Carol Lozito, P. A., Fla. Probate Realtor & Waterfront Home Specialist (LoKation Real Estate)

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Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

I think they're quite profitable for the groups that originate them and require those annual fees.  Me personally, I added CRS and maintain that.  I've always heard that it's great for referrals, but 3 years in I'm still waiting....

I do believe the education part of being an agent is essential and can't ever stop.  But the reality is I gain more useful information in a forum like this with practical tidbits than I do in most designation related courses (that may very well just be formalizing information I learned long before).

For the consumer, I think few even know the difference between agent and broker, much less the alphabet soup we put after our names to impress them.    Bill

Jan 11, 2019 08:36 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Show this list to 7,000 of your closest friends and note if they recognize even one of them.


As you will notice the ONLY value to the public of these designations is that which YOU create.

If you are marketing to a community of shakers and movers who have little time to spare, your material should EMPHASIS you PDQ designation.

Meanwhile, those who buy meaningless letters to append to their name are simply paying members of the vanity parade.

There is one designation that matters. It does not appear on the list.


Jan 11, 2019 09:01 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Carol,
This has been discussed at various times here in Q&A.  The general consensus seems to be the value is in the education itself, not the actual designation. 

As you said the better educated you are the better you can serve your clients.  The public doesn't know what those designations mean.  To them, it's an indication of something but they don't really know what.  I don't like the fact that you get a designation then have to pay to keep the designation without giving you any further education.  

Personally, I think you can find other ways (with that renewal money) to establish yourself as an expert in your field.  Blogging is very powerful, inexpensive and evergreen.  Blogging should be a big part of your marketing strategy.

Jan 11, 2019 08:40 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

For training, yes... only if you can't get it anywhere else.  You DO NOT need an NAR certification to say you specialize in something.  The public has no clue what the designations mean and no way to make sure you really have them.


Get the education from the best provider and put that you specialize in it on your card.  Don't rely on NAR and don't become fall into their money grab known as designations.

Jan 11, 2019 09:42 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Carol - a hotly and  widely debated topic where the answers are clear on both sides. It's very personal and not objective in my opinion.  Beneficial for some and little or no value for others.

Jan 11, 2019 08:53 AM
Anthony Acosta -
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

I do not see a value.  Speaking only for myself...

Jan 11, 2019 08:46 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

The education is and it is hard to find something outside of CRS that still gets you referrals and that is quieter than a decade ago.

Jan 11, 2019 11:57 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

I have a few and getting them truly did not help ME with the education part. In some case, I knew more than the instructor.  

For some, like short sales, many consumers were looking for that. I go for higher education at the University level.  

Absent that, self-teaching works.  Reading. Studying. Researching. Applying. 

Jan 11, 2019 08:38 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

I enjoy the education and yes, I can and do explain the value to my clients.

I believe, more importantly, in 2019 we are being challenged to communicate our value to the consumer/potential clients. When we have DIY & eBrokerages advertising out the wazoo, staying front & center to John-Q, it's something we all need to put focus on. Oftentimes these certifications, classes &/or designations help us do just that.


Jan 11, 2019 11:03 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I thin Nina Hollander made a good point, but if I were to buy real estate I could care less about the designations.  I care about competence, communication and knowledge.  That impressed me more than Alphabet Soup .  All professions have designations, like a Board Certified Doctor can be more competent or incompetent than a regular MD.  A

Jan 11, 2019 09:52 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Carol, this a touchy area for some agents because they are all in with certifications. I have had a number, which I've dropped over the years. I did just recently do the GRI because I'm a committee member for the Virginia Association of Realtors, and we promote that one. I thought I should probably know what it entails, and I had a lot of fun going through the classes. Did it make me a better Realtor? Probably not. I definitely picked up a few ideas throughout that were great. I have sat through a few prominent certification classes only to realize that the information was outdated and in one case, harmful to your web presence. If you want to do certifications, ask around, just you're doing right now, and see which ones have actually had a financial or impact on your business. 

Jan 11, 2019 09:24 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I eliminated several of my designations because of the annual costs.

The education is the valuable part.


Jan 11, 2019 09:11 AM
Byron K . Jones
Coatesville, PA
List Today - Sold Tomorrow!

I Personally Like the Education..and take the classes, I do not join to get the alphabet behind my name, education and the networking with the other agents in the class to me is much more valuable...again Just my Opinion...

Jan 11, 2019 08:51 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

It's a question of whether you can make your clients and prospective clients care... I know that I can and I do.

Jan 11, 2019 08:42 AM
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA.

Thank you for posing the question.  This has brought forth interesting responses.

