Tony Lewis, Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo (Summit Real Estate Group)

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Jason E. Gordon
AmeriFirst Financial Inc, San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA

I think it's less about identifying yourself by the "alphabet soup" after your name and more about how articulating how you can add value with the education you have acquired. That said, knowing how to casually bring your credentials into a conversation can sometimes "break the tie" between you and your competitor. 


A great way to accomplish this goal is to add the phrase "what this means for you is..." after you discuss your credential (so that person knows why they should care).

Aug 24, 2022 02:35 PM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

I have never had a buyer or seller ask me what certificates or designations I have.  I don't think that the vast majority care about them.

Aug 24, 2022 06:20 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I have pursued and earned Realtor designations in the past. I do not recall anyone ever remarking on the initials that I used to put after my name. The education was valuable. The payback is in being able to perform properly for my clients.

Aug 24, 2022 04:40 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

It depends on the certificate or certification.  It also depends on the agent holding said certifications and the people seeking help.  


Aug 24, 2022 02:03 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

NO! Most have no clue what they mean and they have the misconception that the more initials the it will cost them to use that person.

Aug 24, 2022 01:50 PM
Shayne Stone
HomeSmart - Fulshear, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"

I don't think so! Hell, even my wife doesn't know the main one I use "WDKF"...



Aug 24, 2022 04:21 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Most of the public have no idea what the letters mean that we post after our title. What they care about is the service and professionalism we provide.

Aug 24, 2022 02:10 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate Brokered by Real - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Designations are an opportunity to learn more about the real estate industry to better serve buyers and sellers. An agent here had Phd (Doctor of Philosophy) after her name. Did consumers care? Probably not but I do know she golfed a lot! LOL

Aug 24, 2022 05:18 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

No, the public doesn't care. I used to ask sellers if they knew what those initials meant & they didn't.

Aug 24, 2022 03:36 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

I have absolutely been asked what credentials I have. Most who ask are detail-oriented, typically high-end buyers & sellers. I've even started to explain what CRS means to some and they have looked it up, reciting what that certification means!

All of that said, designations bring more knowledge/education and often are great referral sources. I'm a big believer in education and it has helped me in my career.

Aug 24, 2022 07:24 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Not really; most probably don't even have a clue as to what all the letters mean. There is value in those certificates if you feel you learned something from the training.

Aug 24, 2022 01:37 PM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

My experience has been that they care when it is relevant to their situation. I don't have my designations/certifications on my cards or correspondence but they have helped me several times in getting new clients. I had two clients interested in doing short sales and when I mentioned casually that I am certified in short sales and foreclosures, it made them more comfortable since they knew I had that additional training.

One client wanted me to list his investment property for rent and sale but he was hesitant since he lived 1,000 miles away and we had never met. When I explained that I was certified in property management, that clinched the deal because he felt confident that I could handle all facets for him.

What I will never understand is agents who insist on putting MBA. PhD, etc. on their cards and correspondence. I would much rather see someone list things like SFR, BPOR, CRS which at least are real estate related.

Aug 24, 2022 06:31 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Tony Lewis most of the public are not aware of Realtor with certificates.

Aug 24, 2022 04:10 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Back in 2006, I wrote an AR post about alphabet soup. 

I think the knowledge is priceless. The public is not interested in all those letters, they want to know what you will do for them.

Aug 24, 2022 09:29 PM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

I don't think they care. I agree with you, it's what you do with what you have.

Aug 24, 2022 06:07 PM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Company - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

I live in a town with five military establishments, so here it's important to have an MRP because they do care about that. I don't think the general public cares about all the other designations - supposedly people with similar designations (CRS, for example) will refer to others with a CRS designation. I have a slew of designations and the only ones who care are other agents.

Aug 24, 2022 04:10 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

Nope, they don't know or care.  It's the work that counts.

Aug 24, 2022 01:49 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

I know I don't. 

Aug 25, 2022 09:43 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I agree with Jason E. Gordon and I'll add...

Unless we specifically mention our credentials and how they benefit them, no. For example I mention my RCS-D often, as I work with a lot of divorcing homeowners. I mention my military ones often too, because 60%-70% of my year is spent serving Veterans. But I rarely mention my others.

Aug 25, 2022 07:43 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Consumers don't wanna know how the sausage is made, only that it doesn't taste spoiled. 

However you get your education, just know your stuff. That may or may not require a designation/certification.

