Dennis Swartz, MBA, GRI...experience counts! (Full Circle Property Management)

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Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Any education is relevant if YOU keep it relevant. Any educational designation is simply the base, for you to keep doing and improve upon it. Don't expect that it will do anything for you on its own.

Dec 16, 2018 06:46 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

I believe that one or two are relevant (MBA & CRS) but, you often have to explain how the designations can serve THEM. My explanation always includes more education. 

As I'm sure you know, CRS is now requiring us to take classes annually to keep our designation. For me, it's something that I 'require' of myself - furthering my education, especially when we are in such an ever-changing business.

Dec 16, 2018 06:43 AM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

MBA matters.   So does Broker.  

 The rest of them, meh.  Save the money.

Dec 16, 2018 07:44 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I had 9 of them.... I cared.... education was for ME....

my clients always noticed I had "letters" and no one else had them!!!! did it matter.... yes... but I did it for ME.....

Dec 16, 2018 06:45 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

They're relevant if YOU are!
The value is always in you!
The certs and designations are to empower you.

PS happy birthday this week!

Dec 16, 2018 07:04 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Designation-free? Likely not.

Important to some in the industry. Unimportant to others.

The "controversy"  continues. Amazingly life goes on.

Dec 16, 2018 06:48 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

I am a big fan of the education but have never used the alphbet after my name. You have the education so why pay for the alphabet?

Dec 16, 2018 07:04 AM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Thankfully no yearly designation fees on your GRI or your MBA. Normally the CRS is a good one to keep, known of many effective networkers who have made good use of their CRS designation and CRS referral data base. If sufficient business is coming your way without the need, than drop it like a hot potato.

Dec 16, 2018 06:24 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I concur with your thoughts and experience.  Consumers don't really care. If the designations are important to us ... then we get them. 

I would think your Masters is all you need.  I am a BIG fan and advocate of higher education and training that extends far beyond what we get with designations.
Here's to an incredible 2019!!!! 

Dec 16, 2018 08:08 AM
Peter Mohylsky. Broker Associate
Miramar Beach - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Designations are not as important as learning and applying knowledge.

Dec 16, 2018 06:38 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Seems like a great way to save quick money. I've done this eons ago & it was amazing on how much $ I was spending.

Dec 16, 2018 06:10 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Its like E=MC2 I recognize it means something but what? Dennis Swartz 

Dec 16, 2018 07:07 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I have always cared about CRS and it is the only one I pay.

Dec 16, 2018 07:06 AM
Ken Jones, ASA | Broker & Appraiser
Kenneth J. Jones, Inc./Global Valuations - Newark, NJ
Commercial Real Estate Broker & Appraiser

I'm with you, Dennis Swartz 

I've earned numerous real estate and business valuation designations, as well as various real estate brokerage designations.

Add the cost of 7 designations to the cost of NAR and MLS and CoStar database services (among others), and I'm over $10,000 - PLUS - the cost of my various broker and appraiser licenses and the required CE.

Unlike others who actually believe that these designations are meaningful to the public with whom they do business, I strongly believe that virtually ALL members of the general public couldn't identify ONE designation by name and accurately describe it.

All that said, having a professional designation may be of some value to those who don't have a track record of experience. But, with nearly 5 decades of broad and deep experience, I don't think I'm in that category.

Dec 16, 2018 07:16 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

I've let some go. Most people didn't care what they meant. i still see agents advertiving that they have the E-Pro designation, but seems like those same agents don't know how to send a text message or email, and some still use hotmail for their business email.

Dec 16, 2018 07:15 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

The bottom lines are most consumers have no clue what all the letters mean. I am saving a ton or money and there no affect to me on sales

Dec 16, 2018 06:26 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I have found that you can make people care. What charges do you have with an MBA? I have an MBA in finance and my last charge was when I paid my last tuition bill for it some four decades ago.

Dec 16, 2018 06:18 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Education is never wasted.  Designations mean nothing.  It is what you do with them. A

Dec 16, 2018 08:27 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I can put alphabet soup after my name but it is just a show of education over the years. I have taken some really good courses over the years and have written about them.

My favorite designation is still  BROKER

Dec 16, 2018 08:12 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

I don't have as many as you ... but it does add up to a big investment ... and honestly can not think of any clients who were impressed with my designations. The average consumer doesn't know what those acronyms mean. So my thoughts are, I don't think I will be adding anymore. IMHO

Dec 16, 2018 07:48 AM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

Wow, that is so impressive, Dennis!

