The 8 Best Real Estate Designations for Prestige and Expertise

How do you stand out as a trusted authority in actual property? Easy: by means of actual property designations. Actual property designations add status to your skilled profile and showcase your dedication to experience and development.

Right here, we’ll discover actual property designations a bit additional, differentiate them from actual property certifications, and overview eight of one of the best ones you possibly can attain.

What are actual property designations?

Actual Property Designations and Certifications

What are the Finest Actual Property Designations?

  1. Licensed Actual Property Brokerage Supervisor (CRB)
  2. Senior Actual Property Specialist (SRES)
  3. Licensed Industrial Funding Member (CCIM)
  4. Accredited Land Marketing consultant (ALC)
  5. Licensed Worldwide Property Specialist
  6. Licensed Property Supervisor
  7. Licensed Residential Specialist
  8. Vendor Consultant Specialist

Free Resource: Real Estate Strategy Template

What are actual property designations?

Actual property designations are skilled certifications that give brokers and brokers an edge in particular areas of the trade.

After finishing specialised coaching and infrequently an examination, an agent can boast this designation to focus on their experience. Whether or not inexperienced housing, senior dwelling lodging, or business properties, there is a designation to match each area of interest.

These designations are greater than just some letters after your title — it is a dedication to specialised data and steady studying.

The Affiliation of Actual Property License Legislation Officers (ARELLO) estimates that there are over 3 million energetic actual property licensees in the US. With competitors that robust, brokers have to put within the additional work to face out. Actual property designations provide help to try this.

Actual Property Designations and Certifications

Actual property designations are sometimes conflated with actual property certifications — and for good cause. Each present avenues for actual property professionals to display their expertise and experience in particular features of the sector.

They permit actual property brokers, brokers, property managers, and different individuals to point out potential purchasers they’ve each a specialised understanding of various actual property niches and a dedication to skilled growth.

Certifications and designations are basically related in that they require some extent of coaching and scrutiny to realize. You should utilize each to enhance an actual property skilled’s resume and repute. And for probably the most half, certifications and designations are each primarily awarded by the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors (NAR).

The first variations between the 2 are within the rigor of every one‘s respective coursework, the skilled expertise required to earn each, and the difficulty of annual dues. Whereas certifications are spectacular and require work, receiving one isn’t almost as labor-intensive and time-consuming as pursuing a designation.

Most designations additionally require proof of in depth expertise in an space of experience. And, should you obtain an actual property certification, you are sometimes not anticipated to pay annual dues to take care of it — whereas most designations make you pay to maintain them on a constant foundation.

If you wish to challenge your experience and dedication to ongoing skilled growth however have much less time to allocate to screening, learning, and examination, you‘re most likely finest off getting an actual property certification. If you happen to’re prepared to place within the additional effort for extra status {and professional} advantages, you may doubtless wish to get a full-on designation.

Now, let’s check out eight of one of the best actual property designations actual property professionals can pursue.

What are one of the best actual property designations?

best real estate designations

1. Licensed Actual Property Brokerage Supervisor (CRB)

Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) designation

Finest for: Seasoned brokers

The Licensed Actual Property Brokerage Supervisor (CRB) is likely one of the most distinguished, esteemed designations obtainable. As its title implies, the designation is tailor-made to assist actual property professionals with brokerage administration, permitting you to extend productiveness, develop key enterprise administration expertise, and in the end change into a simpler dealer.

Although you don‘t want a brokerage license to acquire this designation, it nonetheless fits skilled brokers greater than different actual property professionals — and its required credentials mirror that. If you happen to’re a seasoned dealer seeking to refine your field-specific expertise and bolster your resume, contemplate incomes a CRB designation.


  • Enhanced credibility: Holding a CRB designation improves a dealer’s repute and showcases their dedication to skilled requirements and superior data.
  • Superior expertise and data: The coaching equips brokers with cutting-edge methods, management expertise, and an in-depth understanding of present trade traits.
  • Unique digital group entry: The NAR supplies CRB designees with a devoted digital networking platform that permits them to attach, share insights, and collaborate with different prime professionals within the area.


  • Time and monetary funding: Attaining the CRB designation requires an funding in money and time for coaching and examination.
  • Compulsory NAR Membership: CRB designees want to take care of an energetic membership with the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors (NAR), which comes with its personal set of charges and necessities.

Easy methods to earn it:

  • Full three CRB programs.
  • Fulfill two expertise electives — which may embody:
    • Having 5 or extra years of administration expertise
    • Having a bachelor’s diploma in any main
    • Having different Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors (NAR) credentials.
    • Finishing an extra two CRB programs, past the requisite three.
    • Possess a minimum of one yr {of professional} expertise.
  • Pay a one-time $150 designation charge.

