Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070)

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Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

It is very difficult to justify the continuing costs of these designations. They are simply profit centers for the providers.

Apr 12, 2015 08:45 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I forgot I also have the GREEN designation and will keep that one. Their tools are so valuable. I am not longer managing so CRB's fees are almost $200 per year. I don't think anyone cares on that one for sure. ABR's are so plentiful and can't remember the last time I got a referral because of that one. It is no longer a differentator.

Apr 12, 2015 10:30 PM
Holleay Parcker - Spinnaker Realty - Serving Clients From Corolla to Hatteras
With 14 Yrs Experience in Outer Banks Real Estate

Good morning Debbie;

Here's how I look at designations: the training benefits me throughout my career. I am better with every CRS class I take. I learned a lot from the ABR class, and the luxury designations I hold, well, I am continuing to use that training to this day. I personally believe that education is the pathway to excellence.

I believe the designations DO 'help' us - ie, bring us new clients. I just received a new listing last week. The seller said he found me online, read my 'about me' section, and read my 'what clients are saying about me' section, and decided to list with me.

I have around 60 client testimonials on my 'what clients are saying about me' section. I don't believe that most folks read them ALL...but I believe the effect of having SO MANY testimonials is cumulative, and people end up feeling comfortable that they have found a professional, ethical agent who has their best interests at heart.

There are many types of consumers.  Some will feel comfortable calling me by the volume of testimonials they have read online.  Others may want to see more training and experience.  Having earned several designations means that you've put the time in to your career to receive extensive training that may be the reason someone calls you to assist them with their sale or purchase over another.

We tend to think that because consumers don't say out loud, "Hey, I saw you online and was blown away with the number of designations you've earned" that these designations don't help us. But the truth is, it's going to be the rare occasion that a consumer will tell you precisely why he ended up calling you, unless of course his friend referred him to you or something along those lines...when he doesn't know you from Adam, he will most likely play it closer to the vest, simply because he doesn't know you well enough yet.

Here's what I do: I wait until the end of the transaction, when he's had a chance to get to know me, and he's seen my work ethic and my skills in action. Then I ask him a) how he found me and b) what convinced him to call me.

Only then will you get the 'real' answers to those questions, and you might be surprised at the answers you get.

For example, I once had a client call me off of a yard sign on a vacant lot, simply because he couldn't believe my name was spelled 'that way'. I have since closed 4 transactions with him, by the way.

I would vote to keep them.  You did the hard work in earning them. Be proud of your training! It is a differentiator.



Apr 12, 2015 08:30 PM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

I don't have any Debbie, I did know you had to pay money each year, what is the fee for? I thought you already earned the designation?

Apr 12, 2015 12:47 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I feel your pain. I pay CRS every year becasue that is my oldest and best designation. I quit paying ABR and SRES quite awhile ago. The education was good but it wan't worth $120 a year so that I could put that on a business card that clients did not understand. I do get CRS referrals but not from other designations.

Apr 13, 2015 03:51 AM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

I don't think the public cares.  Go with your gut. 

Apr 12, 2015 11:07 PM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Do you have any one come to you specially stating they did so because of a designation noted with the acronyms?   If one in particular has brought you business in and of it self I would maybe keep it.  I suspect your business thrives because of what you know and practice.  Not the alphabet soup with your name.   Mark

Apr 12, 2015 10:58 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Debbie, I am thinking of doing the same thing. I will look for the answers.

Apr 12, 2015 09:56 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I stopped paying for all of these years ago. I flirt each year with paying for the CRS, but haven't done it yet.

Apr 12, 2015 08:51 PM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I don't have to pay yearly for the designations that I have. I did tune in to see what others had to say. I have been considering working on my ABR and CRS. 

Apr 12, 2015 03:01 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Debbie, it is always good to keep all designation, but, you can keep the designations benefit you the most.

Apr 12, 2015 01:56 PM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

My opinion would be to keep CRS and CRB.  No offense to SRES or ABR designees, but most CRS members agree that it offers value which shadows that of other designations.

Apr 12, 2015 12:58 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

I didn't renew my SRES. I haven't noticed any difference.

Apr 12, 2015 12:44 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


If you are getting leads from the CRS, I would keep it.  Funny in commercial real estate, we did not have any designations nor did we belong to NAR and pay for the realtor trademark.  We all did very well selling and leasing real estate.  It is all about how we present yourself and how well you know the marketplace.  A

Apr 13, 2015 12:16 AM
Fred Cope
Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN - Nashville, TN
Looking For Homes With A Smile

Debbie, do you have to surrender the knowledge gained or experience acquired if you do not renew? So,, what services are provided in exchange for the $99?

Have you thought of doing a survey of former clients with two or three questions regarding what drew them to you, and what will cause them to use you again. Would they recommend to their circle of friends?

