I’m a firm believer in the value of education. It’s an excellent way for agents to develop vital skills and gain a competitive edge, whether they’re representing buyers or sellers.
On the buy-side, the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABRÂ®) designation is arguably the best way to gain that edge. Agents who meet the requirements and earn the designation consistently describe it as an eye-opening experience that escalates their ability to provide representation services to buyer-clients.
Training may be the top reason to earn the ABRÂ® designation; however, there are other incentives that come with joining the ABRÂ® community:
1. Local Prospecting
One of our members’ favorite benefits is the REBAC Print Shop, where they can order customizable brochures, flyers and postcards targeting various types of buyers while explaining the benefits of using an ABRÂ® designee. Members can select among a dozen-plus different themes, including first-time buyers, relocating buyers, newlyweds, growing families, and more. Members can also personalize the brochures, flyers and postcards with their company and contact information.
Among our printed materials, the Home Buyer’s Toolkit is a longtime favorite. ABRÂ® designees rely on this 36-page booklet to help buyers understand 10 critical steps for completing a successful home purchase. The booklet also plays a crucial role in our lead-generation efforts for members, including annual consumer advertising campaigns and a dedicated consumer site.
2. Working With Buyers
ABRÂ® designees share a strong commitment to helping buyers make the best purchasing decisions. While the Home Buyer’s Toolkit supports those efforts, we don’t stop there.
REBAC also offers a comprehensive collection of consumer handouts on over 40 topics. Our members rely on these materials to help buyers understand agency relationships, reasons to sign a buyer representation agreement, the unique benefits of working with an ABRÂ® designee, and much more.
3. Social Media
Social media is an excellent way to connect with buyers, but it takes effort to scout out good content and share it on your profiles. That’s why we’ve developed several time-saving tools for our members.
For example, we always include two valuable articles for buyers in the HotSheet, a weekly emailed newsletter. Members can also save time by copying and pasting our suggested introductory comments.
Recently, we added another social media solution, the ACESocial platform powered by RISMedia. ABRÂ® designees can use the service to automatically publish weekly real estate and lifestyle content to their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
Followers who click on a post go to the agent’s personalized, branded landing page, which also displays listings, if desired. It’s an automated content marketing solution specifically designed for real estate professionals.
Members can also access other helpful social media tools, including shareable videos, infographics and “I Am an ABRÂ®” cover photos and profile picture frames.
4. Referral Network
Speaking of social media, the ABRÂ® Referral & Networking Community on Facebook is another popular member benefit. Over 9,300 members participate in this closed group, exchanging tips, questions and referrals (at least one or two every day).
The benefits noted here barely scratch the surface of what’s offered to ABRÂ® designees. Each year, we expand the number and quality of our benefits without increasing dues.
Marc D. Gould is senior vice president of Member Development for NAR, overseeing a wide range of professional development programs for REALTORSÂ®, 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 (ABRÂ®) designation to REALTORSÂ® who have completed the specialized education and documented experience in working with consumers purchasing a home. To learn more, visit REBAC.net.