Can You Afford To Hire A Realtor Without A CRS?

Real Estate Agent with The AmyBSells Team - Keller Williams Advisors

The answer is, why wouldn't you get a premium service without any added cost to you?

That is the question asked of me sitting at a kitchen table a week ago. A seller with two homes, not by choice, in a down market, priced too high and on the market for over 6 months said to me, "Why didn't my first Realtor show me this information, I could have made a more informed decision about my original list price and the market in my area?"

I was saddened to hear how her previous Realtor did not do the necessary research that all CRS Designees are taught to do in their advanced training classes. I was called in after another agent could not sell the house. I took a totally different approach in considering the details of the listing. That is what Business People, or Certified Residential Specialists know how to do. It makes all the difference in the world.

That seller looked at me, with tears in her eyes, realizing that she had wasted 6 months of a decent market at the wrong price with the wrong Realtor, and that decision had cost her tens of thousands in the end. She said to me, "I had no idea you could provide this type of information on my house, my neighborhood and the local market. How did you know how to do this?" My answer was simple, I could have years of experience, but the CRS Education and training is what taught me how to find, organize and present the most relevant data to price listings to sell, all while making sure that the sellers largest financial investment was understood and treated with respect. Certified Residential Specialist

As a CRS, I am in the top 4% of the Realtors in the country. Certified Residential Specialists do more than three times the amount of business that the average Realtor does in a year. I have completed necessary experience and education that awards me the honor of being one of the elite Certified Residential Specialists. I have invested my own money in my education to become the best Realtor for my clients that I can be. After I earned this designation, I continue to invest in myself and my clients with additional educational opportunities and training. I want to be a wealth of knowledge so that I can transfer that information and those skills I learn in my CRS education to professionally assist my buyers and sellers with their largest financial investment.

In CRS courses, I learn skills and ideas that help me represent my clients better. I also learn advanced negotiation techniques, innovative marketing ideas, how to calculate absorption rates and how to predict how long a listing will take to sell, how to price a home, how to earn referrals and how to thank my customers and clients. How to create a team of professionals to make my clients experience the best it can be. I learn how to plan for my business’ financial future, so I am making good investments in my business to ensure that I will be able to work with my clients throughout their lives. I learn how to counsel, ask the right questions, answer the tough questions, negotiate, concede and win. These classes are taught by the most fantastic and experienced instructors that I have ever encountered in any industry. The forums are open and provide a wonderful environment to share experiences and ideas to make each of us better Realtors for our clients. I network and brainstorm with the nations Real Estate cream of the crop, bringing valuable and effective strategies and ideas back to Cincinnati and Hyde Park. We strive to be the most professional, knowledgeable, and experienced Realtors in the world. I do this to make myself better for you! I invest my own time and money, which makes me a better Realtor for you.

Just like a person would never trust anyone other than a Cardiologist with their most vital organ, their heart, ... Seek and find a Realtor for your largest, most vital financial investment with a CRS after their name, because there might as well be a Dr. in front of it too, Dr. of Real Estate!

To learn more about the CRS Designation and the Council of Residential Specialists, visit their website at

Comments (5)

Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Amy, I don't have a CRS designation, although I may get one in the future.  I have heard excellent things about the CRS classes.

However, I think you are misleading when you imply in your title that using a Realtor without a CRS is a risk.  I have 4 professional designations and have earned many glowing testimonials from highly satisfied clients.  Please don't paint the rest of us with too broad a brush...

Jan 15, 2008 03:42 AM
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

Amy:  I'm a big fan of education, but have to admit that I'm not a big fan of all of these designations that various agents put behind their name.  Some of the best agents that I've ever worked with in 24 years in the biz and thousands of transactions don't have a single set of letters behind their name.  On the same note, I've worked with agents who have had a complete alphabet behind their name and have been basically worthless.

That's not to say that all agents with designations are bad, I'm sure that they are better than least they've put in the time to attend the classes, but I have to disagree with your main point here.


Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Jan 15, 2008 03:45 AM
Rancho Bernardo
Coldwell Banker Real Estate DRE#01410072 - Rancho Bernardo, CA (ABR,e-PRO,SRES) 92127,92128

Hello Amy!

I agree with Bob!

I think that there are alot of agents with the CRS especially who get the referrals and are not the agents I would ever want to work with if I were looking for representation. The top agent in our office has his name on his website and NO designations. I have my ABR,e-PRO and SRES mainly because I wanted to get the best education I could get! But I also work very hard having my face out in the community not knowing why a person picks me to use, other than they KNOW me and trust ME to provide SERVICE above and beyond their expectations! I am with Coldwell banker and know my California contracts well. That does me more good than any of my designations!

 Just a thought!

Gina Youngren

Jan 15, 2008 04:05 AM
Amy Broghamer

I understand your comments to my post.  First, I must say that I do not intend to collect letters behind my name.  The CRS in all of my marketing and cards etc is always spelled out so that my clients, potential clients and other Realtors know that I have done what is necessary to invest in myself the time and money to become the BEST i can be for my clients.  The education that CRS provides, if you have never had it, is second to none!!!  You cant discount it if you have never sat through a 2 day class.  Sure anyone can sit through a CRS class, but do they take the info they learn and apply it to make their business better and represent their clients better?  Not always.  Unfortunately there are CRS's that do not continue to keep up with their education, and do not represent the designation well, just like there are Real Estate Agents that do not represent the Realtor name well. 

If you are a top producing agent, and have not taken the time to attend a CRS course, then you should.  You probably already have the transaction volume necessary, why not take a few 2 day classes and then you can be proud of your CRS too!  You may know it all about your state and its contracts, but that isn't all CRS is about.  It is about you, as a Realtor, as a entrepreneur, a business, making you a more productive agent, and a more efficient business so you can take home more profit.  It is truly an amazing organization for those who intend to be in the business for life, and who always seek to better themselves for their own business and their clients benefit.   

I am not in CRS for referrals!!!  Don't care about them.  I can get my own business without paying someone else a %.  It is the education and ideas that are learned and created in these sessions that grow my business and create new or better ways of, working on my referral base, pricing homes to sell, learning how to work with the seller to get their home reduced or staged etc.  This education is for you to be better for yourself and your clients. 

Yes, there are agents who are good without the CRS.  There are CRS that aren't great and they have the designation.  You don't have to be a CRS to be a great agent, or a top producer, but it helps!!!!!!!!

I started in Real Estate in July 2005, and have made it through what people tell me is the hardest time they have ever had.  I closed over 8 million dollars in sales in 2007, and 6 million in 2006, my first year!  I directly attribute my quick success in a difficult market to my invaluable education gained from being a CRS and the support and lasting benefits of its membership.  I am hiring my first agent, and have hired a transaction coordinator this year.  We expect to only sell more as our marketing and sales techniques that we learned from CRS get more refined and targeted with practice. 

Of course, having the CRS, makes me want to tell my clients that it is important, after all, I am a sales person at heart!!  In real estate, if you don't sell yourself, no one else will do it for you!

Thanks for the great comments. 

Jan 15, 2008 04:37 AM
amy Broghamer

One more thing I must add.....

When I am looking to find an agent in another city or state to help a client of mine.  I first looked to the CRS directory, now I am finding that I am using the networking I do in Active Rain to connect with agents to give referrals. 

It is important to me and my clients that their agent has a great website that they can use, and is able to communicate via email and the web.  This is Active Rain at it's best. 

 Also notable, there are agents who blog more than they sell, and I always look for those with a high level of production, not just high points on Active Rain!!! 

Jan 15, 2008 04:41 AM