ABCs of REALTOR® Designations

Attention new REALTORS®: have you ever noticed all those fancy letters behind other agents' names? What do they mean? Are they important? Let's learn the alphabet of REALTOR® "designations." The National Association of REALTORS® endorses several designations that are awarded after completing approved programs of study. Designation programs help REALTORS® master specific areas of practice.

Earning any designation takes commitment, time and money. For that reason, you should make designations part of your business plan. Educate yourself, keep up with the newest trends and ideas, and position yourself in the market as a true professional. Those letters behind your name help to establish credibility.

REALTORS® earn designations for different reasons. Let's take a look at the significance of some of the designations and the meaning behind all of those letters:


View more information on REALTOR Family Designations & Certifications

Our world today is moving at such a fast pace. New technology and information arrive every day. To be true professionals, we have to know what's out there and what takes place in our industry. If you are serious about your real estate career and you want to be successful, earning a designation is very important.

Remember that education doesn't end when you graduate from school. It should be continual. And, once you have completed one designation, look towards another. Or, simply go back and take courses to refresh your memory.

During your designation journey, you will meet people from different parts of the country. Class interaction is one of the best ways to get new ideas and to see what is working in other areas.

Fertile Ground For Referrals

Taking designation courses also offers an excellent opportunity to network and start a referral base--what better way to get to know people who have the same goals as you? Besides, you will find that some of these people will be your friends for life.

One of the best pieces of advice ever given to me was to start taking designation classes in other states. Many times I have been the only person from Missouri, making me a prime target for referral s coming into my state.

Go For It

It is never too early (or too late) to start looking into a higher overall plan. Look at all the benefits: a network of people who refer business to each other, new ideas to put into place, and an educational experience you will love.
As my father always told me, no one can ever take away what you have learned. It is with you forever.

Reprinted with permission, Communique, April 2000. Kristi Soligo, ABR, CRS, GRI of the J.D. Reece Co. in Kansas City, MO., is president of the Kansas City Northland WCR Chapter and a member of the national WCR Publications Committee.