estate is no different. Education can be defined by experience but just as important as years in the field is effort in the career. Designations are gained from taking additional courses that are specifically designed to build on the basics and offer a specialization. The client gains substantially from hiring a Realtor who is up to date on the latest information, methods, pit falls, and strategies.

 

For example; ABR stands for Accredited Buyers Representative. ABR is one of the more popular and extremely powerful designations. Any buyer in search of a true advocate should focus strongly on those Realtors who have the ABR designation. He or she took the time, studied the material and had to achieve certain sales success in order to apply for the course. I am an ABR and it continues to be a tremendous edge for my buyer clients.

 

There are countless designations and specialties and besides clearly showing a commitment to furthering their career, it also shows a desire to better serve their clients. Yes, experience is valuable but so are effort, dedication, and education. Find a Realtor who values knowledge. Find a Realtor who has taken the time to learn the best ways to ensure excellence in representation. Times have changed and the best Realtors are those who have adapted, adjusted, and advanced their education.

 

Sort through the marketing material, enjoy the flashy photos and the ever so popular number one top producer; however, when the time comes to interview, ask each Realtor what designations they have earned, how have they furthered their education and how it will benefit you. You will be so very glad you did.

 

 Cherimie Crane Broker, ABR, E-pro

Regional Director of Real Estate Education Foundation

and extremely busy Realtor..

 

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Whether you are buying or selling Real Estate in Beaufort South Carolina, We know Beaufort. Our little coastal town has something for everyone.

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 04/18/2012 09:19 AM
  2. Barbara Martino-Sliva, Top Producer 04/21/2012 08:32 AM
Location:
South Carolina Beaufort County Beaufort
Groups:
ABR-Accredited Buyer Representatives
Coastal Carolinas
We Are Women!

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Rainmaker
255,325
Dick & Sandy Beals
Wilmington Real Estate 4U Wilmington, NC - Wilmington, NC
Cherimie, Well written, and well thought out.....not warranted the negative reblog IMHO. I think designations are important, along with experience, effort, excellence in representation, comittment...well everything you said. There was no disrespect for those who have no designations, I have many, however if I don't pay the dues does it lessen my experience? Or comittment, or effort, or .... Dick Beals
Apr 18, 2012 11:20 AM #1
Rainmaker
296,631
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Thank you Mr. Beals,

I meant nothing other than to emphasize the initiatve many agents take in doing their best to learn more and better ways to serve their clients. I think the simple act of searching for knowledge can often to lead to education. I also agree that some of the classes aren't rocket science, but they do lead to discussion and ideas that may not otherwise occur. THank you for your comment.

Apr 18, 2012 11:25 AM #2
Rainer
111,316
Leslie G. Rojohn
MoonDancer Realty - Sylva, NC
GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty

To make the effort to learn more about your chosen profession is what any true professional should be doing.  Some people think it's a big joke and like to denigrate those who make the effort.  The herd always tries to pull the leaders down.

Apr 18, 2012 12:21 PM #3
Rainmaker
296,631
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Leslie,

Thank you for your comment. I do believe designations, research, and any continuing education is a good thing and should be sought after by those wanting to be the very best they can be. Thank you for a very thoughtful comment.

Apr 18, 2012 12:41 PM #4
Ambassador
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

I came from the blog by Lenn Harley. I think you meant to say "agent" and not "REALTOR" as  the latter only means the member of NAR, and nothing else.

Before becoming an agent, I was a customer. And designations had no meaning to me then, and little meaning to me now. It is not to denigrate those who has a lot of them, it is not to denigrate those who don't. Because desigantions are not the same as experience, knowldge (yep, knowledge), diligence and other things that make a good agent.

I am a broker, and My signature is: Jon Zolsky, broker

I am getting a lot of education right here on AR.I am in this AR class every day. I chose it rather than sitting in the class.

So, yep, you can ask what designations the agent has. The answer will only help you know what desigantions the agent has, not how good s/he is.

Designations are just ... desigantions. Hiring an agent based on designations s/he has can easily be a mistake

Apr 18, 2012 01:04 PM #5
Rainmaker
296,631
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Jon,

I will change the title to 'agent'. I do still believe designations show much more than just letters. It takes effort, time, money and initiative. Also, the general public knows far more than given credit, I believe asking the question is a good idea. If the agent doesn't have any designations and feels that they are useless that gives that particular agent an opportunity to explain why. If I were a consumer looking for representation, I would ask.

Apr 18, 2012 10:47 PM #6
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Cherimie - it is not that there is no value in education. It is that this is only one indication of a better agent out of many. I do not have them, and what I had I did not renew. But in my market I am the king of condo-hotels. I am selling them for over a decade, my office is in the condo-hotel, I own a condo-hotel, and I could write a book about them.

Based on designations I would not get a job. based on wualifications, I would be one of two choices in the whole area.

Apr 19, 2012 12:17 AM #7
Rainmaker
296,631
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Jon,

I understand completely, obviously your record speaks for itself. Without a doubt you could explain that to any prospective condo buyer/seller I am certain they would respect that greatly. My post was taken way out of context and disected. I want nothing more than to raise the standards of our profession. Someone like yourself would be an incredible teacher. You could easily (and should) write a book or maybe even a course on condo sells. Your knowledge would benefit many. That is my purpose and intent, to encourage both agents and the general public to carefully consider education, designations, experience as the standard, NOT the exception. If you did write a book, I promise you I would be the first in line to purchase it as I know it would help me better serve my clients in the condo market.

Apr 19, 2012 12:23 AM #8
Rainmaker
764,642
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Cherimie. I came here via Jon's post. I haven't seen Lenn's reblog yet. Right off the bat, I like what you have to say. While Jon makes a valid point, and certainly designations are not required to do well in the industry, they certainly can't hurt either. Especially if the agent knows something about real estate other than what the list of alphabet soup at the end of his/her name stands for.

 

Having said that, education is just theory until you get out in the trenches.

I am also a fan of education as a way of enhancing our profession and garnering more respect.

Good job.

Apr 19, 2012 12:33 AM #9
Rainmaker
296,631
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Jill,

Thank you. I had no idea that I had been mentioned in Jon's blog as well. It is amusing how a simple blog about my opinion of designations started quite the stir. I think it is a great conversation, one that needs to be had by professionals. If those that feel designations are worthless, perhaps they should create courses that they feel are more appropriate. There is no substitution for experience, but is is so bad to push further? Is it so bad to want an industry to strives for more?

Apr 19, 2012 12:45 AM #10
Rainmaker
522,222
Mike Carlier
Lakeville, MN
More opinions than you want to hear about.

Designations indicate a level of commitment and a standard of expertise that a real estate professional has attained.  That standard may not be as high as some would claim, but it is nonetheless a standard.  I would suspect that most real estate professionals with an ABR would have a better understanding and could more adequately explain the benefits of buyer agency than most non-ABR's.  Are there non-ABR's who value and can speak with conviction of the benefits to the consumer of buyer agency?  Of course, but they probably took the long road to get there. 

My only criticism of some NAR designations is that they have no professional requirement for continuing to maintain some designations, only a $$$ requirement.  That tends to cheapen their perceived value.  Perhaps the association would like to prosecute ones advertised claim to have, for example, been an ABR 2003-2006.  I think it would be an interesting waste of members' dues.

Apr 19, 2012 01:05 AM #11
Rainmaker
296,631
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Mike,

Again, I agree. I have recently been appointed as the South Carolina Regional Director of REF (Real Estate Education Foundation) and these are all issues I sincerely hope to address. Obviously there is a disconnect between what is valuable and what is not, I would very much like to see that change.

Apr 19, 2012 01:11 AM #12
Anonymous
Karla

Having bought and sold 5 homes with Cherimie as our Realtor, I can speak from experience. We read her articles in the paper and online here on Activerain. We have always been extremely impressed with her professionalism, her work ethic and her overall dedication to client satisfaction. My husband is in the mortgage business so I understand a little about designations and such. I am certainly not an expert but I do know that anyone who tries to advance their career through education should be applauded. We hired Cherimie because of her track record, her professionalism, and her obvious dedication to her industry. I think her article is great and will be well received by those searching for an agent. I would hate to have anything I wrote torn apart. Not sure what is gained by that on this site. I like her article and it isn't just because I like her.

Apr 19, 2012 01:54 AM #13
Ambassador
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Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I came from Lenn's reblog. I really didn't think it was anything more than Lenn's style of rebuttal. I think this is a really interesting conversation and "suggested" it. I've wondered if these designations mean anything. As I commented on Lenn's post....aside from the education received...I think it might show a long term commitment to the practice of real estate. I do find that my title as "broker" means something. The problem is that most consumers really don't understand all those letters and what they mean. I think.

Apr 19, 2012 09:27 AM #14
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1,723,639
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

I have to agree with karne. Lenn reacted to the statement that agents with designation are better agents. It was and it is wrong, and Lenn stated it with heer usual straightforwardness.

I do not see much in it. I also think that conversation was good, and it is not about how good designations, and education (in broader sense, is. It is still about the notion that hiring aghnets with designations is a beneficial to the clients.

It may or may not. It is not designations, so in this sense we are still worlds apart

Apr 19, 2012 05:04 PM #15
Rainmaker
288,606
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Designations can certainly show a dedication to learning on the part of the agent, but a smart consumer should look deeper and ask about a history of performance as well. Too many agents run out and "buy" a half dozen designations but don't have the experience of a lot of transactions to balance their qualifications out.

 

Apr 20, 2012 02:43 AM #16
Rainmaker
529,665
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Although there is no substitute for experience, I think that education and designations can show a dedication to your career. Whether it be taking a class on 203K financing or a short sale designation, nothing gives you an "expert" status. All we can do is take advantage of continuing to learn on a yearly basis as the business changes with us. Whether the designation results in a great networking opportunity or a chance to learn more about something for your clients, I believe all education is good. I don't believe that you meant to engage a scathing review, but you certainly struck a nerve in our little community. Keep writing!
Apr 21, 2012 12:39 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,005,518
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

As far as designations are concerned... I think a very select few of them are just fine, and actually may mean something to the consumer.  CRS is one that more folks know than most of the others.  Same with GRI... and lately ABR.  In my opinion... many of the rest of them are just varying degrees of over-kill.

I saw a post on the blogroll tonight... and the guy had a list of perhaps TEN designations.  It looked really, really silly.  I felt like telling him... Mr Agent... nobody cares.  These ten sets of letters may mean something to you, but really don't amoun to much of anything to anyone else. 

I have been an agent and a Realtor for over thirty years... and to me... what that string of designations looked like... is that the guy started to type a sentence, and put his fingers on the wrong keys, and just ended up typing a "sentence" full of gibberish.

I came here from Jon's post.  Now, I'm going to go over and see what kind of trouble Lenn was stirring up.  LOL.  Jon mentioned that Lenn stated whatever she said "with her usual straightforwardness."  HA !  I could think of other words to use than that one.  OK... off to Lenn's post.

Apr 21, 2012 01:02 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,005,518
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Cherimie:  I have just read Lenn's post.  The intro wasn't bad, but what she said in the various comments... well... here is my comment to her... just written on her post.

**                         **                         **

To Lenn:  HA !  I am sorry, but, in my opinion, I think you are way over the edge here.  Not in the idea that you are trying to get across, but the manner in which you are doing it.  Why so doggone heavy-handed?  I mean... after the third or fourth time of blasting Cherimie... I would have thought that should have been sufficient. We get it, already !

Over-kill is not something you wear very well.  Again... in my opinion, it's not what you are saying, but the manner in which you are saying it that has become a not-so-professional reflection back on you.

I really agree with you about the designations.  After the GRI and the CRS, and maybe the ABR... I don't know if anyone cares about them other than the person who uses that string of alphabet soup after their name.

I saw a post tonight, and the writer was a guy who had a string of perhaps ten "designations" after his name.  It looked really silly.  It honestly looked like he had attempted to type a sentence, but did so with his fingers on the wrong keys on the keyboard.

So no... in my opinion, I think you are way over-inferring the intent of what Ms Crane has written... and the over-kill with which you are doing it... does not become you.

Have a lovely Sunday.

Apr 21, 2012 01:31 PM #19
Rainmaker
296,631
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Karen,

Thank you for you kind comment. It seems as though Lenn has a track record of what she considers "straight-forwardness". She chose to pull whatever it was she wanted and cause a stir. There was no disrespect, no denigration (she really seems to like that word:). Some people thrive on controversy and will create it when needed. I shouldn't have even attempted to discuss it with her, that was my error.  Obviously, my blog offended her deeply.

I stand by my point. I know what I meant, I know the intent.

Apr 22, 2012 12:22 AM #20
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