Dec 16, 2018 07:16 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I've never thought the designations mattered to the public.   I don't think you'll lose anything and you can always say you specilaize in X, Y and Z.  No need for the alphabet soup.  I don't even know what the first five acroynms mean and I'm in the industry!  I wouldn't even know where to look up that you actually had them.

Dec 16, 2018 10:22 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

The only reason to get a designation, IMO, is because you want the associated education.  I was happy to earn my GRI, but more excited to learn so many things that helped me grow my business.  If you are getting them to impress  a potential client, it's a waste.

Dec 16, 2018 09:04 AM
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

I take classes and 'join' organizations so I can learn I don't find it to be a huge expense for what I get out of them - which allows me to better serve my clients & community.

That said, people may not know what individual designations mean, but they do seem to appreciate my having the continuing education they provide.


Dec 16, 2018 08:33 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 / Property Manager

I agree with those who say education is always a good thing. Cutting back on my education budget was NEVER a consideration for me.  I still spend quite a bit of money on learning opportunities and I'm retired.  It is still a category in my budget.  Spend money on what will be relevant to YOUR business.  It doesn't need to be in the form of collecting designations.

Dec 16, 2018 08:24 AM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I am in the same boat. I let SRS go last month and will do the same with ABR this month. I am debating on the CRS still. -K

Dec 16, 2018 08:12 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

No. those letters are expessions of real estate agent vanity. Yes, people notice vanity, however they only place value on ONE earned designation.

Now, don't get me wrong, designations are Very Important to those who sell the letters. They know real estate agents will buy ANYTHING.

Dec 16, 2018 08:11 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

In our area realtor with JD, esq gets the juice. Rest are often disregarded.....

Have a MD in the trade. He gets lots of people asking medical questions as free consultant....

Dec 16, 2018 08:05 AM
Merv Edinger & Associates
Remax Nova - Halifax, NS

I agree with Richard Bazinet. Noone seems to care about the designations just the service they receive & my results. 

Dec 16, 2018 07:50 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I think it's a good idea.

Gabe Sanders ND NOC  (No Designations, No One Cares)   

Dec 17, 2018 08:29 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Just the ones that don't require yearly renewal, like the GRI.

Dec 17, 2018 04:21 AM
Dennis Swartz
Full Circle Property Management - Columbus, OH
MBA, GRI...experience counts!

Thanks to all for tthe answers and viewpoints!

Dec 17, 2018 01:49 AM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL 305-931-6931

Amazing, Dennis. 

For sure, your customers care. 

Dec 16, 2018 08:42 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Education is important, meaningless letters on your business card are not.

Dec 16, 2018 04:38 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Dennis Swartz I never gained or lost a client because of a designation. When I have sought after one it was solely because I wanted to learn more about the subject, not to gain business but to gain knowledge.

Dec 16, 2018 12:11 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

The education you received through these certifications have probably taught you a lot.  However, the general public has no idea what those letters mean and whether or not that makes you a better agent.

Dec 16, 2018 09:59 AM
Chuck Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

I had lots and lots of letters also. Not tempted to renew any of them.

Dec 16, 2018 08:57 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I have earned some designations. I valued the education that was required in the process. I still value education. Our business is always changing. That said, there is one that I am planning not to pay to continue.

Dec 16, 2018 08:20 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Hear, hear!

Dec 16, 2018 08:01 AM
Anthony Kirlew
Group 46:10 Network @ eXp Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices

If you are targeting a specific group, it does help you stand out if you have a designation for that group and can convey that the desgination means you have specialized training that other agents don't have in that particular discipline.

Dec 17, 2018 06:24 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I have never had anyone ask for mine. I quit them 15 years ago

Dec 17, 2018 05:02 PM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

IMO - education is always of value

The posting the initials behind your name (ego/pride/marketing) ?

Not so much since no one ever knows what they mean anyway.

Dec 17, 2018 04:53 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Good idea.

Dec 17, 2018 11:56 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Clients don't care about designations. The only benefit I can see is that we learn stuff when we get them. That's always a worthwhile effort. 

Dec 17, 2018 02:59 AM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

I wrestle with this each year. Luckily, I only have to pay for the CRS. I think I may go for the two year option this time for the discount and to prevent having to ponder it next year. 

Dec 16, 2018 08:20 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I did that a few years ago.  In fact I also withdrew from BOR which has become a people go play at conventions and not at all about helping the agents anymore.  I don't think it affected my business at all.  (our local MLS is broker owned vs. association owned)

Dec 16, 2018 01:09 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I stopped paying those annual dues many years ago.


Dec 16, 2018 01:01 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

The public doesn't care, but your education will shine through when interviewing with a new client.  My CRS has been very valuable.

Dec 20, 2018 10:27 AM