Designations Spell Success

September 1, 2002

Consumer research commissioned by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® shows that today’s buyers are looking for something special. They want to be in control of the events in their lives, but they realize, as most of us do, that you can’t control everything. So for the most important purchase of their lives, they’re looking for somebody they can trust, somebody they can partner with, somebody they can turn the process over to and not have to worry.

That somebody is you.

There are many ways to earn people’s trust. I believe that trust can be built more easily if other people know up front who you are and what you do.

There’s an excellent way to clue them in, even before you offer handshakes, winning smiles, and a dossier of your accomplishments. Simply, it’s by using the real estate designations behind your name.

I’ve always been a strong supporter of professional education in real estate. As a commercial practitioner, I was the first member of my local board to earn the CCIM designation, because I believed, and still do, that it was critical to my performance as a real estate professional.

Let’s face it. This can be a tough business—finding clients and customers, winning them over, closing the transaction. In those endeavors, I feel it’s important to use any advantage available to me. The designation has made a big difference in my business.

Not surprisingly, designations are also financially rewarding. The 2001 NAR Member Profile shows that sales associates with a professional designation earn $27,000 more a year than those who don’t have one. Brokers with a professional designation earn $18,900 more than those without.

September is REALTOR® Designation Awareness Month. That makes it a good time for all of us to take stock of what we know and how we can improve ourselves. By advancing your education in real estate, you can have the competitive edge that winners seek. Those letters behind your name show your clients and customers, as well as your colleagues in the business, that you’re somebody who’s out to make a difference in your professional life. When they learn what the designations mean to you, they just might want to join you on the path to success.

Martin Edwards Jr., CCIM, CIPS, was 2002 president of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

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