I know an agent whose grandmother taught her more than any designation class . . . so sometimes the knowledge is passed down.

I know GRI CRS etc etc who have no real world knowledge. They went straight out of prelicensing into 'book learning' without really getting some deals under their belt and learning from their missteps (with broker's supervision to mitigate). This business throws some mean curveballs. 

Am I anti-designation? Of course not! I have more than many and I spent literally tens of thousands of dollars and brain cells I don't think I can ever recover, LOL on my CRE education over 2 decades. 

It's not important to share that with clients. Just do it right with calm confidence.

LOL as an aside, the public couldn't give a rip what boards you serve(d) on (instead of honing your craft, for some)  . . .

Aug 25, 2022 05:52 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

The only initials that are important to the public are "WIFM", commonly standing for "what's in it for me"!

Aug 25, 2022 03:41 AM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, SRES
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

I agree that it doesn't matter much to the public.  However, I have a few NAR designations which are wonderful for referrals (especially CRS).  I have had two sales due to the fact I was a SRES (Seniors) specialist.  The public generally doesn't understand any of that stuff I believe, and seem to lean more toward personal referrals..  

Aug 25, 2022 06:59 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

No.  The consumer doesn't know what they mean or how to verify them, nor do they know the difference between a "Realtor" and someone who is not.

The only "designation" that matters to the client is "Broker".  That's why I use that instead of "Realtor".

Aug 25, 2022 08:11 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

For the client to be, there are some who take the short-cut i.e., not wanting to vet, research or interview agents and just go for the credentials. It matters to these types of folks. These same people also rely on first impression meaning they look at dress, hygiene, car, manners and courtesy. Then, they sign up

Aug 25, 2022 05:48 AM
Karen Climer
Demetree School of Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Teaching people to pass the real estate exam

The public doesn't know what the certificates mean.  They also don't know what is required to get them.  Is this a certificate that you got after a two-hour class?  Or one that you got after a two-year arduous process?  Very few people know.

Other Realtors know and some of them care.  The ones who have a bunch of certificates are the ones who care.  The ones who don't have a bunch of certificates probably aren't impressed by certificates.

Aug 25, 2022 05:24 AM
Peter Mohylsky
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL

Probably some do bu most don’t know or care. 

Aug 25, 2022 03:06 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I used to explain what each designation/certification was, now I just say all that education will help us get through most any obstacle we may come across.   Love Jason's response!

Aug 25, 2022 03:10 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

You mean designations? I can make prospective clients care a whole lot that I have designations and other agents don't. It's all in the presentation. I second Jason E. Gordon comment. 

Aug 25, 2022 10:25 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

The average buyer or seller has no idea (nor do they care) about the initials that follow our name -- however they do care about our reputation and what we can do for them.

Aug 25, 2022 09:38 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

zip zero nada

Aug 25, 2022 12:13 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Education and learning is always a leg up. But lot of letters after your name that not everyone understands. Hmmmmm. My favorite designation letter combination is TSTH. You know that agent will work hard whether buying or selling. What's the TSTH designation? (Tough Skinned, Tender Hearted) You have to have common sense and empathy along with work ethic, integrity in any life endeavor Tony Lewis .

TSTF real estate

Aug 25, 2022 09:56 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I don't think they care. What matters is the value and benefit they derive from working with you, and how you articulate that value (your education, experience, etc.).

Aug 25, 2022 09:39 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I think the average consumer has no clue what all the letters mean and it means little to them. I agree it is how you use them. I also think experience by doing is more important and more valuable than quite a few of these classes. Locally a newer agent is advertising them as a REO specialist and never listed or sold a REO. Same goes for ads i see as Luxury specialist who sold 1 house and not a luxury house. 

Aug 25, 2022 08:32 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Not a bit.

Aug 24, 2022 10:06 PM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

Nope- not in my case. I have no certificates and while there might be a point or even a few points of value in these courses that might make it worthwhile for me to attend- having the certificate is not why clients are interested in working with me. I frequently hear from clients that "I don't normally work with brokers- but you are clearly different" or "you really know your stuff", etc.  Clients are working with me because of my combination of education, experience, value and service. Other than qualifications such as MBA, CPA, etc- the clients don't typically know what the certificates are and what value might translate over to them.

Aug 28, 2022 09:11 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

The general public isn't interested has been my experience.

Aug 27, 2022 12:20 PM