What Do All of Those Initials on a Real Estate Agents Business Card Mean?
Ever notice all of those initials after a real estate agent’s name on a business card? Most of the general public has no idea what they stand for or what it means to them as a client or customer of a Realtor@. Real estate agents and brokers are required by the state to complete a given number of hours of real estate school and to successfully pass a school and state examination in order to receive a license to practice real estate in Arizona. After the initial school hours and examination, the agent/broker is required to complete 24 hours of classes in various areas every two years to keep their license active.
Designations are awarded when an agent invests time and money into improving their knowledge of the real estate business above and beyond the minimum required by their state. Agents that pursue designations are more likely to be serious about their business and prove it by investing in themselves in order to serve their buyers and sellers at the highest professional level.
There are many designations, some of the common designations, initials you may find behind an agents name include:
- GRI- Graduate, REALTOR@ Institute
- ABR- Accredited Buyer Representative
- ALC- Accredited Land consultant
- CRS- Certified Residential Specialist
- SRES- Seniors Real Estate Specialist
GRI, Graduate, REALTOR Institute is a national institute designed for agents with less than five years of experience to expand their knowledge of the fundamentals of real estate and improve their skills. It also acts to help more experienced agents stay on top of current issues and build upon their skills. A GRI is earned by completing an advanced national program of classes and exams covering topics including: residential marketing, appreciation methods, cost basis, investment real estate, construction, real estate tax concepts, exchanges, capital gains, and different types of mortgage programs. The program requires 92 hours of actual classroom instruction from a state approved instructor.
ABR Accredited Buyer Representative designation trains agents to represent their buyers at a very high level. This is a two-day course in buyer representation. A written exam must be passed and the agent must prove to have closed at least five real estate transactions in which they represented the buyer.
ALC, Accredited Land Consultant is a specialist in land sales, including, farms and ranches, undeveloped tracts of land, land development, subdivision and assemblage of land. The agent must have at least three years experience as a Realtor and have completed five Land University core courses and on elective course.
CRS, Certified Residential Specialist is the highest professional designation awarded to Realtors in the residential sales field. Less than 4 percent of all Realtors hold the CRS Designation and agents with the certification earn three times more than the typical real estate agent. Requirements include a production requirement of units sold or sales volume. There are education requirements and electives including: core courses, attendance of national convention for CRS, and a Bachelor’s Degree or two real estate certifications including, but not limited to the GRI and ABR.
What this means to a buyer and seller is that when you work with an agent that has invested time and money to become among the top in their field you are can expect someone that values knowledge and education and is willing to take the extra effort to become the cream of the crop of real estate practitioners. These agents value acquiring superior skills and services beyond that which is required to serve their buyers and sellers at the highest level.