Jan 11, 2019 01:38 PM
Carol Lozito, P. A.
LoKation Real Estate - Pompano Beach, FL
Fla. Probate Realtor & Waterfront Home Specialist

Thank you all as your responses were most helpful.  I decided not to continue with the ABR membership based on your replies.   I gave it 3 years with networking and various replies etc but there was zero ROI.  

Jan 11, 2019 01:20 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

As with everything in sales you need to work to make something happen. The value in the designation you choose is valuable for the education, but you also need to network with the other members who have the designation to put $$ in your pocket. You can't just put the letters behind your name and expect the phone to ring.

Jan 11, 2019 12:20 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Are designations valuable? YES to the person selling them. I sincerly have not met a client that gave a rats ass BUT knowledge is valuable... I just wouldn't bore people by bragging about what initials are after my name.

Jan 11, 2019 11:11 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

From networking and education purposes yes.

Jan 11, 2019 09:28 AM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Company - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

I have had at least a dozen designations over the years but have let many slide. As others have pointed out, it's the education that's the benefit, not the annual payments to maintain letters that no one outside the industry understands or cares about. And I thought it was pretentious to have 'the soup' on my card, so the only place anyone knew I even had designations was on my website where no one was looking or caring about them. Glad you made the decision you did . . . but don't give up on the continuing ed.

Jan 11, 2019 01:42 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Well Carol, you've done a great job 'figuring' it out. I've asked myself these questions years ago & saved a bunch of cash doing so.

The public doesn't care one hoot.

Jan 11, 2019 11:07 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Some can be more valuable than others. For the most part, the general public doesn't seem to care about them.

Jan 11, 2019 10:47 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I wouldnt pay for one, the only value is in the training and there is better training out there.

Jan 11, 2019 09:27 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Only if you learn something, but it's rarely worth the money.

Jan 11, 2019 01:30 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Beauty is still in the eye of the beholder....

Jan 11, 2019 12:55 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Only if they have value in your eyes as a network and education you receive. For public they have zero value.

Jan 11, 2019 11:54 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I had 9 of them.... they were valuable to me because clients knew I thought education was important.... they didn't know what the initials represented, until after they asked.... and they DID ask!!  it separated me from "others".... 

Jan 11, 2019 11:13 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

IMHO, the only designation that holds water is being a broker. We have three classifications of them in Arkansas. They do grab peoples attention

Jan 12, 2019 02:29 AM
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

It is always good for education, but like others people from my area do not care.  They only want a knowledgable realtor in the area they are looking in.

Jan 11, 2019 07:45 PM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

To the companies selling them, heck yes!!

Jan 11, 2019 03:56 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I agree with carol

Jan 11, 2019 03:45 PM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Carol Lozito, P. A. it depends on the area and clients.

Jan 11, 2019 02:48 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Education is always great but the cost of designations annually is questionable 

Jan 11, 2019 02:06 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

In our area, JD, MD, Mba credentials are sometimes included on calling card.  These degrees do not need renewal.  

A local lady with a CDPE badge knocked on an estate door. The owner came out and asked what on earth that CDPE meant. She says distressed property expert. The owner did not hesitate 1 moment. She said get the f7*#ed out of my castle before I call the police.

We all have to get a Nerds #(NRDS).  If you think someone cares you can put it on the card. Nerd #1234. You crack me up.

Jan 11, 2019 02:05 PM
Mike Baltierra
Rise Realty - Eastvale, CA
Full Service at Your Service Realtor-Eastvale CA

I never believed in them before but I do now. Not so much for the clients to market to but for us to be more skilled at what we do. To stand out from the crowd we need to continue to educate ourselves. I am shooting for two this year.

Jan 12, 2019 07:03 AM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL


Jan 19, 2019 03:02 PM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent


Jan 19, 2019 12:44 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I got my designations for the education, and the public doesn't even know what all those letters mean.   I do explain them, but emphasize, it is the education that will benefit them.   

Jan 15, 2019 07:49 AM
Anthony Kirlew
Group 46:10 Network @ eXp Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Real Estate Deals!

I beleive the value (aside from the education) is in how we market that expertise and use it to set ourselves apart from other agents in our local markets.

Jan 14, 2019 12:32 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

22+ years of Real Estate and no one has ever  asked me for them

Jan 13, 2019 05:54 PM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

IMHO, most are not and merely put $$ in the pocket of NAR

Jan 12, 2019 02:49 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I am in the camp that believes that designations are valuable for the training that you must undergo to obtain them. When I had my short sale designation I felt that it was of value because of the market conditions at that time. Same for REO designation. I no longer pay to maintain or use those designations.

Jan 12, 2019 10:34 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Use to be worth it but do not believe anymore.

Jan 12, 2019 10:13 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Some folks make good use of the training and the designations.  Others don't.

Jan 12, 2019 07:43 AM