Designation, Certification, Amplification! Say what?

Dated: February 28 2024

Views: 110

Well, now. I have letters attached to my professional name. No, I am not a Real Estate Ph.D. Technically. In the world of real estate, as in most professions, the letters attached to someone's name signify the experience, training, and expertise that has been gained by that person. 

For example, there is a difference between a realtor and a real estate agent or salesperson. A Realtor belongs to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). this professional organization binds members to a code of ethics and standards. There are other privileges and benefits, but for our purpose today, the Code of Ethics and its enforcement are the best protection for clients and agents. It brings a standard of professionalism that Sellers and Buyers can rely on. I am glad to be "Donna Lively, Realtor".


The National Association of Realtors offers various training programs to help a professional grow in knowledge and expertise. When a member earns a designation, that typically means that they have achieved the required amount of experience and classroom training. In order to keep that designation, a graduate must continue to belong to the group connected to the designation with annual dues and regular support from that segment of training. I have earned the Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR) and the Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE) designations. I utilize this training every day.

Certification, however, does not require experience or mandatory continuance with the subgroup of the National Association of Realtors attached to that certification. It is available, of course, but not required. Certification reflects the completion of class training in a particular subject. The Short Sale and Foreclosure Representative (SFR) helped to fill a gap in my experience. It prepares me to be more effective for my clients should they find themselves in that situation.

Finally, in Michigan, there are Sales Agents, Associate Brokers, and Brokers. This crew of state-licensed people has the responsibility of agency, just as attorneys and physicians do. By law, our job is to protect the privacy of our clients and to work in their best interests. The word "sales" that is associated with this industry is truly a misnomer. I don't sell houses. I work as the agent representing the best interest of my client. I help them negotiate, market, and otherwise navigate their real estate transactions. I protect their interests and investments. 

A sales agent is the first level of licensing that is required by the State of Michigan. To obtain this license, a required number of class hours is completed taking and passing the state exam. No experience is required. the must work under the supervision of a broker. Next, the State of Michigan offers a license for Brokers. A broker license requires a particular level of sales achieved coupled with extensive classroom hours and passing the broker's exam. The difference between an associate broker and a broker of record is the level of responsibility within the brokerage. Michigan allows one broker of record - the "buck stops here" person that the State holds responsible for all real estate transactions associated with the brokerage office. An associate broker is someone who has passed all of the broker requirements but continues to work under the covering of the broker of record within their chosen brokerage. Craig Lively is the broker of record for our brokerage. I am an associate broker; a State of Michigan licensed broker who is associated with him.

Whew. The bottom line is that working with a realtor, either a sales agent or one with a broker's license, who has added designations and/or certifications, is typically in your best interest. Designations, certifications, and the amplification of earning my associate broker license are what I have to offer you.

Donna
Associate Broker
ABR, RENE, SFR

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Donna Lively

Why do I work in the real estate business? What a question! I enjoy "Helping to bring the right people to the right place at the right time". (My motto). I find that real estate is about change and c....

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