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Real Estate Designations: What do they mean?

Woman thinking, surrounded by question marksDoctors aren’t the only professionals able to list designations behind their names. You’ve probably seen various sets of letters following the names of many sales professionals within the real estate industry. These designations are earned by completing training and educational programs set forth by the National Association of REALTORS and its affiliates, allowing agents to increase their expertise in specific areas related to their profession. Each program has its own set of requirements, ranging from hours invested in schooling to sales volume and time spent in the business. Here’s a closer look at six of the more popular designations, what they mean, and how they benefit buyers and sellers.

logo for Grate, Realtor InstituteGRI: Graduate, REALTOR Institute
Often considered the nation’s number one real estate designation, sales professionals who obtain a GRI have a strong educational foundation. This is achieved through a course of study dedicated to regulatory issues, professional standards, technology and the real estate sales process.

CRS LogoCRS: Certified Residential Specialist
If your agent holds a CRS, he or she has achieved the highest credential awarded to residential sales agents. According to the CRS website, only three percent of Realtors hold the CRS designation. Agents with a CRS have met stringent training requirements and logged numerous educational hours, allowing them to draw on an extensive knowledge of the industry.

SSRES LogoRES: Senior Real Estate Specialist
Real estate consumers in the 50+ age bracket often have different requirements and needs than other age groups. The SRES designation was designed to help agents address the needs of this consumer group specifically.

ABR LogoABR: Accredited Buyer Representative
Agents who hold an ABR have completed educational requirements focused specifically on the needs of buyer clients. Many agents who work with buyers and sellers, will still achieve an ABR designation to help them when addressing the needs of buyer clients specifically.

GREEN designation logoGREEN
With more and more “green” homes coming on the market, the GREEN designation was created to provide educational training for real estate sales professionals on the handling of these properties. This includes rating systems such as Energy Star, and marketing which is unique to such homes. Agents who hold a GREEN designation are able to share their knowledge of GREEN products with buyer and seller clients, ensuring they understand the specifics of energy efficiency, construction materials, etc.

e-Pro logoe-Pro
Technology is a huge component of the real estate industry. Sales agents who hold an e-Pro designation have completed education specifically related to internet professionalism and social media. Tech savvy, these agents have a strong grasp of online marketing tools, bringing those benefits to their buyers and sellers.

Although these are not the only designations you’ll find within the real estate industry, they are six of the most widely recognized. Whomever you choose to work with when buying or selling a home, it’s comforting to know that all real estate agents (regardless of earned designations) adhere to a professional Code of Ethics, and Standards of Practice set forth by the National Association of Realtors!

Candy Ortenzio
Executive Administrator
Brownstone Real Estate Co.