2. Senior Actual Property Specialist (SRES)

Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation

Finest for: Actual property professionals who cope with purchasers over 50

The Senior Actual Property Specialist (SRES) designation is a useful resource for actual property professionals fascinated about guiding purchasers over the age of fifty by means of the house shopping for and promoting processes.

This designation helps its subscribers perceive the variations between housing choices for seniors and the way reverse mortgages work. It additionally supplies perception into methods to use pensions, 401Ks and IRAs in actual property transactions — together with providing perception into methods to shield purchasers from mortgage finance and mortgage schemes that focus on individuals over 50.


  • Focused advertising and marketing sources: The SRES designation supplies professionals with entry to high-quality, customizable advertising and marketing supplies. This enables them to advertise their experience in aiding dwelling patrons and sellers aged 50+.
  • Ongoing training: SRES designees profit from steady training supplies which ensures they keep up to date on the most recent traits and methods associated to serving the age demographic.
  • Specialised talent set: Brokers purchase distinctive expertise tailor-made to deal with the distinct wants and issues of older homebuyers and sellers that units them other than generalist brokers.


  • Extra SRES council membership: Past the NAR membership, an agent should even be a member of the SRES Council, doubtlessly incurring extra charges and commitments.
  • Renewal necessities: The SRES designation is not a one-time achievement. Brokers should periodically renew their standing, which may imply extra time, coursework, or charges.

Easy methods to earn it:

  • Keep an energetic NAR membership.
  • Full the SRES course.
  • Keep an energetic membership within the SRES Council.
  • Pay annual dues.

3. Licensed Industrial Funding Member (CCIM)

Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)

Finest for: Professionals with intensive business actual property expertise

The Licensed Industrial Funding Member (CCIM) designation acknowledges main consultants in business funding actual property. It is arguably probably the most prestigious of all business actual property designations. It signifies that the designee has accomplished coursework in monetary and market evaluation — backed by thorough expertise within the business actual property area.

Provided that business actual property is anticipated to develop by 3% yearly till 2028, it’s a good time to put money into thai designation.

Plus, the designation is not particular to at least one sort of business actual property skilled. Anybody from brokers to appraisers to actual property attorneys to bankers can pursue it.

That mentioned, anybody who receives the designation must have extraordinarily intensive business actual property expertise — so CCIM members are likely to work on the government stage.


  • Networking and deal making alternatives: Members faucet into an unlimited world group. Whether or not by means of the members-only on-line discussion board, CCIM Join, or the nationwide and chapter networking occasions, there are many alternatives for collaboration, assist, and dealmaking.
  • Modern expertise: CCIM designees get entry to “Web site To Do Enterprise,” the institute’s complete business actual property (CRE) expertise resolution. This platform optimizes monetary and market evaluation, valuations, and website choices.
  • Trade recognition: Holding a CCIM designation positions professionals as top-tier consultants within the business actual property sector.


  • Portfolio requirement: Candidates should have a considerable business actual property portfolio to qualify for the CCIM designation. Newer professionals would possibly discover this difficult.
  • Intensive credentialing course of: The credentialing course of is time-consuming and costly, and it additionally requires ongoing dedication, corresponding to sustaining an energetic membership.

Easy methods to earn it:

  • Full the CCIM Instructional Curriculum, together with:
    • An ethics course
    • Negotiation coaching
    • Elective programs from the Ward Middle for Actual Property Research
  • Submit a portfolio of qualifying expertise to display expertise in business actual property — overlaying actions, transactions, tasks, or work merchandise. Transactional portfolios that meet the minimal quantity necessities might embody:
    • Three or extra qualifying actions totaling $30 million or extra
    • Precisely ten qualifying actions totaling $10 million or extra
    • Twenty qualifying actions with no greenback quantity requirement
  • Go a day-long complete examination, preceded by a two-day course ideas overview.

4. Accredited Land Marketing consultant (ALC)

Accredited Land Consultant (ALC)

Finest for: Seasoned land gross sales professionals who’re prepared to decide to an especially rigorous course of

The Accredited Land Marketing consultant (ALC) is the one land-specific designation acknowledged by the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors and is among the many most prestigious obtainable within the area of land gross sales. These sorts of consultants have intensive expertise in promoting agricultural land, timberland, ranches, leisure properties, or vacant land for growth.

The designation comes with its share of perks. For one, it provides a brand new diploma of legitimacy to your advertising and marketing and trade repute. It additionally has demonstrable monetary advantages — ALCs earn a mean of over $100,000 extra yearly than non-designees within the area.

Changing into an ALC is a very rigorous course of — with most designees spending a number of years pursuing the designation.


  • In-depth land transaction coaching: The ALC curriculum dives into subjects like land taxation, environmental issues, zoning rules, and property rights. The main target equips professionals with nuanced understanding uncommon within the broader actual property market.
  • Quick monitor possibility: The ALC affords a Quick Observe possibility for seasoned professionals, permitting them to expedite their certification based mostly on their present expertise and {qualifications}, making the designation extra accessible.
  • Entry to RLI join: RLI Join is an unique on-line portal devoted to land listings. This manner, members are the primary to learn about prime land alternatives.


