Everybody knows that the real estate market is competitive. However, it is important to remember that there isn’t just one single market, but many smaller niche markets. Carving out an area of specialization can make an agent stand out and give them a leg up when finding clients—especially in growing municipalities like the Boise metropolitan area. Finding the right credentials can offer new opportunities to network, build leads, and close. So how can you gain a competitive edge on the market as a new agent? It all comes down to designations!

What are Real Estate Designations?

Designations are credentials for licensed realtors; they show that you have fulfilled particular requirements and have special training and recognition in a given area. They are also sometimes called “certifications.” Most designations have specific prerequisites for applicants—you almost always need to fulfill some coursework, but you may also need a minimum income or so many years of experience. Many designations also require that you pay annual membership fees.

What Kind of Specializations do Designations Offer?

All kinds! There are designations for realtors who want to work on energy-efficient and sustainable real estate, designations for residential real estate, designations for property management, and much more.

Some of the most sought-after designations for agents right now include:

  • Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) Designation – Knowledge in legal issues, tech, and professional standards.
  • Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) Certification – Special training in seller advocacy.
  • Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS) – Expertise in second homes, resorts, and recreational destinations.
  • Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist (CREDS) – Proficiency in all legal matters when working with clients who are buying or selling after a divorce.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) website offers thorough summaries of all NAR Family Designations, along with the necessary course information and prerequisites for each.

Are Designations Hard to Acquire?

The exclusivity of a designation can vary greatly, depending on the specialization and institution that offers it. Some designations are extremely selective: the Counselor of Real Estate® (CRE) credential, for example, is only extended by invitation, and you need a minimum of ten years of experience to apply! But designations like the CRE are the exception. There are plenty of designations and credentials available to new agents on the market—most designations simply require that you fulfill the necessary coursework, complete an exam, and pay the appropriate membership dues.

Online courses have made it easier than ever to start working towards designations. Continuing your education and training allows you to make steady progress towards future certifications—defining your niche early on gives you clear goals that you can build towards as you enrich your real estate education. Expanding markets like Boise bring new residents with new needs; the right designations show that you have the right skills, connections, and resources to fulfill those needs while building a reliable client base.

Are you curious about your next step as a new agent? Want to know more about the courses you should be taking to further your real estate education? Don’t hesitate to reach out today and help us find the right opportunities for you to advance your real estate business. I look forward to hearing from you!