I was having
a discussion with my wife this morning. It had to do with a report that was released about what the future of Real Estate might look like, and what “Dangers” there are lurking.
The number one “Danger” was Masses of Marginal Agents Destroy Reputation.
It goes on to say: “The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical, and/or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry” and “There are too many real estate agents that are simply not qualified to the level they should be.”
So that begs the question of how does the public know the difference between a part-time or unqualified agent, and one that has spent the time to gain expertise and education to properly assist in the large and personal transaction that is real estate?
One measure is the DESIGNATION. Now these are those silly letters that some agents put behind their names. It can turn into a bit of an alphabet soup. GRI, CRS, ABR, SRES, GREEN, SRS, CCIM, e-pro, RSPS, EIEIO, ETC, ET AL.
But here is the catch!
They actually mean something, and in my opinion some of them mean more than others.
Take CRS for example
. That is the Council of Residential Specialist. These are agents who have taken a lot more education than the average real estate licensee, and have done a substantial volume of business. It is the highest credential awarded to residential agents and brokers.
Only 3% of all licensees hold the CRS designation as a Residential Specialist. There are 1 million plus Realtors in the country, yet only 30,000 are CRS members.
Think of it this way. If you were to go to the doctor with heart issues. Would you want to go to a general practitioner? Or would you rather go to a specialist.
The other designation that I believe sets one real estate licensee apart from another is GRI.
That is a Graduate of the Realtor Institute.
These agents have completed over 60 hours of additional training above the license requirements in legal and regulatory issues, technology, professional standards and the sales process.
When I look for an agent in another market to refer my clients, family or friends too. I first look for a CRS agent, and give them bonus points if they also hold the GRI designation. Does this guarantee that they are not a DANGER agent? No. But is there a much greater chance that they are not part of the part-time, untrained, unethical or incompetent agents that are the DANGER agents.
And yes…I have completed the training for both the CRS and the GRI credentials. Along with a lot of other training.
In addition, I am part of an elite group of trainers that is rewriting the course content for the GRI program in the state of Oregon to make it current and relevant.
Now if I could just figure out how to educate the public that there actually is meaning to the Alphabet Soup that accompanies some agents names. I guess if you read all the way to the end of this blog post…I did my part.