You may have noticed that some agents have a bunch of letters after their name; these are their real estate agent designations. You might see it on their business card, e-mail signature, or on their web site, for example.
So what’s that all about? These are Realtor® designations, and they indicate that the agent has completed some level of training beyond what is required to simply hold a real estate license. There are too many designations to list here, but some good ones to look for include:
- CRS – Council of Residential Specialists
- e-PRO – has received specialized training in marketing real estate on-line and via social media
- GRI – Graduate of the Realtor Institute
- SRS – Seller’s Representative Specialist
- SRES – Senior Real Estate Specialist
Some designations are comparatively easy to get – requiring only a few hours of taking classes either on-line or in a classroom setting. Others, such as the CRS, GRI, and SRS, require multi-day classes and the CRS designation in particular requires that designees meet actual minimums of sales volume. Any agent holding the CRS designation is certified to have significant sales experience.
Also, you should know that many of these courses do qualify for state-mandated Consumer Protection continuing education credits. The fact that an agent has – or doesn’t have – these designations should not be a litmus test for choosing to work with a particular agent or not. However, when you are compiling information about potential agents to work with, you should look to see if the agent does have any of this additional training and certification. All other factors being equal, it may be the factor which tips you in favor of one agent versus the others.