Real Estate Straight Talk

What Those Letters After My Name Mean to BUYERS & SELLERS

February 19th, 2016 9:57 PM by Debo Cornett

WHAT THOSE INITIALS AFTER MY NAME MEAN TO BUYERS & SELLERS: People often ask me what those letters after my name mean.  Anyone who has passed their Pre-Licensing courses and State Real Estate Exam can list and sell real estate.  However, in the ever-changing real estate climate, and changing economy, mortgage requirements, tax rates, what Buyers expect from a property and much more, additional specialized education and training is essential for Agents to stay up-to-date on the needs of their clients and their market.  For that reason, all Agents are encouraged to seek continuous extensive training by working toward Accreditations, Designations and Certifications, provided nationally or through their state.  This additional training gives them the authority to place certain initials after their name.  These initials are a badge of pride for the Agent and a sign to Buyers and Sellers that they have an Agent who has made a commitment to their profession and to their clients.  Below are short descriptions of what these initials mean, per the Organization or Association that granted them.
  • REALTOR®.  Not all Real Estate Agents are REALTORS®.  The principal difference is a REALTOR® must complete additional training AND take an oath to uphold and demonstrate the Code of Ethics as required by the National Association of REALTORS® as well as the State and Local Associations.  This requires extensive training in codes of conduct with Buyers, Sellers, other Agents, REALTORS® and Customers.  The Code of Ethics is strictly enforced and contains 17 Articles and various Standards of Practice as guidelines for the REALTOR® to uphold every day.  
  • CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) Only 3% of all REALTORS® Nationwide are Certified Residential Specialists. CRS agents must meet stringent education and experience requirements. That’s why CRS agents are dedicated professionals. They work to ensure success for their home selling and buying clients by tapping into their superior training, exceptional professional referral network, and timely and cutting edge industry resources.  CRS agents have proven records of success—3X the success, in fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Compared to the average REALTOR®, those with the CRS have been in the business nearly three times longer, have three times the number of annual transactions, and generate three times the amount of gross sales.
  • GRI (Graduate REALTOR® Institute) The Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) symbol is the mark of a real estate professional who has made the commitment to provide a high level of professional services by securing a strong educational foundation.  Real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated.  New technology, laws, procedures and the increasing sophistication of buyers and sellers, requires real estate practitioners to perform at an ever-increasing level of professionalism.  This Designation is granted by the National Association of REALTORS®.  GRI designees are recognized nationally and act with professionalism and are committed to serving their clients and customers with the highest ethical standards.
  • ABR (Accredited Buyers Representative) The Accredited Buyer’s Representative, ABR®), designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation demonstrates to peers and consumers the Agent’s commitment to providing outstanding service for real estate buyers. 
  • e-PRO (Electronic Real Estate Professional) e-PRO® is the only technology certification to be officially recognized, endorsed, and conferred by the National Association of REALTORS®  (NAR).  Technology is the key to marketing properties and finding buyers for those properties.  An e-PRO has an endless number of resources to assist every client with their real estate transactions. 
  • SFR (Short Sale/Foreclosure Resourse) Designed for real estate professionals at all experience levels, the National Association of REALTORS® Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification, or SFR®, gives the REALTOR® a framework for understanding how to direct distressed Sellers to finance, tax and legal professions, qualify Sellers for short sales, develop a short sale package, negotiate with lenders, limit risk and protect Buyers and Sellers.  
  • SPS® (Strategic Pricing Specialist)  Most Sellers don't realize pricing their properties to sell isn't a number - it's a STRATEGY.  They're not aware there are number variables that affect the pricing strategy, such as knowing how real estate agents work, understanding the market trends and valuing the process of "how buyers buy".  SPS® designees have the skills needed to navigate the pricing strategy and know how to help Sellers understand how to place their properties on the market to ensure the maximum return.