Many enter the real estate industry looking for easy money, but almost as many leave in frustration before their third year. Earning a specialty designation can give real estate agents a leg up on the competition, while raising their profile and profits.
"It is very important for people coming into the industry to get these designations - and the sooner they do, the better," says Gareth R. Jones, vice president of corporate development at the Real Estate Institute of Canada. "It means they will be in front of a client sooner."
Attaining designations also can mean a significant boost to the bottom line. According to 2013 NAR survey data, the average income of agents with designations is at least 80% more than those without. "They get the designation, get the letter on their business card - now they can promote that they specialize in a certain area," Jones says. "The big push today is our aging demographic, and that is the seniors' course leading to the SRES designation." The course reflects the movement by seniors downsizing and relocating, and the need to understand the special needs of that demographic.
"It's a huge market. And as time goes on, it is only going to get bigger," Jones says. "This course is delivered across Canada by REIC."
Advancing ethics and professionalism also advances the image and status of real estate industry professionals, Jones says. A major component of being successful in real estate means being able to successfully meet personally with a client. "A lot of people coming into the business think it is an Internet-based business," he says. "It isn't. It's still a face-to-face, people business."
Originally published in Real Estate Professional Magazine Issue 1.02