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By Mark Leader

RISMEDIA, August 29, 2007-There is literally an alphabet soup of designations to be had by sales professionals in the real estate industry. If a person wants to specialize in seniors, technology, relocation, foreclosure, appraisal, residential specialist, commercial specialist, international or the pinnacle Graduate Real Estate Institute designation (GRI), all that he or she needs to do is start the process.

Many people attain their real estate license and never take it a bit further. They continue their ongoing required CE and never venture into a specialty…or two or three. Why? Because they don’t see the value or believe they cannot make the grade. Both excuses are flimsy and unsubstantiated. The fact of the matter is that agents who add designations increase their incomes with each designation attained.

The National Association or Realtors® 2007 Member Profile shows that designations play a big role in the careers of those most experienced agents. “The median gross income of Realtors with at least 16 years experience is about five times greater than the median income of those with two or fewer years of experience.”

In addition to the years of experience, the number of designations held moves agents to greater earning capacity far quicker. Over the years, various reports have shown that there is as much as a 16% increase in earnings for each of the formidable designations earned. That should put to rest any concerns about not being able to afford the registration fees. If you can’t afford the fees, that’s the number one reason you need the training and certifications.

If an increase in revenue is not the most pressing reason to earn accreditations, then the ability to serve the needs of the consumer should be. An agent who is unable to respond quickly to the needs of the marketplace does not know nor has not kept current with trends, shopping habits, concerns and needs of that consumer base.

When one of us fails to perform at the level of excellence the consumer demands and deserves, it only contributes to us all appearing lax. It’s as though we all get thrown “under the bus” for the sins of the few. A resume that is replete with testimonials to your willingness to always push that envelope and differentiate yourself from others who are hanging out on the side lines is a resume that will get you the signature.

Course information is available on line at the NAR Web site, or call your local Board of Realtors and let them guide you through the many exciting accreditations available to the real estate sales professional today.

Mark Leader is the president of Mark Leader Courses. For more information, please visit, or e-mail