Get Serious About Your Success with Real Estate Designations

The real estate business is all about reputation, and how do you ensure your reputation stays intact? You let your hard work speak for itself — as you move up in the world of real estate and become more successful, people are going to talk. But they're not just going to talk about how great you are; they're going to talk about how hard you work, how knowledgeable and experienced and adept and attentive you are. 

Why do you need designations?

Like selecting a new doctor or lawyer (or boyfriend), creating an impression can be vital in business. And being able to make a strong first impression via your website or social media presence (likely both) gives potential clients the power to make an informed decision about whether to do business with you. In this article, we'll look at some critical factors in the importance of real estate designations, which designations you should be working towards and how they can take your career to the next level.

What are designations, and which ones should you get?

The real estate industry is constantly changing, and the home buying and selling landscape is continually evolving. This is why continuing your education and achieving designations showcases your commitment to your clients and your career.

In general, real estate designations require continuing education units (CEUs) that are earned by taking classes or attending seminars on topics such as property management, finance, ethics, technology, trends, and more. Some designations also require an exam at the end of the coursework.

The NAR has established a rigorous set of standards for those seeking to achieve their certified designation. The process includes:

1.       Completing an intensive course on the subject matter

2.       Passing an examination on that subject matter

3.       Maintaining a certain number of hours each year in continuing education courses

So, what are some of these designations that are available for you to get?

There's a wide range of options available from the Iowa Realtors Association, depending on what kind of business you want to run and where you want to focus your attention. Some of them include:

The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)

Accredited Buyer’s Representative:  The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is for real estate buyer's agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients at every stage of the home-buying process.

What you gain:

o   Valuable real estate education that elevates your skills and knowledge in the eyes of home buyers.

o   Ongoing specialized information, programs, and updates that keep you knowledgeable on the issues and trends facing home buyers.

o   Access to members-only publications, marketing tools and resources.

o   Networking and referral opportunities

At Home with Diversity (AHWD)

At Home with Diversity: The Iowa Association of REALTORS is proud to offer the At Home with Diversity Course to our members and help you earn your At Home With Diversity (AHWD) Certification. REALTORS know the importance of adapting and remaining relevant in today's marketplace. By developing a business practice rooted in inclusion and equality, REALTORS® can help buyers of all cultural backgrounds achieve the dream of home-ownership. The At Home With Diversity (AHWD) certification course covers how to work effectively with diverse populations so you can build business success in today's multicultural real estate market.

What you gain:

o    Knowledge of the subtleties of U.S. fair housing laws

o    Ability to assess and understand attributes of diversity in local markets and their impact on the real estate industry

o    An understanding of the basic competencies to earn the confidence of potential buyers and sellers, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, handicaps, familial status, or national origin

o    Knowledge of how to build a business plan that minimizes risk and successfully services all types of clients

o    Business etiquette for specific cultures

o    An edge in expanding your business to include international clientele

o    Elective credit towards the ABR®, CIPS, and (depending on your state) GRI designations, and as a task in the C2EX program

o    Some states also give continuing education (CE) credit and GRI credit for this course

o    At Home With Diversity® certification certificate of achievement

o    Updated education records on and M1 directory listings

o    Congratulatory letter from the National Association of REALTORS®

o    Exclusive access to At Home With Diversity® marketing tools and resources

o    Networking and referral opportunities in the official At Home With Diversity® Certification Holders Facebook group


 Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) 

Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA):  The Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) certification is specifically designed to enhance your skills in pricing properties, creating CMAs, working with appraisers, and guiding clients through the anxieties and misperceptions they often have about home values.

What you gain:


o    The purpose and benefits of CMAs, and how to guide clients through them

o    Terminology of pricing and valuation

o    The Code of Ethics as it relates to pricing

o    How to identify appropriate comparables, and where to find information about them

o    The role of supply and demand in pricing

o    How to adjust comparables

o    Specific challenges and special situations in making adjustments

o    How to work with appraisers

o    How to hone your pricing skills and practices


o    Use of PSA logo and name

o    Downloadable PSA Certificate

o    Customizable Press Release

o    PSA Customizable Marketing Materials

o    Monthly e-newsletter

o    Facebook private networking group

Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES)

The Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) designation is for REALTORS® who want to be able to meet the special needs of maturing Americans when selling, buying, relocating, or refinancing residential or investment properties. By earning the SRES® designation, REALTORS® are prepared to approach mature clients with the best options and information for them to make life-changing decisions.

What you gain:

·         Access to the online SRES® member database

·         Access to the members-only section of the SRES® website

·         Consumer marketing materials

·         Quarterly newsletter

·         Marketing letters

·         Scripts and concepts for contacting clients age 50+

If you want to add some serious clout to your business, earning a real estate designation may be just the thing for you. You're ready to take your business to the next level. You've got the skills, you have the drive, and you know how to work hard—but now you need a little extra something that will put those skills in a position of power.

If that's what you're looking for, earning a real estate designation may be just the thing for you. Iowa Association of Realtors is here to help you achieve your goals and walk you through every step of the way as you rise to the top!

See a complete list of our courses available here.

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