Agents: Here Are 9 Designations That Can Improve Your Income

Agents: Here Are 9 Designations That Can Improve Your Income

Whether you’ve been in the business five years or 25, there’s always room for a little improvement — to learn new skills, to branch out into a new niche, or to earn a new certification or designation.

That last one is big, at least if you want to increase your income. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, certain designations can increase your income, transactions, and gross sales by a whopping three times. Others help you reach new audiences, better price and market your listings, or improve your negotiating tactics.

Are you ready to increase your income and boost your business? Here are nine designations that can help:

1. Certified Residential Specialist

A CRS designation can bring in the big bucks, according to NAR. It’s the highest credential available for residential agents, and the average designee earns threefold the income compared to non-certified agents. It also comes with other perks, like a free Inman Select subscription, professionally branded marketing materials, and reduced insurance rates.

2. Luxury Homes Certification

If you’re looking to break into a higher-price tier, the LHC designation can help. With this program, you’ll learn about luxury-level pricing, negotiating, and marketing tactics that can help you succeed with this more discerning clientele. If you want to further improve your luxury commissions, you can also get the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist certification, which can help you hone your luxe-specific skills even more.

3. Certified International Property Specialist 

Another way to up your commissions is to focus on high-dollar international buyers. The CIPS designation can help you get started in this niche, giving you access to international networking opportunities, customizable marketing tools, and insights into international markets and diversity.

4. Graduate REALTOR® Institute

The GRI designation is another bona fide pay bump: According to NAR, GRI designees make nearly $30,000 more per year than non-designees. If that weren’t enough, GRI agents also get networking opportunities, GRI-branded marketing collateral, and more. 

5. Seller Representative Specialist 

With the SRS designation, you get expert-level insights on increasing your listings, communicating your value to potential sellers, and better supporting and serving your sellers every step of the way. Designees get access to a private networking group of seller advocates, an entry in the SRS online directory, free magazine subscriptions, and exclusive, members-only content, like webinars and training videos.

6. Inside Sales Agent

Need to get better at lead generation or lead nurturing? The Inside Sales Agent designation is an option. With this program, you’ll learn about cultivating leads, turning those leads into clients, and encouraging repeat business. You’ll also get guidance on sales funnels and how to manage them most successfully. ISA designees also get valuable scripts, tools, and guides to use in their own lead generation efforts.

7. Seniors Real Estate Specialist

The Baby Boomer generation is one of the biggest consumers of real estate. Want to make sure you can serve them well and profit in the process? The SRES designation can help. This one teaches you how to work successfully with older clientele, as well as how to help them make the best decisions for retirement and end-of-life goals. You also get access to members-only resources, marketing materials, and helpful scripts for working with the 50+ cohort. 

8. At Home with Diversity Certification

The AHWD certification can help you better serve (and market yourself to) our nation’s increasingly diverse population of homebuyers. You’ll learn about fair housing laws, diversity sensitivity, and professional guidelines and etiquette for working with those outside your culture. It’s a great one to pair with the CIPS designation if you plan to focus on international buyers.

9. Social Media certification

The Digital Marketing – Social Media certification can help you take your marketing efforts to the next level. It will teach you how to create a social media strategy, interpret analytics, increase engagement, and mitigate risk in the process. In addition to discussing social media marketing for property listings, it also covers establishing your own personal social media brand to grow your business.

If you want to take it one step further, you can opt for the e-Pro designation, which helps you master even more digital marketing techniques.

Another great way to increase income

Beyond additional education and certifications, collaborating with the right lender is also a smart way to increase your income. At Embrace Home Loans, for example, we have a strong co-marketing program that helps agents grow their business and generate leads as we do. We even give agents access to our full library of marketing materials for co-branding with Embrace, including professionally designed flyers, email templates, websites, and more. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Embrace can help you increase your clientele and listings this year, get in touch today

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By Aly Yale / February 21st, 2022 / Categories: / Tags:

Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.