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November is Realtors Designation Awareness Month

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By Margie Harper

By MARGIE HARPER

The Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are pleased to announce the arrival of Realtor Designation Awareness Month. NAR established November as an important month in which to encourage its members to "keep it in the family" by starting, completing or continuing an official NAR-endorsed designation program through NAR or one of its affiliates.

Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fact, it is often the biggest single investment anyone will make in a lifetime. At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated. New technology, laws, procedures and the increasing sophistication of buyers and sellers require real estate practitioners to perform at an ever-increasing level of professionalism. It is more important than ever that the professional has a keen understanding of the real estate business.

In today’s market, continuing education is your best way to stay ahead of the competition. Now more than ever, successful agents must keep current on issues involving technology, changing legalities and many other central components of the business. NAR and its nine Institutes, Societies and Councils offer advanced education designation and certification programs to help members remain up-to-date in such a dynamic environment. Although other designations exist, only these carry an official NAR endorsement.

Realtors have access to advanced education designation and certification programs tailored to virtually every real estate specialty. Beyond building skills, knowledge and productivity, these prestigious programs enhance the professional image of Realtors and take our members to the next level.

Realtors who pursue professional designations have a distinct competitive edge as a result of their increased expertise and marketability. Based on 2008 survey data, the median income of Realtors without a designation was $33,200, and the median income of those with at least one designation was $67,900, with a difference of $34,700.

The National Association of Realtors and the Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors strongly encourage its members to increase their professional image, marketability, productivity and income through the pursuance of a designation or certification program

The following are some certifications offered:

  • GRI, Graduate Realtor Institute, designation is the most recognized professional designation available to real estate professionals nationwide;
  • ABR, Accredited Buyer Representative designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation.
  • ABRM, Accredited Buyer Representative Manager’s are geared to real estate firm brokers, owners and managers that have or wish to incorporate buyer representation into their daily practice, designees have taken and passed both the ABR and ABRMSM course and provided documentation of past management experience.
  • CRB, Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager designation is recognized industry-wide as the measure of success in brokerage and real estate business management.
  • CRS, Certified Residential Specialist allows agents to maximize their potential by earning the CRS Designation and joining the organization that has served top-producing residential sales agents since 1977.
  • ALC, Accredited Land Consultant is the recognized experts in land brokerage transactions of five specialized types: farms and ranches; undeveloped tracts of land; transitional and development land; subdivision and wholesaling of lots; and site selection and assemblage of land parcels.
  • CCIM, Certified Commercial Investment Members are recognized experts in commercial real estate brokerage, leasing, valuation and investment analysis.
  • CIPS, Certified International Property Specialist network is comprised of 1,500 real estate professionals from 50 countries who deal in all types of real estate, but with one common element: they are focused specifically on the international market.
  • CPM, Certified Property Manager acquires valuable real estate management skills through educational offerings leading to the CPM designation.
  • PMN, Performance Management Network is a Realtor designation that’s built from the ground up to bringing the real estate professional real-world skills, the know-how and the tools that will keep their business out front and on top of a lighting-fast market.
  • SRES, Senior Real Estate Specialist Designation program trains Realtors to profitably and ethically serve the real estate needs of clients age 50 and older.
  • SIOR, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors. Individuals certified with the SIOR designation are top producers in industrial and office real estate brokerage.

The National Association of Realtors also has a family of certifications that help trains the real estate professional. For a complete list of the official NAR family designations and certifications, visit http://www. realtor.org/education

Margie Harper is executive vice president, Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors.