What’s in a Designation?

GRI 102 was full of fresh faces this March 2017.

There is a plethora of designations that Realtors® can earn throughout their career. The Graduate Realtor® Institute (GRI), Accredited Buyer’s Representative® (ABR), Seniors Real Estate Specialist® , and NAR’s Green Designation (GREEN) just to name a few. These programs can seem overwhelming—and let’s be honest, time-consuming—when your time is valuable.

But, if you look over the course outlines, you may see the value is well worth the time. For example, MAR launched the 2017 GRI courses in January and we had both new and seasoned agents signing up for the first course, eager to know the rest of the schedule because this designation covers so many different aspects of the real estate business. GRI covers essentials like risk management, negotiation, financing the sale, technology and much more.

Then, there are the designations than hone in on specific topics and specialties. The ABR designation is one of them. This program is designed for real estate buyer agents who work directly with buyer-clients at every stage of the home-buying process. The SRES helps Realtors® meet the special needs of maturing adults when selling, buying, relocating, or refinancing residential or investment properties. Lastly, NAR’s Green Designation is designed for agents looking to learn about energy efficiency and sustainability in real estate.

However, there are even more to choose from! Check out the full list of designations at the NAR website.

One of the best things that come with designation courses, besides the continuing education credits, are the great networking opportunities. You get to meet top-notch instructors and fellow agents.

So, in the future before passing on taking a designation class, take a minute to look over the material and keep these perks in mind. You may be missing out on your own personal growth and at the end of the day, isn’t it all about the education?

Ten Realtor® New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year from MAR! I thought that a good theme for my January blog post would be, what else…the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. As CEO, I get a lot of questions from Realtors® about how they can get more involved, be more attuned to what’s going on in the industry, and how they can boost their business. Here are the answers I give them, in a single post. If you take all these steps, I assure you and your business will have the best year yet.

10. ANTICIPATE change. There are some possibly big challenges (and opportunities) ahead this year. Mortgage interest deduction. Flood insurance. Taxes. Energy. First-time homebuyer savings. Student debt effects. The Realtor® “R” should also stand for “read”. Schedule time on your calendar to read the latest industry news and forecasts from reliable sources, rather than just scattershot Tweets and Facebook posts.

9. GET AHEAD of your state continuing education or Realtor® Code of Ethics training requirement by getting it done early this year. No kidding.

8. SUPPORT your community with at least one charitable endeavor this year. Remember, you’re in a relationships business. Join your fellow Realtors®  in assisting association programs like the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brother-Big Sister, homeless shelters, food drives, holiday gift drives and many other programs. Add a fourth leg to the above “balance” table with service to the community this year.

7. LEARN something new this year. Courses leading to GRI, CRS, CRB, CCIM and the like are structured ways to learn profitable skills while adding marketable designations to your business card. (Go to the National Association of Realtors® designation page to learn about all the designations that are offered).

6. ATTEND something new this year.  Again, real estate is a relationships business–even more so across market areas. This industry abounds in networking opportunities, including the state and national Realtor® Conventions, NAR’s Legislative Conference, MAR’s Day on Beacon Hill, local association events, and a variety of other industry events. If you’re already a frequent flier, then make this your year to “bring a friend.”

5. ADVANCE the industry a few more steps forward. Look for committee volunteer notices around June and sign-up. Talk with your local Association Executive about being a town monitor or joining an SPC (State Political Coordinator) or FPC (Federal Political Coordinator) team (we love our acronyms). We know the importance of maintaining balance between your family, business and your industry responsibilities. Just remember that all three support your career balance.

4. REACT. Actually spend the five minutes it takes to respond to Realtor® Call for Action messages this year. Although we reserve these alerts only for the most critical issues facing your livelihood, a paltry 10-15% of Realtors® take time to respond with messages to their legislators. C’mon, we can do much better than that in 2017.

3. INVEST in RPAC. At least $25 fair share investment…but doesn’t your career success indicate a step-up to Major Investor this year?

2. ENGAGE your audience. MAR has done a lot in the past few years to step up our social media and online presence. We are committed to the mission of providing you with the latest news about the industry and data on your community. The good news is, you can share that information with your followers to establish yourself as the expert in your area. For example, share the local market updates in your town or the monthly statewide home sales data to impress your audience and educate your clients. Give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to get the latest.

1. COMMENT below. Let us know what you’re planning on in the new year to boost your business, expand your network, give back and reach out this year. We look forward to reading your resolutions!