Realtor Designations – What Do Those Letters Mean?

Realtor designations

CRS, ABR, PSA, e-PRO - What Do All Of Those Letters After My Name Mean For YOU?

To better serve my clients, I am committed to continually keeping current with new laws and trends while deepening and expanding my real estate business knowledge.  Because of this commitment, I have made continuing education a priority. As a result, I have earned numerous realtor designations and certifications which are indicated by designatory letters. 

What Are Realtor Designations and Certifications?

The National Association of REALTORS® and its affiliated Institutes, Societies, and Councils provide a wide range of programs and services that help members increase their skills, proficiency, and knowledge.  

Realtor designations and certifications acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors are awarded by NAR and each affiliated group upon completion of required courses and experience.  The following are the REALTOR® designations and certifications that I have earned.

CRS - Certified Residential Specialist

Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation certificateCertified Residential Specialist (CRS) is the highest credential awarded to residential sales agents, managers, and brokers. The CRS Designation recognizes professional accomplishments in both experience and education. Since 1977 the Council of Residential Specialists has been conferring the CRS Designation on real estate agents who meet its stringent requirements. These requirements include taking intense courses, passing exams for each course, and having a high level of residential real estate sales experience.

  • Less than 4 percent of all REALTORS® have earned this prestigious credential.
  • CRS education is considered “top shelf” among the experts.
  • CRS designees have access to one of the best networking systems in the country to help relocating clients.
  • CRS designees get information about the latest sales and marketing techniques, and changes in the law that benefit home buyers and sellers.

With only 4% of all REALTORS® having this CRS designation, there is a big difference between a CRS and other agents. You can learn more about the Certified Residential Specialist Realtor designation and the Council of Residential Specialists here.

ABR - Accredited Buyers Representative

Accredited Byer Representative ABRThe Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) Realtor designation is designed for real estate agents dedicated to offering a higher level of service to their buyer-clients at every stage of the home buying process. The ABR designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded through the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®, to real estate practitioners who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria. The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council was founded in 1988 to promote superior buyer-representation skills and services.

PSA - Pricing Strategy Advisor

pricing strategy advisor PSATake the guesswork out of pricing and gain the confidence that the home you buy or sell has the most accurate price.  Determining property values depends more than ever on professional expertise and competence, the best use of technology, and approaching the pricing assignment from various perspectives. This certification helped me enhance my skills in pricing properties, creating CMAs, working with appraisers, and guiding clients through the anxieties and misperceptions they often have about home values. The Pricing Strategy Advisor Certification is awarded by the National Association of REALTORS®.

e-PRO - Electronic Pro

Social media is evolving every day so it is vital that REALTORS® embrace the new technology and online resources that have become an integral part of the home buying and selling process. Agents who earn the e-PRO certification are dedicated to making the most of today’s social media and technology to help consumers with their real estate needs by leveraging the power of technology to connect buyers and sellers. The Electronic Pro Certification is awarded by the National Association of REALTORS

RENE - Real Estate Negotiation Expert

Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENERENE is the certification I am currently working towards.  Real estate professionals encounter all sorts of people, personalities, situations, behind the scenes issues, and adverse and competing objectives of the parties. 
The objectives of the coursework to earn the RENE designation is:

  1. Understand the basic types of negotiations, the phases of negotiations, and the skills needed for successful negotiating
  2. Understand and apply the basic negotiating concepts: WATNA, BATNA, WAP, and ZOPA
  3. Recognize patterns and tactics being utilized
  4. Adjust your communication style to achieve optimum results with any party in the transaction
  5. Effectively negotiate face-to-face, on the phone, through e-mail, text, and live virtually
  6. Lay the groundwork for a negotiation
  7. Identify what information to share and what to keep to yourself
  8. Understand the basic bargaining techniques
  9. Apply strategies for identifying mutual gain
  10. Understand how to reach consensus and set the terms of agreement
  11. Secure the best possible outcome for your client and protect their interests
  12. Deal with difficult issues
Following are the negotiation classes I have taken so far:
  • Foundations of Negotiating: Your performance during negotiations will stick in your clients’ minds and often serve as a key difference. Superior communication skills are a core requirement for successful real estate agents, and at no time is communication more critical than during negotiations. Whether you are negotiating a listing contract with a seller or the price of a home with a buyer, your negotiation skills directly influence the results you get.
  • Negotiations – Understanding People: To be successful in a negotiation, an agent must come in prepared. As a trusted advisor, expertise and knowledge will gain you the edge. Learn how you can start identifying, and how to separate, interests from positions.
  • Negotiations – Evolving Client Expectations: What your client wants can change over time. This course will better equip you to help your clients negotiate the unexpected.
  • Negotiations – Managing Difficult Situations: Hone in on specific goals for finding common ground that can be built upon during the negotiation between clients, For instance, recognize when a negotiation is going in the wrong direction and identify responses to common objections. You will see how to bring parties together so that everyone feels like they won.

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About the Author

Nathan Hart, CRS, ABR, PSA, RENE
Nathan Hart, CRS, ABR, PSA, RENE

I have been a REALTOR in the Denver area for 25 years. Through continuing education and extensive real-world experience, I have become an expert in the real estate field. Blog posts give me an opportunity to share my knowledge and insights.

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