You are viewing our site as an Agent, Switch Your View:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default     Back to List

A Guide to Real Estate Certifications and Designations: What You Need to Know

January 26 2023

laptop tabletReal estate certifications are an important part of the real estate industry. They provide a way for agents to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field, and can help them stand out from the competition. Certifications also give agents access to exclusive resources and opportunities, such as networking events, educational courses, and special discounts on products or services.

With so many benefits associated with certification, it's no wonder why more and more real estate professionals are seeking out certification programs to boost their career prospects.

What is a certification in real estate?

Real estate certifications are a way for real estate experts to prove that they have knowledge in specialized sectors in the real estate industry. These certifications are issued by a number of real estate associations at state and regional levels. From a broker perspective, hiring certified real estate professionals is ideal — certified individuals will improve a firm's credibility, thereby increasing your chances for client referrals.

What are designations in real estate?

While the words designation and certification are often used interchangeably, there are some slight differences. A designation refers to specialized credentials for members of the National Association of Realtors. Designations offer extensive benefits for REALTORS® who pay annual dues and maintain membership with NAR. A licensed real estate agent can obtain a certification by paying a single fee and maintaining membership.

Some examples of real estate designations include:

  • Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®)
  • Accredited Land Consultant (ALC)
  • Seller Representative Specialist (SRS)
  • Counselor of Real Estate (CRE)

What is the best commercial real estate certification or designation?

Investing in commercial real estate can be a great way for real estate professionals to diversify their portfolios and create steady income streams. Obtaining certifications in commercial investment real estate is a crucial part of establishing yourself as an expert in the field.

CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) is a certification recognizing the top experts in the field of commercial real estate investing. According to the CCIM Institute, "The CCIM lapel pin denotes that the wearer has completed advanced coursework in financial and market analysis, and demonstrated extensive experience in the commercial real estate industry."

Some other commercial certifications include:

  • Certified property manager (CPM)
  • Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR)

What is the best residential real estate certification or designation?

Residential real estate is an ever-growing field, and there are many certifications and designations that can help professionals stay ahead of the competition. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which certification or designation is the best for a residential real estate agent.

Here are some of the residential certifications recommended by NAR:

  • Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB)
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
  • Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS)

Residential and commercial real estate certifications are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer a range of benefits that make it easier for real estate agents to conduct their real estate transactions with confidence and increased knowledge.

Whether you want to become a real estate negotiation expert or get training in real estate business management, certifications can be a great way for today's real estate professionals to stand out from the competition.

Along with designations and certifications, agents who invest in themselves and their education are proven to see more results!

Want to boost your overall expertise? Explore education with Elm Street Academy.

Elm Street Academy offers online and in-person educational experiences that are designed to educate, entertain and inspire. Whether you are just starting your business journey, or are a seasoned professional looking to "up your game" with the latest tech tools, marketing masterminds, and ongoing continuing education, Elm Street Academy is focused on supporting you every step of the way. Explore all Elm Street Academy educational opportunities here.