Do You Have the GRI Designation? How Has It Benefitted You?

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Homesale Services Group

Learning curves can be steep or gradual.  Yet, once we attain a certain level or achieve a certain goal, it is important to raise the bar again and focus on the next higher level.  When I am in a doctor's office, the first thing I do is look at the diplomas and certifications hanging on the walls.  Seeing the framed diplomas with gold seals validates my selection of this particular physician and affirms my faith in his or her competency.  My younger brother, a family physician, is in the process of preparing for a full-day of board exams, a requirement that he must fulfill regularly to keep his medical license up-to-date.  This built-in check and balance system benefits his patients by ensuring that my brother has mastered the most current diagnostic techniques, medications, and procedures.

Likewise, in this highly competitive, ever-changing real estate field, I believe that it is very important to obtain as many professional designations and certifications as possible.  I believe that customers, clients and the public at-large, tend to value the effort made by a professional to go beyond the minimum requirements.  In the age of expanded web presence and media brand advertising, it is difficult to differentiate one REALTOR® from another.  Even though prospective clients may not be familiar with the "alphabet soup" of designations that professional real estate agents can acquire, they most likely get the impression that these letters mean something important.  It is our job to explain the added value inherent in the designations and certifications that we earn.  More importantly, by adhering stringently to the code of ethics and accepting the accompanying responsibilities inherent in each designation or certification, REALTORS® and other real estate professionals create lasting positive impressions.

I am seriously considering working towards my GRI, Graduate, REALTOR® Institute, designation.  After researching GRI designation on the NAR web site, I learned that it covers the following four professional topics:

  • Sales Process: Business development, sales & marketing, customer & client services and cultural diversity
  • Legal & Regulatory: Fair housing, brokerage relationships, contracts and environmental issues
  • Technology: Communications, general technology and real estate business technology
  • Professional Standards: NAR Code of Ethics & Standards, Arbitration and Mediation

The GRI sounds like an intensive program, for it includes 90 hours' instruction by real estate professionals at the local, state and national levels.  Yet, the concept of achieving a higher standard of professional development and acquiring the tools and resources to become a more effective REALTOR®, seems like a "no-brainer!"  Since the real estate profession is performance-based, it makes sense to sharpen and enhance the skills associated with selling, technology, law, and ethics.

I would like to hear from those colleagues who have earned the GRI designation. What benefits have you gleaned from the GRI?  How has this designation helped you to become more successful?  What recommendations would you make about the elective and required courses in the GRI program?

Thanks for sharing!











































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Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

One of the best things about the GRI is that they don't hand you a bill each year for membership!

Seriously, the Institute courses are worthwhile and a good review of issues we need to stay current on, such as Fair Housing and the Code of Ethics.

Jun 29, 2008 06:18 PM #1
Brendan Murphy
Raving Real Estate - Laramie, WY
Broker, CRS, GRI, ASP, e-Pro

I have the GRI designation, and I am very, very happy I took the courses.  Some of them DO overlap with some of the CRS courses, I also have a CRS designation and think that one is the most valuable as far as how much $ a designation can make you.

Back to GRI, I knew very little about construction, it was a major weakness of mine as a REALTOR, so to have a 2 day course on it by an expert has a huge benefit for me.

The courses weren't near as fun, or exciting, or inspiring as CRS courses but they are simply different in nature.  GRI is about additional education.  CRS is really about value adding and business strategy, very different.

The GRI tax course DID almost put me to sleep, but that's to be expected right?  Either way, I highly recommend the GRI designation.  Good luck, it's hard to find "bad" education!

Jun 29, 2008 06:35 PM #2
Cara Pearlman
Frankly Real Estate, Inc - Bethesda, MD
Realtor - ABR, SFR

I realize that you wrote this blog over a year ago, but I am currently asking myself the same question. Did you end up completing the GRI course? I was going to take my first class today but was convinced to hold off by my managing agent until I find out more direct reviews from other agents.

Oct 15, 2009 12:19 AM #3
Roseann Annis
Prudential Homesale Services Group - Camp Hill, PA

Cara, hi there!  I am still working on the GRI.  Some intervening issues and cancellation of courses prevented me from making much progress.  However, I just completed a fantastic course, GRI 403, regarding risk management.  If you get your ABR, you will be able to use those two courses toward your GRI electives. Honestly, I am realizing more and more how much I have to learn.  At the same time, after completing continuing education credits or GRI courses, I feel much more empowered.  I would recommend that you take it slowing, absorbing each course toward your GRI.  The more you know, the more you will earn.  Personally, I like to space the courses out a bit so that I can practice or use what I learn. We are professionals. The GRI is a great way to communicate our professionalism to the public.  Please go forth with your GRI , but don't  try to complete it all at one time. Best wishes to you!

Oct 15, 2009 02:34 AM #4
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