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A relative newbie to the real estate industry, Cindy Granger has leveled the playing field in a big way, building a solid foundation through continuing education.

“I go up against real estate professionals daily who have many years of experience over me,” says Granger, a real estate advisor with Coastal Properties Group International in Clearwater, Fla., who’s been in the business since 2014. “But with the education I’ve received with the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation, I feel like I’m on the same playing field.”

Awarded by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the GRI provides real estate professionals with in-depth training on legal and regulatory issues, technology, professional standards and the sales process.

“The knowledge a person gains with continuing education makes them a stronger agent in today’s real estate market,” says Granger, who not only promotes the fact that she’s earned her GRI on her website, but also on every piece of marketing collateral she sends.

A powerful symbol for continuing education, the GRI has made a difference in Granger’s career from the get-go. “The GRI has made a difference in how I can communicate with my clients, in addition to how I can help them,” adds Granger, who goes on to explain that earning the GRI has been a boon when working with today’s buyers and sellers.

“When dealing with buyers and sellers, it’s important to know what the client wants—in addition to their feelings—more so than what’s important to you as an individual,” says Granger. With a lot of emotion tied to the real estate process, the GRI has also been instrumental when it comes to Granger’s ability to react to the different hats she must wear when working with buyers and sellers.

But it doesn’t end there. In fact, according to Granger, the GRI also helps new agents figure out their niche in the market, while teaching them the importance of organization from the onset. “With so many things changing on a daily and monthly basis, you have to stay in touch with what’s going on. And when you’re passionate and excited about something, you’re going to continue to get more education in that area.”

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Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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