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How can we bring a higher level of professionalism to the real estate industry? We’ve been asking this question for decades. Finally, I’m thrilled to say, a pathway is in place, and it’s time to walk the talk.

The Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) program officially launched this month, in conjunction with the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) annual convention in Boston. Every NAR member can take advantage of this innovative and engaging online platform, designed to help members provide the best possible service to consumers and one another.

How It Works
The Commitment to Excellence committee immediately understood that achieving its goals meant creating tools members have never seen before—an entirely new approach to professional development.

C2EX isn’t a course leading to a designation or certification. REALTORS® won’t be able to earn this by sitting in a class and then paying a fee. They earn it through their actions and involvement.

C2EX is an entirely individualized online learning adventure. No two members will have the same experience.

Participants start their journey with a self-assessment, which determines their proficiency in 10 competency areas relating to data privacy, customer service, the Code of Ethics, advocacy, technology and other vital topics.

For brokers, there’s an 11th dimension focused on creating and maintaining an environment that’s conducive to mentoring and encouraging professionalism among your agents.

Based on the assessment results, the C2EX platform generates customized learning paths and provides tools and resources to increase knowledge and skills. Action steps and learning prospects are fun and engaging, and can be completed whenever it’s convenient using a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Earning the Endorsement
When a core competency is complete, an Excellence Badge is awarded. Once all 10 (or 11) badges are earned, members will receive NAR’s official Commitment to Excellence endorsement.

C2EX success markers include a collection of digital insignia to use in marketing materials, showcasing the member’s achievement. The program is also being promoted to consumers, so agents who have earned the endorsement can enjoy a unique market advantage.

Benefits to Brokers
Participation in C2EX is entirely voluntary, but the incentives for brokers are incredibly compelling. First, there’s no cost. It’s a powerful, complimentary training tool that assists every brokerage, regardless of size.

C2EX tackles the most critical facets of industry excellence. New agents have a pathway to move from “just got my license” to “I’ve got this!” Seasoned agents can polish any rough spots and earn an endorsement that attests to their knowledge and experience.

As your agents work through the C2EX platform, you’ll be able to track their progress and suggest additional content to review. It’s easily the most simple and effective way to “raise the bar” in your brokerage, reduce liability, and give your agents an edge with consumers.

100-Percent Membership-Driven
This initiative was approved by NAR’s Board of Directors in November 2016, and has been directed by the Commitment to Excellence committee, working with NAR staff.

It’s taken heavy lifting to reach this point, but the Commitment to Excellence committee shares my enthusiasm—including one early skeptic, Ted Loring from California.

Today, Loring believes Commitment to Excellence “is a major, but achievable goal that could revolutionize the relationship between NAR and individual REALTORS®. We’re creating exciting, highly personalized tools that will help me, and every other member, become better at the job of putting people and property together.”

Please spread the word. Raising the bar begins at

Marc D. Gould is senior vice president of Member Development for NAR, overseeing a wide range of professional development programs for REALTORS®, including the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). 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 have completed the specialized education and documented experience in working with consumers purchasing a home. To learn more, visit 

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