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Celebrating National Designation Month (November)

The real estate business is a career-long commitment to learning so there is never a bad time to engage in your professional development. With profitability and a commitment to serving the needs of your clients in mind, obtaining a designation or a certification is paramount for positioning yourself for the post pandemic real estate market. Every November, the National Association of REALTORS® focuses on designations and certifications to enhance your skills while you position yourself for success. Each of these professional courses focus on key elements of the business no matter which market you represent. There are robust topics that address everything from sustainability to working with buyer and seller types. Not only will obtaining a designation or certification help you stand out in your market, but it will also impact your bottom line. In fact, a survey of REALTORS® conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® found that members with just one designation increased their income by over $27,000 (NAR Member Profile).

If you are newly licensed and looking to jump start your career, I recommend the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute or as commonly referred to as the GRI designation. The materials developed in this six-module designation are thoughtfully designed to help you sharpen your skill set and reinforce the fundamentals of a solid real estate business. You also have the added benefit of post licensing education credits. The Pricing Strategy Advisor- PSA Certification course is currently the most popular course being taken. Its performance is directly related to the changing market and being able to discuss valuation and pricing matters with your clients. The refreshed e-PRO Certification course will focus on popular technology tools, tricks, and trends including the ever important need to secure your data and your client’s personal information. The At Home with Diversity Certification course was also recently updated, and you will not only gain a better understanding of Fair Housing laws but also strengthen your understanding of working with multi-cultural clients. Since our market is also impacted by second-home and international clients, I urge you to take the Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist-RSPS Certification Course or become a Certified International Property Specialist- CIPS designee. Your CIPS designation gives you access to a vast network of other professionals making your listings and marketability Global. These courses will improve your ability to share market information of our area to outsiders. Of course, there are professional designations available that focus on the needs of a buyers, sellers, and even specialized market as working Senior clients. It is important to note as you budget for your professional development that a certification will incur a one-time application fee while a designation will require an annual fee to receive benefits. Just one successful real estate transaction could pay that back many times over!

As you look at the list of options available, focus on which courses will position you to conduct business more efficiently and assist your clients in a smooth real estate transaction. You will gain access to business building skills and introduced to a network of other career minded professionals which means your market reach extends further. Continuing education may be available as well! Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of REALTORS® wants to be your business partner and your go to place for personal development.

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Steve McDonald is the Education and Programs manager for Middle Tennessee Association of REALTORS®. Steve is a second-generation REALTOR from the Nashville area and served as the Director of Education for the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. Prior to joining MTAR, Steve served as the Director of Professional Development for Tennessee REALTORS.

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