Keep Up With Real Estate Designations and Certifications

Today’s REALTORS® potentially work with four generations of real estate buyers: Millenials, Generation X, Baby Boomers and Matures, not to mention unique and diverse groups within these demographics, including minorities, international, Green and commercial buyers. All buyers and sellers are not created equal. Now, more than ever, it’s important for REALTORS® to educate themselves, continue their professional development and take advantage of NAR real estate designations and certifications.

Certified International Property Specialist / CIPS

The CIPS designation prepares REALTORS® to serve the growing international markets in their communities: total purchases by foreign or foreign-born buyers in 2011 totaled $82 billion. CIPStraining concentrates on culture, exchange rates, investment trends and legal issues. Studying global real estate in local markets and global real estate transaction tools serves as the foundation of the CIPS designation, with additional courses available catering to regional clients from Europe to Asia.

NAR Green Designation / GREEN

According to recent research, the Green Homes Market is expected to increase five-fold in the next four years. At the same time, REALTORS® are reporting that Green homes are selling faster and for higher prices as homebuyers factor in long-term utility savings. The Green REsource Council provides comprehensive training and access to the latest resources and tools as well as promoting green excellence, leadership and consumer awareness across multiple real estate disciplines.

Seniors Real Estate Specialist / SRES®


The SRES® designation educates REALTORS® on how to profitably and ethically serve the real estate needs of one of the fastest growing markets in real estate – clients age 50+. Seniors are moving to be closer to their families, living out post-retirement dreams or relocating for health concerns. The SRES® designation will help REALTORS® master issues like the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for the age 50+ crowd, and recognizing the finance and loan schemes that victimize 50+ borrowers.

At Home with Diversity / AHWD®

The AHWD® initiative is designed to provide REALTORS® with the training and tools to expand their business as well as offer home ownership opportunities to a growing number of minority homebuyers. At the end of 2011, minorities accounted for 40% of first-time homebuyers, making multicultural training a key learning tool for any REALTOR®. REALTORS® will gain a heightened awareness and sensitivity to the social and cultural constituencies in their local markets, as well as gaining practical skills and tools to increase effectiveness in serving these diverse social groups.


NAR’s e-PRO® Certification Program trains REALTORS® to use the latest technologies and tactics to connect with today’s tech savvy real estate consumer. Creating an online presence, reputation management, business tech tools, strategy and effectively using NAR resources will help REALTORS® become more proficient with today’s digital marketing initiatives. Expand your digital skills to connect with your market online.

Certified Commercial Investment Member / CCIM

CCIMs are recognized experts in commercial real estate that include brokers, leasing professionals, investment counselors, corporate real estate executives, property managers, developers and more. REALTORS® who earn the CCIM designation are an invaluable resource for commercial real estate owners, investors and users – trained in ethics, interest-based negotiation, financial analysis, market analysis and more.

For a full list of designations and certifications offered by NAR and its affiliates, including Accredited Buyer’s RepresentativeResort & Second-Home Property Specialist, Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource and Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®, visit Designation and certification courses are available online at REALTOR® University.

Which designations and certifications have you found most helpful in the marketplace? Share your experiences with everyone in the comments below.