How can you tell how experienced a REALTOR® truly is?

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 MD594797

Don't ask a REALTOR® how experienced they are, but how many times they've renewed their license. That's advice I stumbled upon during my morning news hour - and, I like it! It's a good point. When the market is hopping, it tends to be easier for (newer) agents to find/be assigned business. The definition of success in Real Estate, however, is not necessarily how many transactions someone closed this year, or last, but the ability to weather different market conditions, to survive and thrive for many years. 

Ask an agent how many times they've renewed their license, and you'll better understand their level of experience. In Maryland, we are required to satisfy 15 hours of continuing education per renewal period (that number should be much higher but that's a different topic) which is every 2 years. 

Local. Trusted. Experienced. is not just a marketing ploy, but very much fact. Thompson Company, REALTORS® was founded in 1946 and is one of Montgomery County, MD's oldest, independently owned brokerages. My broker Cherie is the 3rd generation to lead the company and got licensed so long ago that she had to think about it for a minute. It was 1986 for her which means 23 license renewals. Twenty-three! 

I was first licensed in 2004 and just renewed for the 9th time in October of 2022. Combined, we have 56 years of experience. Although we are not an official team, we do team up on many listings, complementing one another perfectly. Past clients have nicknamed us the local dream team, and I couldn't love this any more than I do! 

You can travel down history and see just how many socio-economic events we've weathered, individually and as a team. When Cherie was licensed initially, there was still a wall dividing my home country! When I started out, I experienced the frenzy of that crazy housing market and then its slowdown, my first professional certification was the SFR (Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource), a sign of those times. 

We both have witnessed many, many beautiful happy closing days. We have guided countless first-time buyers, move-up buyers, and - lately- many more clients downsizing. We've delivered keys internationally and sold property on a Caribbean Island.

At Thompson Company, we took a close look at who we are, who we aspire to be and the value we bring to our (local) community. After 75+ years, we rebranded to a fresher look while staying true to our roots, and just introduced our new logo and brand colors. 

20528 Riggs Hill Way: listed by Thompson Co. REALTORS

So, if you are searching for a REALTOR® in Silver Spring, MD and beyond, give us a call. You get the combined knowledge and experience of 32 license renewals!  

Posted by

Andrea Bedard
Thompson Co., REALTORS®

Silver Spring, Maryland

Fluent in Real Estate and German.
Old house lover.
Accredited Buyer's Agent.
Certified International
Property Specialist.
REALTOR® on the Run.

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Comments (10)

Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Loved your post, well said, I have been in Real Estate for 27+ years and have often renewed my license and you are so right not just the courses, but the painful markets all gave me extra experience:)Endre

Apr 27, 2023 09:17 PM
Andrea Bedard

Real Estate classes only teach so much, experience is gained over the years, and having to adjust to different market conditions. Glad this resonated with you Endre Barath, Jr.

Apr 28, 2023 10:45 AM
Charles Ross - (785)-819-6944
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Excellent information. Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a blessed weekend.

Apr 28, 2023 01:29 AM
Andrea Bedard

Thank you, Charles. 

Apr 28, 2023 10:45 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Andrea - I remember when I first became licensed in 1993.  A lot has changed in that time.  Ongoing real estate education as well as gaining experience in and away from the industry combine in so many ways.  

Apr 28, 2023 01:46 AM
Andrea Bedard

I take so much away from working with different clients and under different market conditions. Every single transaction has shaped the agent I am now - and I am grateful for all of them. Thanks, Michael Jacobs

Apr 28, 2023 10:49 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

We renew our licenses every year so we wouldn't be comparing apples to apples if we used that criteria. Maybe how many continuous years we've been in real estate would work!

Apr 28, 2023 04:50 AM
Andrea Bedard

That still works, Kat Palmiotti! The point is that agents who have done volume over the last couple of years only, are experienced under these market conditions only. Recent volume is not necessarily an indication of a well-rounded and experienced agent.  

Apr 28, 2023 10:52 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Andrea. I have met many people licensed in Florida whose number of renewals exceeds their number of transactions. That is not experience. Renewals plus track record is the difference. Enjoy your day.

Apr 28, 2023 05:11 AM
Andrea Bedard

Of course. I am not referring to hobby agents, but full-time agents. Volume over the last couple of years does not necessarily make an agent experienced. 

Apr 28, 2023 11:11 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:


Enjoyed your blog page, and I added you as a

friend. I would love the follow back. Bill

Apr 28, 2023 05:45 AM
Andrea Bedard

Thank you, Bill Salvatore - East Valley! I am already following you :) 

Apr 28, 2023 11:11 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Andrea, could not agree more!  Laura has a cooping agent she is working with, has years with her license, and is even the broker, but is not available until after 5 pm every day.   It seems she works a full-time job first.

Apr 28, 2023 06:17 AM
Andrea Bedard

There's that, too, Joan Cox! Consumers would be wise to also ask about availability when interviewing agents.  

Apr 28, 2023 11:13 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Andrea... great post. I've been doing this for 31 years and I know in my market I'm one of very few who've been in the business that long. There's very little I haven't see or experience in the past three decades.

Apr 28, 2023 07:02 AM
Andrea Bedard

Thank you, Nina Hollander, Broker! 31 years is a lot of renewals! Your experience most definitely shines through in your blog posts.  

Apr 28, 2023 11:13 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Andrea Bedard thank you, Andrea... aren't you sweet to say that! And as I've been licensed in two states for the past 25 years, can I double dip on those renewals?

Apr 28, 2023 01:59 PM
Andrea Bedard


Apr 29, 2023 04:42 AM
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, JPAR Stellar Living - Bethesda, MD
REALTOR * Broker * Coach

Love it! So true. I was first licensed in 2001 and have seen a wide variety of markets -  sometimes very different in DC, VA, and MD. I spent my first 15 years at an exclusive buyer's agency and remember when we hit our first buyers market and was able to use so many more tools to help our buyers. Of course 2005-2008 were a whirlwind of craziness. Those who have survived have earned their stripes. 

May 03, 2023 06:58 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Great question. I have renewed by license twice and working on the third time the end of this year. AZ requires 24 CEUs every 2 years. The AZ Association of REALTORS (AAR) established in 2021, a designation of Education Achievement in which every year REALTORS must earn 36 hours of which 12 can be attending AAR sponsored conferences/events. I have earned this designation since its inception and currently working on my third year.

May 03, 2023 12:50 PM