Real Estate Agent with EXIT REALTY BEND

Geeze...I'm not very good with dates.....but it seems to me that I traveled from my rural Iowa community in about 1999 to attend a designation class for the Accredited Buyers Designation at the National Association of Realtors headquarters in Chicago. 

I remember that the designation was in it's beginning stages...and the two day class was very poor.  The instructor was poorly organized and the information just didn't meet the professional standards I expected. But I think it is fair to say that there are good and bad instructors in every field.  In any event, I remember taking the short test at the end of day two and being awarded the designation.  It just didn't feel right. I didn't feel that I was any more prepared than before to better represent my buyers...but what could I do?

Each year I have paid the fees to renew the designation...and honestly...I'm not sure why I do it. 

Am I the only one out there that feels this way? 

I am betting that over the years the quality of the material and the instruction given at the ABR classes has improved, but the website hasn't keep up with the power the internet offers and I rarely see value in holding the designation.

I am late paying my yearly fees to continue to hold the designation....and I guess I am needing some reason to continue sending in my $100 bucks each year.

If you are an ABR I would really like to hear your opinion of the value of holding the designation and to hear how you have used the designation to improve your business.


Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Jim:  I too, have the ABR designation and am not really sure what I've gotten from it!  I pay my dues because I don't want to have wasted all of the time that I invested in the course!  However, I think that their site administrator needs to do a much better job with the SEO and let those buyers out there know that we're the agents that they need to be using for their next purchase!  Now, THAT would make me happy to pay those $100. dues each year!

Debe in Charlotte

May 31, 2008 05:20 PM
Marie Meyer
Keller Williams Realty - Central Valley, NY
Orange County New York Realtor

Hi Jim ... I hope you get some good feedback; I'm scheduled to take the course this summer.  I still have time to cancel :)

May 31, 2008 05:20 PM
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

I too have the ABR. Can tell you that and $1.75 will get you a good cup of coffee at Starbucks.

IMHO, GRI and CRS training was invaluable.

May 31, 2008 06:15 PM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Don't think it is worth the cost and time. Can't say we ever got a sale as a result. Perhaps it works better for other agents.

May 31, 2008 06:32 PM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

This is why I haven't taken the ABR.  I see no real intrinisc value and then you are stuck paying every year....No thanks....

May 31, 2008 07:09 PM
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

The councils that sponsor these designations are being squeezed by the economy, just like everything and everyone else.  REBAC needs to add value or risk losing more members, which could become a downward spiral. 

May 31, 2008 07:12 PM
Thesa Chambers
West + Main - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon

Jim - I have my ABR and I loved my class.... my instructor was GREAT - however, I cannot tell you one piece of business I have received from my ABR - it has made buyers think I am better prepared but no one has ever given me a referral or called because of my ABR - I will continue to pay my $100 because I think it makes a difference and says I cared enough to take a step others did not.... but sometimes I too wonder why

Jun 05, 2008 06:26 PM

Jim,  I have been an ABR since the first class here in Indiana.  I'm not sending them my check this year.  I can't tell anything has ever come from it...    Good Luck.

Aug 06, 2008 07:12 AM
Billie Chubb
Chubb Realty Group - Wilmington, DE

I have sold real estate since 1989 and have sold over 250m while serving over a 1000 families... Personally I think the designation is the real one that screams professionalism about me.

Aug 06, 2008 08:16 AM
Dale Chambers
Exit Realty Professionals - Portland, OR

Jim - When I was first involved with REBAC in the late 80s (or early 90s, it was a long time ago) there was value in distinguishing yourself as a "buyer's agent" because the industry as a whole was still operating as sub-agents. At that time, buyers did not even know that they were not being represented. It was a valuable distinction to make.

Fast forward to today. I don't know anyone that sells as a sub-agent. (A lot of people will operate as a dual-agent, but not as a sub-agent.) Most people today do in fact represent the buyer unless they are the listing agent. So my opinion would be that there is no longer any real value in the ABR designation.  (Please note, that DOES NOT mean that buyers should not be represented fully, completely, and professionally in the transaction.)

If you are doing your job in representing your client's best interest, I don't see that the ABR adds anything to the equation.

Aug 08, 2008 11:16 AM
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

The annual dues are a disadvantage, but the coursework certainly has value. 

I believe associations like REBAC are going to have to work harder in the future to justify their value to professionals.  For example, the Council of Residential Specialists (CRS) has established a network of local chapters and holds an annual convention that is definitely worth attending. 

