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This instructor has been teaching NAR Designations and Certifications at Champions School of Real Estate for many years now, and before opening a Designation or Certification class, I ask each student to share with the group what drove them to obtain that particular Designation or Certification. In short, why earn the Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS), Accredited Buyer Rep (ABR), or Seller Representative Specialists (SRS) Designations, to mention just a few? The most consistent answer I get to that question is, “to expand my knowledge, thereby by making me more competitive in my real estate practice.”

We’ve heard many times before that “Knowledge is Power.” This phrase is painted on the walls at every one of our 9 Champions campuses throughout the state of Texas because these words are true. This instructor has come to believe that the difference between being an average real estate agent and an excellent real estate practitioner is knowledge. Oh sure, there are many skill sets and other personal capital attributes which a real estate professional must always be developing, as is the case in most businesses, but out in front will always be “knowledge.”

It’s true, and as often stated, “the more you learn, the more you earn,” and I might add, the more you grow, the more efficiently and more effectively you compete. Consider this known earnings fact: Realtors® with a Designation earn on average $25,000 more each year than Realtors® without a Designation. What if you had three or more Designations and Certifications? Would that earnings rate compound accordingly? No, but you can count on this; your earnings will compound.

When a consumer looks at your business card and sees letters such as ALHS, ABR, SRS, MRP, CHMS, SRES, NHC, SFR, and so on, do they know what those letters stand for? Probably not, but this we do know: just like any professional who has letters representing their various Designations, like a doctor or lawyer, most consumers conclude that those letters speak to knowledge, experience, and longevity in one’s industry. When a customer asks about those letters, the real estate professional is given an excellent opportunity to explain those letters, what it took to achieve them, and otherwise showcase their value to the consumer.

Finally, one might ask, “Do I pick up that much more knowledge by taking a Designation or Certification class?” The answer to that question will vary from one professional to another and is primarily hinged on the level of experience that agent possesses. But here’s another fact: we don’t know what we don’t know until we discover that we don’t know something. That right there should be incentive enough.

Let this instructor pose a question right here and now in this blog: “What one question has been touted for years and years as the most important question to ask to ask a Seller at a listing presentation, or of a buyer getting ready to buy?”

You may have answered as you were trained: “Why are you selling / why are you buying?”

Perhaps you didn’t know that while the question is no doubt an excellent question, this question should never be asked until after the Listing Agreement or Buyer Representation Agreement is signed by the Parties. Why? You can find out in either of the Champions School of Real Estate SRS or ABR Designation classes. We hope to see you there.

– Randy Smith

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