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Anyone working in the real estate industry knows how competitive the landscape can be. Whether you’re a fledgling or seasoned agent, arming yourself with the most knowledge possible is essential when it comes to standing out among a sea of rivals. No program positions its participants for success more thoroughly than the National Association of REALTORS® Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation.

With over 25 years of real estate experience, Pat Ohmberger of HOME Real Estate in Lincoln, Neb., understands just how important continuing education is. Having earned his GRI designation within the first two years of becoming a real estate agent, Ohmberger says it set him up for the success he’s been having for the past two-and-a-half decades. “I knew that being new in the business and going up against seasoned REALTORS®, I would need knowledge.”

Knowledge is king with the GRI program, launched nationally in 1967 as a 90-hour program to acquaint new sales associates with the ins and outs of real estate, from general market knowledge to business skills, systems, tools, and more. The program has changed immensely since its early days, but with over 80,000 designees, the GRI remains one of NAR’s most successful designations. Each state has their own GRI program, which incorporates issues on a national level as well, arming agents with the most industry knowledge possible.

“I knew that if I wanted to be a professional in this business, I needed top skillsets just like a doctor, attorney or any business executive,” explains Ohmberger. “GRI set me on the path for the journey ahead.”

With the GRI designation, industry professionals develop a solid foundation of knowledge and skills essential for navigating the current real estate climate—no matter what its condition.

In addition to offering a platform for superior education, taking the time to earn the GRI designation sets real estate professionals apart from the competition by acting as a resume piece; when comparing two agents, one with a GRI designation and one without, potential clients are likely to choose the professional with higher education. By joining a program with a 50-year reputation of top-notch industry know-how, you’re solidifying your chances for success.

Education and reputation aren’t the only things real estate professionals stand to glean from earning the GRI designation. “Not only has the education provided me the knowledge to better help my clients, but the lasting relationships I have acquired with fellow REALTORS® have resulted in referral business,” says Ohmberger.

The Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) symbol is the true mark of the committed real estate professional, one who has dedicated themselves to heightening their career by securing the strongest education foundation available.

“Everyone that wants to call real estate their career should be willing to take the time to be a student of GRI and obtain their designation,” concludes Ohmberger.

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