Real Estate Designations

George S. Wonica
Published on March 30, 2017

Real Estate Designations

So your looking to sell or buy your home?

You want to see how your agent stacks up….How do I do that?

Some people say look at production. Possibly.

Others say referral of family/friends/acquaintances. Not bad.

The issue with all of these things is that, in many cases, the agent’s education.

Agents/Brokers are required to take a number of hours of continuing education on a yearly, sometimes over a few years, in order to maintain keeping their license. What these courses DO NOT do, is show agents other ways to market properties, demonstrate new techniques, or other ways of valuating a property to get the most amount for their client.

That is where the Real Estate Designations comes in.

Each one of the Real Estate Designations has its own educational standards, as well as criteria, in order to obtain and maintain the use of the designation.

The National Association of REALTORS has a number of Real Estate Designations that cover a variety of subjects/clients.

One of the most popular Real Estate Designations is the GRI or Graduate, REALTOR Institute. According to the NAR Website, a 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 education foundation.’

GRI Designees:

  • Have pursued a course of study that represents the minimum common body of knowledge for progressive real estate professionals.
  • Have developed a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to navigate the current real estate climate—no matter what its condition.
  • Are recognized nationally.
  • Act with professionalism and are committed to serving their clients and customers with the highest ethical standards.


Another one of the Real Estate Designations would be the CRS or Certified Residential Specialist. In order to obtain this designation, you need a total of 32 CRS Education Credits (which consists of a number of varying course), as well as production requirements. There is not another designation that has a production requirement. So while some people might say production is the main way to judge an agent, you could say this designation would take both premises of education and production and rolled them into one. 



CRS Designees are also found all throughout the country and can be looked for or searched by visiting the CRS Find One Website.

Another one of the Real Estate Designations that is out there is actually geared towards buyers. The ABR or Accredited Buyer’s Representative demonstrates to potential purchasers the need for skills to help them obtain their home. REALTORS that are ABR’s need to take the Designation course, another elective course, and have to demonstrate production with purchasers already. Again with the Production and Education scenario.

You can also find a buyer’s representative anywhere in the country at the ABR website.





Another one of the Real Estate Designations is one that many of our clients should know. It’s the SRES or Seniors Real Estate Specialist. Now before anyone gets mad at me because I called anyone a ‘Senior’, let’s understand what this designation is all about. First, the criteria to obtain this designation is taking the course. Second, the main reason for this designation to understand the needs of the 50+ community and understand how your counseling sessions can help your clients through various programs and such. 

So now that you’ve had a brief overview on Real Estate Designations, there is a question that you want to ask yourself…Why would anyone want to work with someone with not the same amount of qualifications? Some say there is a difference in cost (commission)…

Let’s talk about your health for a minute. If you were sick and needed an operation, would you go to the person right out of medical school or would you look for a specialist for that ailment? Does cost matter in that regard? Of course you would TRY to go to the best specialist (if you could find them), no matter what the cost, right…. Why is that? 

Because some things are more important than cost. 

Well, if you were making a choice as to what your largest financial decision was going to be a result of it, you SHOULD want the best, most qualified, most educated person for the job…..

Shouldn’t you?