It’s more than alphabet soup. Like doctors and accountants, Realtors often list three- and four-letter acronyms after their names to denote specialized training and certification.
The letters CRS, for example, stand for “Certified Residential Specialist,” a professional real estate designation earned by experienced agents who complete rigorous educational requirements and are required to abide by a strict code of ethics. Most of the 34,000 CRSs are based in the U.S. One in five are RE/MAX real estate agents. It is sponsored by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Here are some of the most common real estate designations and certifications:
- ABR: The Accredited Buyer’s Representative designation is a mainstream credential earned by many agents experienced in representing homebuyers. RE/MAX has more ABRs than any other real estate network.
- SRES: Agents with the Seniors Real Estate Specialist real estate designation are equipped to work with the unique needs of homebuyers 50 years of age and older. More SRESs are affiliated with RE/MAX than with any other major real estate franchise.
- CDPE: Certified Distressed Property Experts are trained to help homeowners facing mortgage-payment hardship, including short sales and deeds-in-lieu. RE/MAX has more CDPEs than any other real estate network.
- FSP: An agent with the Five Star Professional designation is trained to help homeowners behind on their payments or facing dramatic loss of property value.
- GRI: The Graduate Realtor Institute real estate designation focuses on real estate basics. Agents often earn this on their way to the more advanced CRS.
- SFR: The Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification equips agents to work with pre-foreclosure situations as well as foreclosures.
- FRI: About 10 percent of real estate professionals in Canada have earned the Fellow of the Real Estate Institute designation. Requirements include course work and documented experience.
- EcoBroker: The Certified EcoBroker is trained to help eco-minded consumers with properties that provide a healthier environment while reducing carbon footprints.
- GREEN: Agents with the NAR GREEN designation assist consumers who are concerned about the environment, both from health and conservation standpoints.
- QSC: Agents with the Quality Service Certified designation agree to have their buyers and sellers receive an independently administered survey to rate satisfaction.
- CLHMS: Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialists cater to buyers and sellers of luxury homes. RE/MAX has more than any other real estate network.
- AHWD: The At Home With Diversity certification gives Realtors the training and tools to help homebuyers and sellers from a wide variety of cultures.
- CRP: A Certified Relocation Professional assists companies with relocating employees and related home listings and sales.
- CIPS: Agents with the Certified International Property Specialist designation have expertise in working with property sales involving foreign citizens or firms – in the United States or abroad.
- CCIM: The Certified Commercial Investment Member designation is earned by completing advanced course work in commercial real estate.
RE/MAX, LLC 2012.