Curious about the string of letters behind your real estate agent’s name? Looking for an agent with special training to meet your needs?
Known as real estate designations, these fancy labels show off an agent’s certifications in niche categories of the business—whether it be downsizing, divorce, or vacation properties—and must be earned with additional studies and training beyond the standard real estate license.
Real estate designations are specialized credentials available to real estate professionals who have demonstrated deep knowledge or extensive skills in certain areas of the real estate industry. REALTORS® get designations to demonstrate that they’ve acquired considerable knowledge about certain niche areas such as representing buyers and sellers, commercial real estate, running a brokerage, and running real estate teams. Designations not only give REALTORS® additional insight into a real estate specialty, but are also well respected in the industry.
A real estate designation is a special endorsement on their real estate license that certifies them as an expert in a particular area of the business. Designations are usually offered by trade organizations and sources trusted by consumers. Generally, applicants must meet education and experience requirements to earn real estate designations.
Why it matters:
If you see these little letters behind an agent’s name, it means they’re in good standing with all of the official real estate organizations from a national to a local level, come with great connections, and have taken the time to become experts in their field.
Real estate designations give you an easy way as a client to identify agents with niche business expertise in an area that’s valuable to you and can serve your needs more effectively.
CRES – Certified Real Estate Specialist
The CRES member is an individual who has balanced knowledge in all areas of real estate. It is earned by only the top performers, who have demonstrated exceptional skills, training, experience and commitment that have gone above and beyond any provincial licensing requirements.
In an industry with over 65,000 practitioners and a high turnover rate, a CRES member is a proven specialist with a passion for the industry and a desire to obtain the very best deal for each and every one of their clients.
CLO – Certified Leasing Officer (Candidate)
The Certified Leasing Officer (CLO) designation recognizes the proven specialist in leasehold acquisition, disposal and administration. The CLO program prepares professionals for the complexity of today’s real estate leasing decisions, providing the tools and resources that will help expand their career and business opportunities.
This rigorous, specialized education program gives them the edge in every aspect of the leasing process, from acquiring space to administering a leasehold.
FRI – Fellow of the Real Estate Institute (Candidate)
The FRI designation identifies a real estate practitioner who has acquired advanced skills and knowledge, and met nationally-recognized business and ethical standards. The FRI designation is acknowledged by the real estate community as a standard of excellence and accomplishment.
The FRI designation ensures enhanced knowledge and skills in legal and regulatory issues, advanced negotiation techniques, and professional ethics with real world applications.
MCNE – Masters, Certified Negotiation Expert
An agent who carries the MCNE designation has been trained in professional negotiation tactics by the Real Estate Negotiation Institute, the leading negotiation training and coaching company for real estate professionals in the world. An MCNE professional knows how to use leading edge negotiation strategies and techniques for your benefit. You can be confident that an MCNE professional will achieve the best results for buyers and sellers.
Broker’s who hold the MCNE designation have completed a full 48 hours of Negotiation training based on models of the Harvard Negotiation Program. They have mastered and exercised tactics of BATNA and collaborative negotiations, engaged with frameworks to best represent both Buyers and Sellers, have succeeded in written negotiations, and have studied the nuanced areas of negotiating across cultures and generations.
CCIM – Certified Commercial Investment Member (Candidate)
A Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) is a recognized expert in the commercial and investment real estate industry. Of the more than 150,000 commercial real estate professionals in the United States, only an estimated 6 percent hold the CCIM designation.
The designation is awarded by the CCIM Institute to professionals who complete over 200 hours of graduate level courses and who pass a comprehensive exam covering financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis and investment analysis. In addition to completing coursework and passing exams, a CCIM must prepare a portfolio demonstrating practical real world experience.
Membership in CCIM allows a broker to compete with the big six global brokerages by providing independent brokers with access to a professional network of over 13,000 CCIM’s in 1,000 markets throughout the US and in 30 countries. Membership in CCIM also provides member brokers with access to a suite of online technology tools provided through the CCIM website.
CCIM’s are an incredible resource to commercial real estate owners, investors and advisors and by hiring a broker with the designation, clients can rest assured that they are hiring a professional with a core level of commercial real estate competency and experience.
RENE – Real Estate Negotiation Expert
RENE (Real Estate Negotiation Expert) is the only negotiating credential recognized by NAR (National Association of REALTORS®). Through examination of all types of negotiation formats and methods, they have developed skills in behind-the-scene-issues and how to deal with them, how to handle a wide variety of personalities and situations, and how to sort out the competing objectives of the parties involved in a transaction. Successful graduates are equipped with the know-how of when and how to negotiate, craft negotiation strategies, apply principles of persuasion, and achieve optimum results with any party in a transaction.
A broker who carries the internationally recognized RENE certification has received advanced training in professional negotiation tactics and knows how to use leading edge negotiation strategies for their client’s benefit.
Real Estate Broker
A Real Estate Broker is similar to a Real Estate Agent, but the broker is licensed to manage their own real estate business, whereas the agent must work with Real Estate Brokers. A commercial real estate broker provides a commercial buyer with market demographic studies, environmental research, and significant financial analysis. Commercial clients are concerned with area, local statistics, and data involving the property’s location, as well as the demographics of nearby businesses and the area’s population. Most of a broker’s clients are businesses that depend on placing their firms where the immediate and nearby population suits the goods they sell or the services they provide.
Additionally, commercial real estate brokers employ statistical analysis techniques, including breakeven analysis, to help clients determine a basic margin of safety. Other common skills include researching and discussing property maintenance costs and possible renovations, networking with local businesses, negotiating between buyers and sellers, overseeing property inspections, arranging for financing, and facilitating final transactions.
I realize that selecting the right REALTOR® to work with can seem like the nail-biting part of the process. It doesn’t have to be. That’s the advantage of selecting a real estate broker who, like me, puts clients first. When you go after a property you really want, you can take comfort in knowing you have an professional on your side… someone who knows how to get that investment for you.
Have questions about designations or my qualifications? Please submit the form on the right or call or email me.