Real Estate Designations. What real estate designations do you need to be succssful?

Real Estate Agent with Crye-Leike REALTORS® 165062

Real Estate Designations. What real estate designations do you need to be successful?  Over the years there are many new real estate designations that have been introduced, and I personally think a lot of them were overkill.  Some aren't.  For one thing if you are licensed to sell real estate by the state there are no higher levels of recognition under state law than being actively licensed.  I do make exceptions for several NAR designations such as the Certified Residential Specialist CRS, because performance is built into the designation.  I really prefer to give out referrals only to agents that have a CRS designation.  I also feel that an Accredited Buyers Representative ABR is most helpful in that it focuses on performance and responsibilities in working and representing our buyer clients.  E-Pros raised the level of expected technological proficiency of agents in best representing their clients in a growing technology laden age.  It does help us do our jobs better.  So what about the newer designations?  Are they necessary, or just a ploy to create other streams of income?  Do I really need a designation to work with seniors?  Do I have to be a specialist to work with a senior?  What about resort properties, and second homes?  Do you really need a designation to be considered capable and proficient?  If so where will it end?  Will we need designations for staging, minorities, listing properties, doing CMA's, and selling or listing luxury homes?  Will other areas at sometime require you have to have a designation to offer your services?  Would it suffice that past experiences on closed homes and sales works, or is it a must that you possess a certificate that gives you that ability based upon a certificate?  I am a big believer in doers!  Those that can, do!  What are your thoughts?  What REALTOR designations do you possess?

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James Crawford ABR, Broker Associate





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Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate


It took me a while because I was busy but I'm glad to have gotten one of the hardest distinction CRS and look forward to getting a few others in the future.

Apr 26, 2008 11:58 PM #53
Susan B.

I agree designations are important but why did you only list the 17 NAR designations. I heard there are over 70 designations in total. Most comprehensive list I have seen is posted at

Aren't many of the designations you have not listed such as Home Staging, Luxury Homes, EcoBrokers, Negotiations, Quality Services, etc. also good one to help you gain skills.

Has anyone taken any of the other designations?


Apr 27, 2008 03:58 AM #54
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,
My husband votes for a self-designation of AANG ( all around Nice Guy).
Apr 27, 2008 05:18 AM #55
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
There are so many designations and abbreviations, it's hard to keep up with them. The military loves abbreviations as well!
Apr 27, 2008 07:23 AM #56
LaNita Cates
REMAX of Joliet - Joliet, IL
I'm getting ready to do my first designations as I've just never had the time to do. Thanks...I think CRS is the way to go!
Apr 27, 2008 07:39 AM #57
Karen Gentry>>Charlottesville, Virginia Real Estate Professional
RE/MAX Excellence-Charlottesville VA - Charlottesville, VA

Jim, Thanks for posting this topic .  The average person really doesn't know what all those letters mean.  I have heard the expression alphabet soup many times.  It's great to have some designations, but when it gets to be 10 added behind the name, it looks ridiculous to the average person.   

It seems to mean more in terms of investors and other REALTORS®.   

Apr 27, 2008 09:12 AM #58
Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas
B R O K E R... everybody knows what those letters mean. 
Apr 27, 2008 09:31 AM #59
Patty Ledford
RE/MAX Town and Country - Blue Ridge, GA
Your N. Ga. Mountain Agent -The Ledford Team-Blue
Thanks Jim for this great post. I have been wondering which one I should get first and this has really helped.
Apr 27, 2008 10:30 AM #60
Carla Harbert
Full Time REALTOR in Ohio - Brunswick, OH
RE/MAX Omega, Brunswick Ohio
I have been working towards a couple designations - CRS and ABR, have the e-PRO designation, but looking into others. Designations may not be understood by buyers & sellers, but gives great credentials in regards to networking with other real estate professionals.  - Carla
Apr 27, 2008 12:56 PM #61
Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
Thanks all for the great comments.  I am traveling and cannot answer all!
Apr 27, 2008 02:39 PM #62
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate
I hold the CRS ABR and GRI designation.  I really should get the SRES my age, I need to know how to handle myself!  LOL!
Apr 27, 2008 03:16 PM #63
Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
Kay Van Kampen, Broker, Springfield Missouri Real Estate   LOL!  Too funny!  CRS is such a great designation, I do not think that many others can compare.
Apr 27, 2008 11:20 PM #64
Allen C. Wright
RealtyU - Aliso Viejo, CA


I noticed that you site only NAR designations and have made a statement about other designations that may or may not have a practicum portion to earn their designation.  Simple truth is several designations require that agents complete a certain level of sales or other real estate practical criteria; ASR (Accredited Seller Representative), CNS (Certified Neighborhood Specialist), ALHS (Accredited Luxury Home Specialist) QSC (Quality Service Certification) to name a few.

Finally, NAR code of ethics section 12:13 under Standards of Practice: The obligation to present a true picture in advertising, marketing, and representation allows REALTORS to use and display only professional designations, certifications, and other credentials to which they are legitimately entitled.

Nowhere above does it say NAR only designations ... in fact this has been changed from the past which did have such wording, but since NAR has a financial position in each of these it was too self-serving.

Apr 28, 2008 03:29 AM #65
Kathy Carson

Jim - I have an ABR &  GRI both of which I earned my first year in the business because my Broker advised this was the best way to "learn" how to build a career in Real Estate.  He was correct.  I found that the ABR was very helpful but the GRI really was the best for learning the ropes!  I always advise new agents to get their GRI immediately.

I love your blogs.

Kathy Carson - RE/MAX 1st Olympic, Lynchburg, VA 


Apr 28, 2008 03:47 AM #66
Tiffany Wilson
eReal Estate Corp - Redondo Beach, CA
SFR, First Time Home Buyers & Investors
Hi Jim.  Thanks for your great post!  I'm just getting into the biz, and lately I have been thinking about which designations to go for first.  After reading your posting and everyone's responses, I'm currently leaning towards going for my CRS first.
Apr 28, 2008 03:48 AM #67
Ravinder Pilson
Intero Real Estate Services - Santa Clarita, CA
Intero Real Estate in Santa Clarita, CA
Great info in this post and comments. I'd like to get my e-Pro and am now looking into CRS.
Apr 28, 2008 04:45 AM #68
Rod Rich
Atlanta Communities Real Estate - Atlanta, GA
Atlanta- Associate Broker
Jim, not real big on the designations but, I do think all licensees should be required to get their brokers licences. 
Apr 28, 2008 05:28 AM #69
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA
Jim, I solely believe in the education of these credentials. The credentials will not motivate a client to use you for your services just because you have a bunch of initials behind your name. Take for example my MBA. I learn and experience many skills due this formal education but as of this date not one of my clients have express they called me because of it. I have close business on the books directly related to my AR efforts. I do hold the e-PRO.
Apr 28, 2008 05:40 AM #70
Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
To All, I am traveling and cannot answer you individually.  It is not about the designations, it is about demonstrating your experience to the benefit of others.
Apr 29, 2008 12:52 AM #71
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR

I just wanted to bump an old blog that I thought was useful.  It helped answer one of my questions on which designations would be more beneficial.  Thanks!

May 29, 2008 01:21 PM #72
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