Real Estate Designations

Real Estate Designations

To become a licensed real estate agent in the state of Texas it begins with 180 classroom hours. This is the beginning of a  lifelong journey of learning, unlearning and relearning. Good real estate agents are walking libraries containing a wealth of knowledge on various topics.

Some Needed Skill Sets:

  • We are not lawyers but we study law.
  • We are not trained psychologists yet we have to learn how to “read” people.
  • We cannot write contracts but we have to study them in-depth.
  • We are not appraisers; yet we provide market analysis.
  • We do not have degrees in marketing but this is the lifeblood of our business. We must learn these skills to acquire new clients and to help them buy and sell real estate assets.
  • We also don’t have advance degrees in finance yet we are heavily regulated as someone with these degrees.
  • We must learn the ins and outs of starting, owning and  growing our business e.g. navigating taxes, negotiation, saving and investing.
  • Lets not forget to  mention the ever-change field of technology and social media.
  • and there is so much more…

This is a very small list of skills REALTORS® must develop in order to have any form of success. I read somewhere that 98% of the students in a real estate course will be out of the business within the first year. So what helps a person improve their chances in becoming successful in real estate?

Designations reveals specialization

Like any other professional field, REALTORS® can and must specialize in order to become successful. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) provides some of the most prestigious designations and certifications for a Realtor.

According to NAR’s Designation and Certifications page they provide seventeen (17) designations and  nine (9) certifications. Each requires additional training and some of them requires experience in the market. This experience may be based on the amount of money earn or number of verifiable transactions in a short period of time. Below are a few of the designations.

  • Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs)
  • Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)
  • Certified International Property Specialist / CIPS
  • Certified Residential Specialist / CRS
  • Graduate, REALTOR® Institute / GRI
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist® / SRES®

My Chosen Designation

This past week I registered for one of the most prestigious designations.

  • I read in a study conduced by NAR it is the most widely held of all designations at a whopping 19 percent of all REALTORS® have it.
  • According to NAR’s site they give you five years to complete the designation.
  • In the State of Texas, it is comprised of four courses lasting four days each which total 120 hours.
  • REALTORS® with this designation earn twice as much as non-designees.
  • I was told by a Broker here in El Paso that it is one of the top 3 designations to own.
  • Sadly when I register, I was told “People don’t understand the value of this class. It tends to have low attendance.” I was only the 6th person who has signed up for it.  El Paso has over 6 thousand real estate agents.

My chosen designations is….

GRI Designation

Author: Scott "SW" Whittle

Scott "SW" Whittle is a Gulf War era Veteran and former Texas Real Estate agent. He is the husband of Laura and father of Bethany. His professional bio can be seen on his LinkedIn profile. (