By Marc Gould
RISMedia, June 9, 2011—With financial institutions tightening lending standards and requiring more from home buyers, consumers are asking more from their agents than ever before. And in response, many agents and brokers are pursuing advanced education and professional certifications to help them navigate the changing real estate landscape and better serve their clients.
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak at RISMedia’s 2011 Achieve! Conference last month to a group of agents with similar expectations. And just like these agents, I found myself asking the same question as I prepared for the conference: What are the key programs and tools that agents need for success in today’s market? And how can REBAC help?
To address the growing need for education in a changing market, REBAC launched a new broker price opinion (BPO) certification course at this year’s NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings, designed to equip real estate professionals with the knowledge and skills to reduce their risk and increase opportunities to create professional and accurate BPOs. And with over 150 students attending the pilot course, it seems that the value of this new program was recognized.
Students interested in earning the BPO Resource certification will be required to complete the one day “BPOs: The Agent’s Role in the Valuation Process” course and attend a free Webinar exploring the multiple uses of BPOs, how they can and cannot be used and how to filter and select comparables to create expert and precise BPOs. And as with any NAR certification or designation, an active membership with NAR is required to promote the certification.
Another program finding success in the current landscape is REBAC’s Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) certification. In just over a year since its launch, the program has certified over 54,000 agents and continues to grow. Agents who complete the coursework necessary to earn the SFR can look forward to education and training dealing with counseling sellers and buyers, creating an effective short sales package and working with foreclosed and REO properties.
With their core courses counting as elective credit towards earning the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation for buyer representatives, the SFR and new BPOR certifications come with a series of tools and resources to help agents build their business. From networking opportunities to marketing materials and referrals, the value that these professional certifications provide extends far beyond the curriculum itself.
Students interested in earning the ABR® designation or signing up for the “BPOs: The Agent’s Role in the Valuation Process” or the “Short Sales and Foreclosures Course: What Real Estate Professionals Need to Know” can visit www.Training4RE.com to find a course in their area or log onto rebac.net to learn more.
Marc Gould is the executive director of The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). A wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), REBAC is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals, focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 40,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who work directly with buyer-clients. To learn more, please visit REBAC.net.
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