Do You Need A Real Estate Designation? A Guide for Agents

Do You Need A Real Estate Designation? A Guide for Agents

Many agents wonder whether they should get a real estate designation. Truthfully, like any other business decision, the choice of whether or not to get a designation comes with its own pros and cons. With that in mind, we’ve laid them out for you below. Keep reading to get a better idea of whether or not obtaining one of the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) designations is the right choice for you.

What is a real estate designation?

Before we can get started on weighing out the pros and cons of earning a designation, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what is a designation is. At its core, a real estate designation is a certification that is offered by the NAR.

This type of certification is often earned by agents in addition to their real estate license. It shows that you are an expert in working with a particular group of clients or in a particular area of the field. Typically, agents will use designations in their marketing efforts. Overall, having this type of certification helps agents stand out from the crowd.

If you are interested in seeing what credentials the NAR has to offer, they have a list of available designations on their website.

What are the benefits of having a designation?

As an agent, there may be many positive benefits of obtaining a real estate designation. They include:

They add credibility to your business.

Ultimately, earning a designation can give you more credibility. After all, a designation is an added credential that proves that you spent extra time learning about a particular subset of the real estate industry.

With that said, if you are working to position yourself as an industry expert, having a designation on your resume may help you set yourself apart from the competition.

They can help you market to your niche.

Usually, agents will take the time to obtain a designation if they want to target a specific real estate niche. For example, you could get a Military Relocation Professional (MRP) designation, which helps military professionals find homes. You can also earn a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation, which is a specialization in working with senior citizens.

If you’ve been thinking of specializing in working with a particular subset of clients, it may be worth getting a designation. In this case, having the credential on your resume and your marketing materials may be a factor in helping someone in your niche decide to work with you over another agent.

What are the downsides of having a designation?

Still, there are also a few considerations to weigh when deciding whether or not to earn a certification. We’ve laid them out for you below:

They cost money.

Like any type of business certification, real estate designations are a moneymaker for the providing institution. In this case, they drive revenue to the NAR.

Although they usually only cost a couple hundred dollars each, every designation has its own price point. It’s up to you to research whether or not you can afford to spend the money. (However, keep in mind that most educational costs can be a tax write-off at the end of the year.)

They take time to complete.

Another factor in getting a designation is the amount of time you need to invest in this process,. Typically, earning a designation involves spending a few days learning online or in the classroom.

While two to five business days may not be the world’s biggest commitment, it’s still worth deciding whether you’re willing to spend the time taking the extra classes.

The bottom line on whether you should get a real estate designation

At the end of the day, earning a real estate designation may go a long way in helping your marketing efforts. If you’re going to go this route, you need to be sure the designation will be a good fit for you.

Your best bet is to look over NAR’s list of available designations and see if anything calls out to you. If one feels like it might be the right fit for your business and you can afford it, there is no harm and having it as part of your credentials. On the other hand, if you don’t find one that feels right, working without a designation is fine too.

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Tara Mastroeni

Tara Mastroeni is a real estate and personal finance writer. She has a BFA in Media Production from Emerson College. Her work has been published on websites such as Forbes, Business Insider, and The Motley Fool. She has also been featured as a subject matter expert on Innovators with Jane King and the American Trends podcast. Find her at TMRealEstateWriter.com or on Twitter at @TaraMastroeni.