I wrote this a while back. It might mean a little more today that it did then:
Do you wonder why every time you turn around the national, local or state board is mandating or hawking some 3, 4, 6, 8, 12 hour or more continuing education class? Some classes free, some costing hundreds or thousands of dollars?
If we weren't required to belong to the national or local boards because our respective brokerages belong to them, would we have to endure all of this continuing education or need all of these designations?
How much continuing education does a real estate agent have to have?
Is some of it becoming ridiculous and needless?
Does it vilify your intellectual prowess rather than taper it?
Who benefits from all of this?
Schools, the state, the NAR, the shysters who continue to hawk referral lists and free continental breakfasts, the booksellers and publishers, or real estate agents?
It's suspicious when a local or state board has a three hour class approved by some huckster selling another coaching forum.
These shysters roll into town with their two hour presentations with a continental breakfast at some cheap hotel conference room, take orders for their books and crap, and then fly off to the next town while at the same time co-oping with some publisher.
Another dog and pony show.
Some hucksters have actually been known to tease their clients with absurd promises, such as offering to participate in their deals or buy them if they can't sell them. Arrrghhh!
Some seminar speakers have even suggested that it's possible for investors to lie on federal tax forms, but always follow the remark up with an angelic look on their face and a remark which goes something like, "I didn't say it was ok, I just said it could be done", while they explain in great detail how to do it.
Some of these speakers have been imprisoned.
They been charged with deceptive business practice and other crimes by the Department of Justice, the IRS and the Federal Trade Commission.
Here comes the glossy 26 year old guy in a shark skin suit with padded shoulders, that has a jaw like Dudley DoWright and a tanning bed tan with capped bleached teeth, who tries to persuade you to sign over thousands of dollars for personalized coaching over the phone 24 hours a day to a number that is rarely or ever answered by anyone.
Are you mad yet !
Check this site out. : John T.Reed's View of Real Estate Investment Guru's
It doesn't have anything to do with designations, but he exposes fraudulent types of real estate education. John T. Reed is a Harvard Business School graduate.
There's a psychological factor that tempts some agents to go for designations.
I think it's partly because many can't pass a difficult written broker's exam, including tough real estate math and finance problems, and don't want to have to endure, once again, the pain of another written examination, risk failure and the forfeiture of the examination fee.
For those who succeed in obtaining a broker's license, the barrage of continuing educational requirements subsides.
Could it be that the designator doesn't want you to become a broker ? Their margin of profit shrinks.
I run into agents every week, and students too, who tell me that they've failed the brokers exam because of the math or some other entry on the exam related to agency, state law, contracts, civil rights law, title theory, or some other aspect of the exam.
In the same breath they're also quick to admit that they've gotten some new designation just for going to the class, no written exam and putting up the required money for the session.
How many of these designations actually require the candidate to pass a written examination?
Many only require the candidate to just sit through the spiel, the boring power point handouts and the continental breakfast.
I've overheard agents remark that they just sign the roster, enjoy the continental breakfasts and leave, come back later and pick up their designations.
It's true that, for a growing number of us daily, having those professional designation letters after their names means a bunch to them.
Agents want some kind of a way to let the community know that they're different, that they're better at what they do than the rest of their peers and colleagues, and wear these designations on their lapels like heroes of the Soviet Union.
But take a look at the list below.
It's seems like new designations are crawling out of the woodwork.
When I see a bunch of these designations after an agents name the first thing that comes into my mind is that they spend more time in the classroom than in the office.
Are psuedo, useless designations beginning to rear their ugly heads, also?
There's also a legitimate reason for many to pursue specializations within the industry, which some of these courses actually provide.
Some courses actually serve the real estate community in a healthy manner and I'm for anything that generates confidence and enthusiasm for the agents profession.
Those courses reside with the first three years and begin with the principles and practice of real estate. Beyond that, everything is extracurricular, and outside the regular, required duties of your job profession.
I've had enough of agents who wear these designations like Girl and Boy Scout Merit Badges. Some agents spend more time collecting designations than they do selling houses.
Once you learn how to tie your shoes must you continue to return to mama to show you how to keep tying your shoes?
Here's a long list (good grief) of a few of the more revered and expensive continuing and mandatory education offerings with the designations. This is a current list, though not complete by any means. New designations (and new ways to fleece real estate agents) come out of the woodpile everyday:
ABR, Accredited Buyer Representative
REBAC (Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council)
ABRM, Accredited Buyer Representative Manager
REBAC (Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council)
ALC, Accredited Land Consultant
REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI)
CCIM, Certified Commercial Investment Member®
CIPS, Certified International Property Specialist
CPM, CERTIFIED PROPERTY MANAGER®
CRB, Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager
CRS®, Certified Residential Specialist®
CRE, Counselor of Real Estate
GAA, General Accredited Appraiser.
GRI Graduate REALTOR Institute
PMN, Performance Management Network
Women's Council of REALTORS® (WCR)
RCE, REALTOR® Association Certified Executive
Residential Accredited Appraiser (RCE)
SRES®, Seniors Real Estate Specialist
SIOR, Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®
REPAsm, Real Estate Professional Assistants Certificate Course
Resort & Second-Home Markets Certification (RSPS)
Transnational Referral Certification (TRC)
Again, some designations are good, some are bad.
Can you think of some bad ones?
When does it end? How do you benefit from your designations?
Are some designations just plain stupid, needless or cost prohibitive?
Were any of your designations a waste of time, money and energy?
It's not my intention to offend anyone, just open the door for discussion about the pros and cons of needless versus required real estate education.
I've supposed I've earned the (BSA) Bull &!!! Artist designation with this entry in the minds of some, without a written examination. :-)
Thanks to all.