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..