What Are Those Letters After My Real Estate Professional’s Name?

One of the keys to successful real estate investing is building a powerful team around you.  Real estate investing isn’t something you can go at alone.

In this article we’ll explore:

  • The many reasons you should have an agent/broker on your team, in spite of the fact that in our real estate classes we spend a lot of time teaching how to find off market deals which don’t require an agent/broker.

  • Getting the right real estate professionals on your team.

Why Have an Agent/Broker on Your Real Estate Team?

When we sell, an agent/broker has the power to get the property in-front of the masses; and when selling that’s what we are looking for.  There are other times when an agent/broker is useful, for example:  when in the middle of a tough negotiation or as a great resource for comps and MSL data (which is not available to a “non-professional”).

When looking for the right agent/broker it will matter what you are buying or selling: is it a commercial property or is a pretty little house with a white picket fence?  Check out this article to learn the difference between an agent vs. broker.

Who Do You Need on Your Real Estate Team?

A complete real estate team should include the following professionals:

  • Realtor

  • Accredited Land Consultant (ALC)

  • Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)

  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

  • General Accredited Appraiser

  • Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE)

This article will focus on the designations an agent/broker can have, highlighting the ones that are most beneficial for investors.

A REALTOR®: This is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of REALTORS®, the largest trade group in the country. REALTORS® are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a code of ethics. Some REALTORS® are brokers, while some are agents. Many individuals use these terms interchangeably, however there are big differences.


When would you look for this designation: Personally, I believe this is a designation you should always look for.

The esteemed Accredited Land Consultants are the most trusted, knowledgeable, experienced, and highest-producing experts in all segments of land. Conferred by the REALTORS® Land Institute, the designation requires successful completion of a rigorous LANDU education program, a specific, high-volume and experience level, and adherence to an honorable Code of Conduct.


When would you look for this designation: When investing in land.

The Certified Commercial Investment Member designation is commercial real estate’s global standard for professional achievement, earned through an extensive curriculum of 200 classroom hours and professional experiential requirements. CCIMs are active in 1,000 U.S. markets and 31 other countries and comprise a 13,000-member network that includes brokers, leasing professionals, asset managers, appraisers, corporate real estate executives, investors, lenders, and other allied professionals.


When would you look for this designation: When dealing with any commercial transaction such as buying or leasing commercial property.

The Certified Residential Specialist designation is the highest credential awarded to residential sales agents, managers, and brokers. On average, CRS designees earn nearly three times more in income, transactions, and gross sales than non-designee REALTORS®.


When would you look for this designation: This specialist would be most beneficial when you are getting ready to sell a fix and flip property and you are looking to get the maximum value.

General Accredited Appraiser: For general appraisers, this designation is awarded to those whose education and experience exceed state appraisal certification requirements and is supported by the National Association of Realtors.


When would you look for this designation: When in need of a professional appraisal of property.

Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE): This certification is for real estate professionals who want to sharpen their negotiation skills. The RENE certification program gives REALTORS® the tips and tools they need to be skillful advocates for their clients.

When would you look for this designation: When needing an expert negotiator.

Considering the importance of having knowledgeable professionals on your real estate team you can depend on, it is not surprising that many of our OTA Real Estate Instructors hold many of these designations.

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