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Each November, as agents are in full-swing for the fall buying and selling season, the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) acknowledges the achievements of its most accomplished members by inducting them into the REBAC Hall of Fame. Initially nominated by their peers and then selected by a panel of industry leaders, REBAC Hall of Famers demonstrate outstanding work ethic, a commitment to their buyers and the proven ability to not only survive, but flourish, in the ever-changing real estate industry.

This month, REBAC welcomes its latest top crop of Accredited Buyer’s Representatives (ABR®) to the REBAC Hall of Fame. These real estate professionals are utilizing their ABR® designation to grow their business, set themselves apart from the competition, educate themselves and their clients, and represent buyers with passion, innovation and integrity.

“As an exclusive buyer agent, I am not a ‘salesperson’; I am an expert that offers a service-oriented approach representing the buyer’s interest,” says real estate broker/owner, exclusive buyer agent and recent 2014 REBAC Hall of Fame inductee Lora Cusumano, who has been working in real estate for 11 years.

“I go out of my way to gather as much information as I can to help my buyer client make an educated decision on whether or not to buy a particular property, and devise the best negotiating strategy for them,” says Cusumano, whose favorite way to help her clients is to educate them.

2014 REBAC Hall of Fame inductee and long-time real estate veteran Eloise Erikkson Martin shares Cusumano’s belief in making education a priority: “Every year, I start off with a personal note to my sphere and past clients providing an update of the real estate market and letting them know how much I appreciate their business,” says Martin, who has been active in the real estate industry for 30 years.

However, clients aren’t the only important component of the education equation. “I am always educating myself though continuing education, designations and through experiences,” says Cusumano, who notes that one of her preferred methods of staying up-to-date revolves around her ABR® designation.

“I love the Today’s Buyer’s Rep publication. It always has awesome tips and articles that I have successfully used in helping my business grow,” Cusumano comments.

“I believe in the importance of continual education, in-depth market knowledge, communication and delivery of extraordinary customer service,” says Martin, who stresses that ABR®’ s ongoing education and information, programs and updates help her stay on top of the issues and trends to successfully serve her buyers.

Rick Conley, a 2014 REBAC Hall of Fame inductee and ABR® course instructor, can speak volumes about the importance of education. A licensed broker and agent who has been working in the real estate industry since 1988, Conley frequently promotes the importance of NAR/REBAC courses to brokers and associations.

“I love the value of buyer representation and convey the benefits to my attendees in the course, promoting the ABR® as a much higher level of professionalism and service,” says Conley.

When Conley is on stage speaking to agents and brokers, he makes sure that all of his classroom topics are practical and valuable, providing the attendee with take-away materials directly related to their practice.

“My goal is to engage,” says Conley. “I conduct seminars on a one-to-one level.”

2014 REBAC Hall of Fame inductee, the Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (GMAR)—the largest local Association of REALTORS® in Southeast Michigan—houses several continuing education courses, designation courses, and REALTOR® Code of Ethics training for real estate professionals looking to improve their services.

“Since the program’s inception in 2010, we’ve had just under 3,000 REALTORS® complete a REBAC course with us in southeast Michigan,” says Vickey Livernois, the association’s education director. REBAC inducted GMAR into its 2014 Hall of Fame for its widespread promotion of the ABR® course and buyer representation awareness among its more than 6,000 real estate members.