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Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Peter. When I was a Realtor, I had the alphabet soup after my name and made the decision one day to drop them all, it didn't change my business. The public has no clue what all that stuff means.

Jan 14, 2016 04:46 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

it's not the's the knowledge you get from getting them that is impressive.

Jan 14, 2016 11:15 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

A big fan of training. Never use the alphabet soup after my name! Most have no clue anyway. Demonstrate your knowledge! 

Jan 14, 2016 09:38 PM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

 The education and training that I have gotten from "alphabet" designations is priceless.  It is a fact, those that have some, make more money.

Consumers may not know what the letters mean, but they do understand that you are probably smarter than the rest....just like my doctor is.


Jan 14, 2016 08:03 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I doubt the difference matters much, they are both important for all of us.

Though I dont think the public cares nearly as much about those initials on your business card as the people who sold the designations do.

Jan 14, 2016 06:48 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I have a lot of those designations which I don't put on cards or literature because it is meaningless to clinets. What I got was an education.

Jan 14, 2016 11:23 AM
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

I am a firm believer in both education and training as our profession requires on-going knowledge.  My alphabet soup has served me well as my clients find the commitment to stay on top puts me ahead of the pack. 

Jan 14, 2016 10:26 AM
Joan Dickie
Keller Williams Premier Realty - La Crosse, WI
Keller Williams Premier Realty

You can educate yourself or some one else can educate you, but can you train yourself?  Good question.  I've always thought training was something someone did to you.

never thought much about the alphabet as a marketing ploy.  Would only do it if I thought I could learn something new.  I think I can learn a lot  here.  Should I market myself as GARU (graduate of Active Rain University) after I've been here for a while?

Jan 14, 2016 09:51 AM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

So the alphabet soup may not mean much to the consumer, but it does mean something to other agents. I have quite a few designations, but got them in the process of learning. Training and education are two different things. But both can be valuable. 

My broker is older than dirt. He knows I say that about him. I make all kinds of jokes about his experience in the business and he takes it very well. He loves my sarcastic side. His experience is invaluable to me, but years ago when the bank owned properties flooded our market, I was driving the ship.

I came to his office with a ton of knowledge about listing bank owned properties because I was doing it and I had studied it extensively. I taught him a lot about that segment of the market. I learned about that from my own personal experience and also from some well taught classes I took to support my REO listing habit. 

Jan 15, 2016 09:25 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Peter, I used to work in IT which has more abbreviations and designations than real estate could ever dream of.  It was not uncommon to see a speaker with 8, 10 or even 15 designations after their name!  I once saw someone with over 20!  I don't think he ever worked a day in his life though.  Just a professional student.  I call these people "Certification Zombies" because they blindly go after every certification they can find. 


I had two IT certs and plans to get 8 more, except the continuing education requirements would have been a full time job.


I've known MANY people who have certifications and can't do the work.  I've known MANY people who can do the work and don't have the certification.


Does the public know what a GRI, CRS, ePro, Gold, SRS, EIEIO mean?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  They don't even know what a "Realtor (c)" means!  Some certifications, like ePro, are just money makers for NAR.  The vast majority of the course is on youtube for free.  You just pay NAR for the title, login to one or two courses online and swear you took the free courses from Zipforms.  No exam required!  Complete and total joke and NAR should be embarrassed to even offer this crap!


As to education v. training, they are both ways to aquire knowledge and in my book are fairly interchangeable.  Both occur in a classroom but training I think of as more hands on and education more textbook (school).  Both get you KNOWLEDGE which is the key thing. 


Some certifications open doors to guarded networks and some people will only refer to someone in that network.  If you want the knowledge you can get the knowledge through NAR or through other avenues.  There is absolutely no reason why your brokerage can't train you as a SRS, CRS, ePro, etc. just not using the NAR qualifier.

Jan 15, 2016 02:29 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I have many designations but I don't display them. Most of the courses I take are for CE requirements in my state.

Jan 14, 2016 11:31 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

I agree with Mike & Eve Alexander : "The education and training that I have gotten from "alphabet" designations is priceless. " I encourage agents to take the classes and earn the designations! Learning the best business practices is a must in our industry. The knowledge you gain is invaluable and net working with agents who go the extra mile to become the best of the best is enlightening. You'll be surprised at what you will learn.

Jan 14, 2016 10:05 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I learned a lot from all the designation courses I took.

Jan 14, 2016 07:59 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Peter. I think the alphabets are kind of crazy. It looks good but I don't think it differentiates any one person from the other. It's all a sales and relationship game.

Jan 14, 2016 05:23 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I like the answer from Candice A. Donofrio 

Jan 14, 2016 11:11 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I have some alphabets but don't put them after my name. I gained valuable insights by getting more education.

Jan 14, 2016 11:10 AM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

All professions play with the alphabet in hopes that the consumer is impressed

Jan 14, 2016 10:26 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Theory v. practice, short answer. :)

Jan 14, 2016 09:58 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Peter - I am all about learning and honing my craft, but I could care less about any letters after my name. I don't think the public really knows what all those things mean either, nor do most of them care.

Jan 16, 2016 07:33 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY

As the education and traing helps me do my job better and am able to help my clients better yes. They do not show on my card or internet anymore, although the present Brokerage wanted to know.

Jan 14, 2016 08:58 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I have earned most of those certifications and have received a great body of knowledge along the way. As for the "alphabet soup" of letters, it's all in how you present it to potential clients. I make hay with my alphabet soup and my clients understand it and appreciate it. 

Jan 14, 2016 08:19 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

for me education is class and training is "mentoring".  I prefer the later although the prior in necessary. 

Jan 14, 2016 12:48 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Training can be many things, practical as well as structured.  Education is learning whether in a classroom setting or otherwise.

Jan 14, 2016 11:23 AM
Linda Guess
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes Branson, MO - Branson, MO
Branson area real estate sales.

Education reduces stress.  On the job training can be stressful.  I know I should have some designations after my name, but that is not important to me. 

Jan 14, 2016 11:19 AM