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With REALTOR® Designation Awareness Month coming to a close, it’s not too late you and your agents to begin or complete a journey toward an official designation or certification through NAR or one of its Institutes, Societies and Councils.

Investing in an NAR designation builds skills and market proficiency while increasing marketability and success. Based on the “2011 NAR Member Profile” survey data, the median income of REALTORS® with no designation was $26,900, and the median income of those with at least one designation was $49,300—a difference of $22,400.

REALTOR® University Is NAR’s Online Education Destination
REALTOR® University offers a path to this goal and to professional development, in general. Within REALTOR® University, the School of Professional Development and Continuing Education is the exclusive provider of courses leading to many of NAR’s official designations and certifications, including ABR® (Accredited Buyer Representative), GREEN (NAR’s Green Designation), CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist), the e-PRO® technology certification, RSPS (Resort & Second Home Property Specialist), SFR (Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource), SRES® (Seniors Real Estate Specialist®) , and the new BPOR certification (Broker Price Opinion Resource).

The School also offers more than 400 hours of online education, and many of the courses are now available for Continuing Education (CE) credits across the country.

New Master’s in Real Estate Program Raises the Bar
To meet the needs of an increasingly sophisticated practitioner environment, REALTOR® University is seeking operating and degree granting authority to offer a Master in Real Estate (MRE) program, beginning in March 2012. The program will offer the following concentrations:

-Real Estate Association Management
-Asset and Property Management
-Appraisal and Valuation Services
-Sales, Marketing and Management
-Commercial and Investment

The MRE program will be taught through REALTOR® University’s global online campus, and will provide deep insight into the complex and constantly evolving real estate marketplace.

“REALTOR® University is moving toward its goal of providing a comprehensive educational experience to members,” says Dale Stinton, chief executive officer of NAR and President of REALTOR® University. “By offering a master’s degree program, REALTOR® University is taking the next step toward that goal.”

Program development is well underway for the first class of the MRE program. The 36 credit hour, 12-course program will blend theory with practice to produce the next generation of industry leaders.

Bottom-line Benefit of Higher Learning
Brokers can benefit tremendously from the education and prestige of the MRE program (as well as the other REALTOR® University offerings), and should consider participating in this leading-edge program. And it’s not just for brokers.

Because the more education a real estate professional has, the more he or she earns, and brokers who offer a tuition reimbursement program can reap direct benefits from higher-earning agents. “Ideally, it’s in brokers’ best interests to encourage their agents and staff to pursue as much education as they possibly can,” says Richard Rosenthal, chairman of REALTOR® University’s Board of Regents.

REALTOR® University also offers a scholarship grant program for MRE courses, in which the University will match scholarship donations dollar for dollar, up to $5,000. Financial need is not the only criteria for these scholarships; academic and career excellence is taken into account as well. “Not only is REALTOR® University working to heighten the careers of individuals through all our offerings, we’re also aiming to heighten the profession as a whole, by educating knowledgeable, highly professional people who will act as ambassadors for the University, for NAR, and for our industry,” stresses Rosenthal.

For more information visit http://RealtorU.com.

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