You could stick a question in there about how they value designations;and you keep your name before them.

Personally, I see awards as fancy doo-dads on something of value regardless. I think confidence, character, communication and competence carry more weight. A Boy Scout badge never kept me from getting lost or burning my bacon. I can read ActiveRain blogs and have a bettet sense of top agents than reviewing designations. Performance beats paper awards.

Apr 12, 2015 10:39 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

While I don't have any designations I've seen agents who put those on their cards and advertisements.  Most take them off after a few years.  Your call but I wouldn't

Apr 12, 2015 10:08 PM
Robert Smith
Preview Properties, PC - - Brighton, MI
SRES, Search for Homes Brighton-Howell-SE Michigan

This is a great question, Debbie Reynolds.

I got my ABR in 2000 and kept it for a year or two.  Like others, I felt that I had earned that designation and it bothered me that I had to keep paying for it.  I was contacted by NAR to remove it from my website within a month or so of passing the renewal deadline. I did so immediately.

I currently have an active SRES and will renew that one for at least another year.  I have to agree with Roy Kelley that it is probably just another profit center.

There is no printed and mailed 'SRES Book', so where's the overhead?  I would think a couple hours each year of related ConEd would be enough to re-validate, but that's not how it is set up.

Regardless, the fact that I passed the ABR is still on my bio even though I dropped the 'ABR' initials from my marketing materials and biz card.  Hey NAR - how about just adding a simple $25 per designation to our annual dues?  That I could live with more easily.

Apr 12, 2015 09:36 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Often wonder if the designations really help.

Apr 12, 2015 06:54 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Debbie, I was planning on getting GRI and ABR, until I read your quesion.

Apr 12, 2015 01:39 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I have been wondering the same thing.  I wonder if folks hire me based on any of these designations.  

Apr 12, 2015 12:27 PM
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

Debbie, I can see the initial cost but after that I would not renew. 

Apr 13, 2015 12:00 PM
Stephen L. Skakandy, CRS
RE/MAX Elite Realty Group - Camp Lejeune, NC
Expert Communicator, Skilled Facilitator


I had worked on a bunch of designations but it was just too expensive to maintain them. The training was excellent for the majority of designations and I continuously use stuff that I learned but I couldn't justify the cost of maintaining the majority of them. Hence, I only maintain my CRS at this point. Dare I suggest, it might make sense to take the courses and get the training yet not maintain the designation....


Apr 13, 2015 05:54 AM
Danielle White

Keep CRS.  I got a kick out of what Fred Cope had to say...I would just change my badge to GIRL SCOUT! Do what is best for you and your clients. 

"Personally, I see awards as fancy doo-dads on something of value regardless. I think confidence, character, communication and competence carry more weight. A Boy Scout badge never kept me from getting lost or burning my bacon. I can read ActiveRain blogs and have a bettet sense of top agents than reviewing designations. Performance beats paper awards." 


Apr 13, 2015 01:47 PM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning Debbie,

I do not pay for fees after the fact. It is the education that means more to me.

Good luck with your decision.

Apr 13, 2015 01:06 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I don't know as I don't have any of these designations.

Sep 24, 2018 05:54 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I've never been a fan of designations. I got my SFR and ABR and didn't keep either of them up. I am in the process of getting my CRS. Agents have told me they get referrals from having theirs so I think that the only one I'm going to get and maintain.

Apr 18, 2015 02:54 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I don't know why agents can't use them . . . they are paid for and the agent passed the course work.  Just toss some letters together and make up your own.  POF (putting out fires), MMR (master mind reader) . . . 

Apr 13, 2015 01:03 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Debbie -- I don't have any special designations.  While I appreciate those who have earned them, I haven't felt the need to acquire them although valuable education, increased knowledge and learning is definitely a part of my business practice.

Apr 13, 2015 03:27 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Debbie Reynolds you are at the classic conflict of justifying a bill you are paying.

Clearly these designations are NOT justifying the expense you are paying or you would not be asking the question.

As others have shared, 99% of the value comes with the initial training, not with the ongoing membership.

There is a tell-take sign of the pursuit if things of no value. Many, many, many marketers are selling services of no value and ALWAYS rely on this tactic to persuade the weak minded.

If you have thought or have others tell you, "If you get just one deal a year, it pays for itself!" you are seeing the WARNING FLAG. The benefits of what they are selling are not justifiable, so they resort to sweet words of temptation to those with a scarcity mindset, and leave town with your money.

If you can't justify the cost, you need to make the decision to dump the baggage and free up some valuable space on your business card and marketing material.

You should keep the one(s) that your buyer or seller indicated is the REASON they selected you. 

Apr 13, 2015 12:31 AM