NAR offers a wide selection of designations and certifications to help Realtors build skills in specific areas of real estate. The designation is earned upon completion of established criteria. Courses are offered by local Realtor associations and online. Here are a few designations to consider, and the full details can be found by clicking here.
Accredited Buyer’s Representative — ABR
The ABR designation is designed to elevate your skills and knowledge in the eyes of home buyers. The curriculum is updated to keep you knowledgeable of current issues and trends facing home buyers. It requires two courses. There is a two-day required course, and you may choose one ABR elective. You must pass both course exams with an 80 percent or better score. In addition, you must provide documentation of five transactions in which you represented only the buyer. Once you have completed these requirements, your first year of membership is free. You must renew your membership every year — $110 is the current annual fee. Membership includes members-only publications, marketing materials and networking opportunities.
Certified Residential Specialist — CRS
CRS is touted as the highest credential award to residential sales agents, managers and brokers. There are two paths to earn your CRS. The 60/30/30 program requires 60 transactions or $30 million in volume in the past three years and 30 hours of Residential Real Estate Council (RRC) education. The Pro Program requires 10+ years as a licensed real estate agent with 150 transactions total, or an average of $1 million per year with at least 40 transactions. With the CRS designation you get discounts on RRC courses, access to the referral network, listing in the CRS online and print directories, eligibility to join the Qualified Consumer Leads program, free mobile CRM tool Agentdesks, member pricing for RRC events, free subscription to Inman Select News, subscription to The Residential Specialist, branded materials, Your Home newsletter, local networking opportunities, recognition of your expertise and insurance discounts. The application fee is $75 and the annual dues are $195. In addition, to maintain the CRS designation you must complete two hours of continuing education every calendar year.
NAR’s Green Designation — GREEN
The GREEN Designation is an education program that addresses sustainability in real estate. It aims to provide agents with an understanding of green/eco-friendly concerns of their clients and to give the agents tools to use in their day-to-day business. The course requirement is one two-day course. You must pass the course exam with an 80 percent or better score. This course can count as an elective for ABR designation. The GREEN course is available in classrooms and online. This designation offers access to members-only marketing tools, a monthly newsletter and exclusive directories, webinars and industry materials. The first year is free and dues are $98.50 per year after that.
Seniors Real Estate Specialist — SRES
The SRES designation is designed to help agents meet the needs of home buyers and sellers over the age of 50. This designation is earned by completing a two-day course. The course is available in classrooms and online. You must pass the course exam with an 80 percent or better score. Members will have access to a member database, marketing materials, a quarterly newsletter and scripts/concepts for clients. The first full year is free, and dues are $99 per year after that.
Lisa Naples, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices HomeSale Realty
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