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NAR’s Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation sets the bar higher in a competitive market

Value. That’s what today’s consumer is all about. What are they getting out of their REALTOR® relationship that they just aren’t getting with other agents? While tech and other innovations are highly regarded as bonus amenities, nothing beats the experience and knowledge provided by continuing education—an invaluable add-on that consumers will be hard-pressed to compare to other, less applicable measures when in the trenches of a transaction.

The biggest proponent of continuing education, specifically the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation? None other than the National Association of REALTOR®’s (NAR) own Member Services Committee Liaison, and GRI-designee himself, Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli. A broker with over 40 years of experience in the industry and a past president of the San Fernando Valley Association of REALTORS® in California, Zicarelli is most proud of being elected 2016 President of the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). He was also named 2016 REALTOR® of the Year for California by NAR.

As a conduit between the NAR committees and leadership team, Zicarelli upholds the REALTOR® image and shares the importance of knowledge with fellow NAR members. One of the biggest benefits? Preparedness for any obstacle within the market, and the expertise to get consumers to the closing table regardless of what challenges arise.

“The GRI program provides REALTORS® with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to navigate any market condition,” says Zicarelli. “Learning to analyze and understand how a particular change in the market affects buyers and sellers, and the process of the transaction, is one of the competencies studied in the GRI curriculum.”

In addition, the GRI designation elevates the status of industry professionals, giving designees the edge they need to stand apart from the competition.

“REALTORS® who achieve the GRI have made a strong commitment to provide a higher level of professional services. The education you receive in the GRI program is considered, by many, as the most comprehensive training program available to REALTORS®,” says Zicarelli.

Zicarelli adds that being a designee coincides with being a part of some of the top REALTORS® from around the country, signaling to consumers that they’re in the hands of a highly-qualified professional with an extensive education.

“[REALTORS®] gain a solid foundation, as well as in-depth education in legal and regulatory issues, technology, professional standards and the sales process. The GRI program is designed to enhance REALTORS®’ knowledge of real estate marketing and hone skills that will set you apart from the competition.”

And in the face of disruptive business models that rely on technology, such as all-in-one transaction services or AI that looks to take over customer-facing interactions, the GRI designation stands on its own, attracting today’s clients who still prioritize customer service and a smooth transaction over agents who rely on third-party tools versus firsthand experience.

“Our clients are more sophisticated than ever, requiring us to perform at the highest level to earn and keep their business,” says Zicarelli. “By earning the GRI, you’re armed with real-world knowledge about new technologies, laws and marketing techniques that positively affect our ability to best service our clients.”

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Dominguez_Liz_60x60_4cLiz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark