I have been licensed and selling full-time in Austin since 1997, so I'm fast approaching my 18 year anniversary in the business. Years ago, I remember seeing all of those letters after agents' names and I remember wondering what they were for: CRS, GRI, ABR, CCIM?
I have owned my own company since 2004 (just passed the 10-year mark), and I have trained dozens of agents over the years. I've even served as a paid coach/consultant in other markets around the country.
For a long time, I didn't really see the inherent value in getting designations. I was interested in being a broker-owner managing agents and selling homes, and I figured that was good enough. Recently, one of my agents got his CRS designation. I had to sign off on his paperwork to verify his sales volume for the number of years he's been selling. During the process, I realized that with my level of sales and experience, I only needed a couple of classes to obtain this particular honor.
So I did it.
Had I known this sooner, I would have obtained it sooner.
EVERY one of the CRS agents I've talked to says that it's the very best designation to pursue. The events, education, and referral network are apparently unparalleled. There are several Facebook groups devoted to the CRS community. From anecdotal evidence, CRS agents seek fellow designees for referrals to other markets. Needless to say, I hope to see this firsthand in 2015 and beyond.
It may or may not surprise you to learn that I've already started working on my next designation: SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist). We are in the process of launching a new division of our company dedicated to meeting the needs of senior buyers and sellers. I think this is an important demographic, and one that we enjoy working with as clients.
There you have it. For my agent friends, have you found value in the CRS or other designations in your career?