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The holidays are upon us. Whether this season means a house-buying lull or an uptick in warm-weather business in your market, it is always a good time to re-evaluate your goals and strategies for the coming year. I’ve written in the past about how the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation provides a strong return on investment in terms of market knowledge and in agent confidence representing homebuyers. But once you or your team earns the ABR®, where do you go from there? You have the knowledge, but how do you take that training and turn it to your advantage in your market and with your clients?

Luckily, earning an ABR® is only the start of the conversation. Beyond the designation, earning the ABR® brings with it membership in REBAC, the Real Estate Buyer Agent’s Council, and we’ve created a treasure-trove of resources to leverage your skills down the road. Just as every buyer is different, REBAC realizes every ABR® is different. That’s why we’ve developed a broad array of tools and resources to help you and your agents continue to benefit from your training. Here’s a short list of different ways you can use your ABR®—and your membership in REBAC—to your advantage in your market.

First of all, REBAC provides you and your agents who hold the ABR® with a wealth of marketing tools to connect with buyers. Everything from press release templates to help you share stories or tips in your local media to customizable postcards, ad slicks and flyers to get your message out to the community. Additional marketing ideas come monthly through Today’s Buyer’s Rep, REBAC’s membership newsletter, as well as a weekly email update—concise news when you need it.

REBAC also helps brokers and agents with buyer education. With several years of pent-up demand finally releasing and the playing field dramatically different from before the recession, more than ever, agents need to explain in clear terms the purchase process to both new-home buyers and to those who have been out of the market for several years. REBAC has developed several one-sheet introductions to topics important to buyers that can be used right out of the box or customized to fit your needs. Additionally, REBAC has prepared a multi-page Home Buyer’s Toolkit handout that many ABR®s have incorporated into their buyer’s presentations.

Membership in REBAC also gives you access to new referral tools to help your clients when they move outside your area, in addition to helping you connect with new clients from other ABR®s whose buyers are moving to your community. REBAC also offers networking tools through the ABR® Network, an invitation-only online community for questions, advice and relationship building.

These are only some of the many tools that REBAC has developed for its members. If you or your agents already have an ABR®, make sure you are using all the materials available to you. If you haven’t yet enhanced your skills with an ABR®, now is a great time to start the process.

From all of us here at REBAC, I would like to wish you a happy and joyous holiday season and continued success in the new year!

Marc Gould is vice president, Business Specialties, for the National Association of REALTORS® and executive director of REBAC. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 30,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who work directly with buyer-clients.

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