Grand County Real Estate: Looking at your Realtor’s business card
April 4, 2008
Have you ever looked at your real estate broker’s business card and thought, “Look at all those initials after his name. I wonder what they mean?”
And “those logos are interesting, what significance do they have for me?”
Well, let me see if I can help out.
First and foremost, the Realtor “R”: This symbol signifies the Brokers are governed by the Code of Ethics and professional standards established by the National Association of Realtors. They have met educational requirements and have agreed to serve the best interests of their clients guided by a high level of ethical standards. Realtors are experts in their field. Did you know that “the home price for sellers who use an agent is 16% higher than for those who don’t and that 9 out of 10 home buyers use a real estate agent in the search process?”, according to the National Association of Realtors 2005 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
Then there is the Equal Housing Opportunity “House” which tells you that the Real Estate Broker will not discriminate in his/her business practices against any individual on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, marital status, national origin, familial status, physical or mental handicap, religion or ancestry. This is combined with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) guidelines help to assure fairness and equity in housing.
And then those initials, ABR, GRI, CRS, RSPS, SRES, ePro and so on…Each of these require the Broker to further educate themselves, enabling them to better assist their clients.
But a bit more detail …
ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative): When this designation is earned, the Broker has completed additional education geared to enhancing the Broker’s skills for Buyer representation.
GRI (Graduate REALTOR Institute). If you are working with a Broker who holds the GRI designation, you know the Broker has completed an extensive, broad based, course of study. With Buyers and Sellers becoming more informed through the use of new technologies, and the ever changing legal and economic picture, Brokers are required to perform at an ever increasing level of professionalism.
CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Taking it to the next level, the CRS designation is awarded not only on the basis of advanced education but also on the experience level of the Broker. Brokers need to have been a producing practitioner before they can earn the designation. This designation links over 47,000 certified Brokers throughout the United States in a referral network. Let’s say you want to buy a property in Chicago. Your local broker can assist you in finding a qualified, educated, and experienced broker to assist you in any other state and many other parts of the world, which is much easier and safer than just pulling out the phone book.
RSPS (Resort and Second Home Property Specialist): To be blunt, buying/selling a home in Winter Park is different than buying/selling your primary home in Denver. According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 33% of all US home sales in 2007 were vacation or investment properties. Brokers servicing clients in the resort market place need to understand the impact of changing tax laws (i.e.: tax deferred exchanges, tax deduction changes for second home mortgage interest and more), the impact of environmental factors and short/long term rental markets among others.
ePRO: More and more, technology is driving our industry. Buyers and Sellers alike seek information on the internet, and the ability to provide the needed information in a timely manner is critical. “ePro” training assists the Broker in leveraging one of his/her greatest assets benefiting both the client and Broker.
SRES: (Seniors Real Estate Specialists): As we age, our requirements change in more ways than one. SRES designees have completed additional education courses to assist the 50-plus homeowners through financial and lifestyle transitions. Selling the “family” getaway, purchasing your retirement home or simply refinancing when you are older can present new obstacles. SRES designees have received additional training helping to offer options to make these transactions easier.
Well…, I could go on, but what the public needs to know is that the REALTOR understands the real estate business is constantly evolving. Continuing education is essential to keep us up to date and able to professionally serve our clientele.
So if you see some initials or a logo you don’t recognize or understand, ask your Broker, we’re happy to help!