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As 2016 comes to a close, I’d like to acknowledge a significant milestone in the history of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). This November marked the 20th anniversary of our organization. Founded on a mission to promote buyer agency and to support buyer agents, REBAC has grown into a leading voice in the field of buyer representation, with a nationally recognized designation and comprehensive curriculum. When I joined the organization as executive director 10 years ago, I was immediately impressed with REBAC’s commitment to delivering quality education and services that directly support our members’ needs. Over the years, REBAC has steadfastly maintained this position, a fact that I believe has contributed to our success as an organization.

At the heart of REBAC is the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation. Our members dedicate themselves to cultivating the skills they need to deliver the highest level of service to buyers, and we have developed a curriculum that gives members the knowledge to achieve that goal. From creating agency relationships to preparing purchase contracts, completing the ABR designation signifies that an agent is well-versed in all aspects of buyer representation services.

Our commitment to our members continues well beyond conferring our designation. We believe what sets ABR designees apart is the deep level of knowledge they possess about working with buyers, and the home-buying process as a whole. REBAC provides member benefits that help designees promote, market and further develop their expertise while saving them time and money. To that end, we’ve created a suite of promotional materials to reach potential buyers, as well as tools to help our members educate their clients on buyer representation and the home-buying process in general. In addition, REBAC helps members keep current in the field with access to publications, on-demand webinars and networking forums.

In an ever-evolving technological landscape, REBAC continues to look for new avenues to assist members and reach consumers. Unveiled earlier this year, REBAC partnered with Deductr to offer our members an app that aims to streamline expense tracking and tax reporting processes through an automated interface. 2016 also saw the launch of our new consumer-focused website, www.homebuying.REALTOR, which provides potential buyer-clients with information about the process of buying a home while promoting the importance of working with an ABR. Taking into account the fact that 23 percent of first-time homebuyers initiated their search by looking for information about the home-buying process online, www.homebuying.REALTOR translates the success of REBAC’s Home Buyer’s Toolkit and Consumer One-Sheets into a platform that resonates with many of today’s consumers.

While it’s impossible to know exactly what the next 20 years might bring, I can guarantee that REBAC will continue to support its members in their professional achievements, advocating for the value of buyer representation in ways that will ultimately benefit consumers and the industry.

Marc Gould is vice president, Business Specialties, for NAR and executive director of REBAC. A wholly-owned subsidiary of 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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