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None so far for me.
I have CRS.
Hank Dugie I almost asked this question today!
I have an e-Pro, e-Pro 2.0 - and that's where I stopped. Heard CRS, ABR etc are very good, too.
I have a few designations, but by far the CRS designation is the most valuable. One year I got 18 CRS referrals. Not all went to closing, but was a great year.
My CRS designation -- it's like the PhD of Real Estate as far as I'm concerned. Have never had any issues referring business to another CRS. And when I was taking my CRS classes (many years ago now), they were the best classes I've ever attended.
Hank - I have had the CRS designation for the past 9 years and think it is the best one out there, period. The classes to get it are top notch with unbelievable instructors that have sold real estate... nothing theoretical there. I have received multiple referrals over the years for people moving into my market, but otherwise I don't know of a client that specifically choose me over another agent due to the CRS designation... the knowledge is the real advantage.
Now in order to network, you have to make an ongoing effort (which is where many agents fail no matter what designation they choose). When I first got into the business an agent in my office told me that the agent on the other side of town wasn't going to refer me any business, but the agent on the other side of the country/state would if they knew and trusted me. So I started taking CRS classes as far away from home as possible. With that in mind, in February I will be going to the CRS Sell-a-Bration in Las Vegas for two days of intense workshops loaded with immediately applicable actions in my market... and a chance to network with agents from all over the country.
I have 4 and I could easily function without them since clients don't really care. Yet, I like learning new things and I'm going to take two more this year.
I'm going to answer in a kind of backwards way. I got the ABR designation a decade or more ago. I have used it several times to refer business but, surprisingly, have never received any referrals from other ABR-designated agents. I realize Napa is a small market but I really thought something would occur in a decade. The class itself was very good but the aftermath isn't worth the dues. I'm finding helpful people with the SRES designation and I'm making greater use of that in my own marketing. Younger agents would probably want to get the CRS first, though.
I don't have any of them yet. I'm thinking starting with e-Pro.
Joan results are very impressive, though.
I do agree that CRS is a wonderful designation. The level of education and trainers is higher than anything else out there. I teach the CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert) designation course as I have found it be of the most value to an agent' s business as it's the number one thing we do everyday, all day!
CPM (Certified Property Manager) proved to be my most productive designation. I dropped it because of the cost after selling our property management operations to a bigger company.
CRS is the best in my opinion. The classes to get the designation, and to keep on learning, are outstanding, and the fact that production is also an important factor make it a top designation. It's a great referral network in both directions - I get or give multiple CRS referrals every year. And it's important to explain to buyers and sellers the value since they won't have a clue otherwise
The CRS has our vote. However, most buyers and sellers don't know what they mean, and care.
I liked the knowledge that I got from taking the courses but do not like to pay the annual dues and am thinking of not renewing . I have CRS,ABR,SRES, CDPE. I do not have to pay for GRI.
The GRI is the best designation in my opinion. That's because there are other agents that look for this when they send referrals and that because of the amount of education that it requres. It's a great designation. It teaches you a lot. I would take all GRI courses offered in your area, and work towards that GRI designation.
AR is the most successful network and I don't have any designations. I do double the CE classes that I need to. I have talked with buyers and sellers and I have yet heard of one that chose and agant because of designations.