I value the ABR designation but I have reservations about the annual dues and the value provided.

Aug 08, 2008 05:49 PM

Jim i might be wrong but i was never impressed in any designation somebody has after there name i did the GRI II and it was 7 lectures 5 where a snooze fest totaly boring and really never needed , i really thing the $100 you pay a year is a scam ,is a person buyer or seller going to say OMG ! i need only to do business with a person with a ABR ,,,,,NO ! ,never never never ...its just your Board of realtors(and mine as well) upselling to get more money in there coffers.

2008 is the year of junking out undue fees and payments this really sounds by all the above comments like a junker !!

ps see you at convention

Aug 10, 2008 04:51 AM
Randy Landis
Living in the Pacific - Tupelo, MS
Life is Good in the Tropic Shade!

I attained the "coveted" ABR this year.  I can say that the course, taught by Adorna Caroll, was interesting and informative.  As for annual dues?  Isn't the "Today's Buyer's Rep" monthly publication not worth the dues.  Not really!  Most of that information is reprint and not exclusive.  I do agree that REBAC should market this thing better with the money they are taking.  I'll keep the desig for another year just to see if I snag a buyer.

Sep 03, 2008 10:22 AM
Art Ramsey
Seattle, WA

For those with REALTOR designations ...

Did NAR (National Association of Realtors) disclose to you before you took the class that you would need to pay them every year to rent your designation?

Did NAR disclose the additional annual fee when they advertised this class?

Did NAR disclose to you how much the annual renewal fee would be before you took the class?

 We are talking ethics here, are we not? 

No one I know with a designation knew about these extra fees. Why is that?

Why would NAR fail to disclose annual fees, as they advertise these designations? Could it be becuase you would not take their classes?

Please email me with your NAR concerns:

Demand your NAR refund today!


Mar 03, 2010 01:19 AM
Jeff Lorenzen
Keller Williams Park City Real Estate - Park City, UT - Park City, UT
Park City Real Estate

I know it's a bit old, but thanks for the post and the comments. I am considering getting my ABR. But I am struggling with the idea of having to pay $100 a year to remain a member of REBAC. Neither my Bachelor's degree nor my Master's degree require an annual due. I'm not sure I agree with a designation that requires one. I think I'll pass.

Apr 21, 2010 05:28 PM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

REBAC hasn't made the same effort that the CRS (Council of Residential Specialists) folks have towards building value for their designation.  And no one at any of these designation councils dreamed of an economic downturn in our industry when they forged ahead and created all these designation programs.  After all, five years ago the economy seemed fine and sales were roaring along, so most busy agents thought nothing about writing one more check to REBAC or whoever as a cost of doing business.

I tell agents in my real estate classes who ask about the value of designations, "If it puts a dollar in your pocket, it's worth doing.  If not, put your money someplace else".  That value proposition is a good challenge for the creators of new designations.  It's also a pretty decent litmus test for agents who find their marketing and promotion dollars stretched thin these days.

Apr 21, 2010 11:23 PM
Rick Payne
I too was contemplating getting the ABR designation, but as a newer agent with limited capital I feel as if it may be an unnecessary expenditure at the moment. Thanks for the comments, I think I'll wait a while to get the designation. In the meanwhile I'll just look at the curriculum and try to learn as much as I can about each of the sections outlined.
Sep 13, 2011 04:34 AM
Stu Barnes
Stu Barnes Real Estate - Holly Springs, NC
Real Estate = Relationships and Representation

WOW!!!  I have had the ABR designation for 5 years and every year I ask myself why am I renewing...then, with times VERY tight I found this post....4 years old...  I am glad I am not the only one thinking this is not worth it...thanks for the insight and hopefully they will make it it is 100% not worth $110 a year!!  Stu

Jan 12, 2012 02:47 AM
Donna Quinlan
Keller Williams Realty - Newburyport, MA
Keller Williams Realtor & Career Consultant

I am also glad I found this post. I have had my ABR designation for years and have paid the dues each year. I think staying knowledgeable in our profession is important. Saying that, I have not received one benefit from the designation other than the original class. I do not see where the value is for the yearly fee. I am also a CRS and there has been tremendous value to me as a CRS and,I feel, that designation is worth the cost. 

Dec 14, 2012 12:06 AM

Would it look bad as Realtors to just drop the designations? I'm not seeing an ROI and I've never had anyone ask what it was or even be impressed by it.

Apr 13, 2016 08:19 AM