  • Land transaction threshold: Brokers want to finish a specified variety of land transactions or attain a selected gross sales quantity to even qualify for ALC.
  • Annual dues: Past the preliminary course charges, ALC designees pay annual membership dues to take care of their standing and proceed benefiting from the designation’s sources.

Easy methods to earn it:

  • Efficiently full a complete of 104 Land College contact hours.
  • Submit a portfolio that substantiates particular ranges of quantity achieved in land gross sales or in offering actual property companies associated to land.
  • Submit an expert resume that demonstrates a minimal of two years of expertise in land gross sales or brokerage or a minimal of three years of comparable actual property expertise in public sale, appraisal, leasing, growth, farm administration, consulting, brokerage administration, or associated companies in land.
  • Submit a brief essay on why you want to change into an Accredited Land Marketing consultant.
  • Submit a minimum of two letters of advice from present Accredited Land Consultants, certainly one of which should be from an ALC inside the applicant’s native market.
  • Efficiently full a complete on-line ultimate ALC Examination that covers the core parts of the LANDU curriculum.

5. Licensed Worldwide Property Specialist

Certified International Property Specialist

Finest for: Actual property professionals seeking to globalize their enterprise

The Licensed Worldwide Property Specialist (CIPS) designation helps actual property professionals help American property patrons seeking to buy overseas and international nationals fascinated about buying property in the US.

Overseas property funding is booming — in 2023, 13% of residential properties within the US have been bought by Chinese language patrons.

Foreign property investment is booming. 13% of residential properties in the US were purchased by Chinese buyers.

It supplies designees with the perception, analysis, know-how, and sources to globalize their efforts. Members may join with a community of over 3,500 fellow designees inside 45 international locations. Having this distinction lets prospects know you are among the many finest and most trusted sources for navigating the worldwide actual property market.


  • Invites to NAR unique occasions: A CIPS designation entitles brokers to unique invites to NAR occasions, offering additional networking and studying alternatives.
  • Subscription to insightful world views: Members obtain the “World Views” print e-newsletter, which supplies priceless insights and updates on the worldwide property market.
  • Specialised advertising and marketing instruments: The CIPS program affords professionals advertising and marketing instruments tailor-made to the worldwide property market.


  • NAR membership dues: Brokers who want to earn and maintain the CIPS designation should proceed to pay NAR dues.
  • Time constraint on utility: Brokers have three years to finish their CIPS programs and submit their designation utility, which can put strain on some professionals.

Easy methods to earn it:

  • Full two core programs in native markets and transaction instruments.
  • Full three elective programs.
  • Be a member in good standing of the NAR.
  • Go a web based examination with a rating of 80% or higher.
  • Submit a CIPS utility kind.
  • Pay course charges, an utility charge, and annual dues.

6. Licensed Property Supervisor

Certified Property Manager designation

Finest for: Skilled property managers seeking to maximize the worth of their properties

Licensed Property Managers (CPMs) are consultants in actual property administration. It teaches individuals methods to handle properties, deal with cash, work with individuals, and perceive legal guidelines and upkeep. This coaching helps them care for totally different sorts of properties, like houses or companies, in the easiest way.

Based on the NAR, 70% of execs who maintain this designation maintain the best administration positions of their workplaces. The CPM designation additionally boosts your incomes potential. The typical base property supervisor wage within the U.S. is $48,340. For CPMs, the typical is $118,383.


  • Beneficial subscription: Members obtain a subscription to “Journal of Property Administration,” which retains them knowledgeable on trade traits.
  • Management alternatives: CPM designees are eligible for management roles each on the nationwide and chapter ranges of IREM.
  • Scholarship entry: CPM members have entry to the IREM Basis Scholarship Program, which affords monetary help for additional training and coaching.


  • Excessive prices: The CPM designation requires a considerable monetary dedication of $7,500 to $8,500. Sustaining the designation prices $495 yearly.
  • Expertise requirement: Candidates should possess 36 months of particular actual property administration expertise to qualify for the CPM designation

Easy methods to earn it:

  • Full seven required programs.
  • Have a minimum of 36 months of qualifying actual property administration expertise as outlined by IREM.
  • Purchase three skilled reference letters.
  • Fulfill a one-year candidacy interval by being a CPM Candidate Member, ARM Member, or ACoM member in good standing for the 12 months earlier than CPM approval.
  • Be a member in good standing of NAR.
  • Maintain an actual property license or confirm that you just’re not required to carry one in your present place.
  • Attend two IREM chapter conferences or occasions through the 12 months instantly earlier than CPM approval.
  • Be interviewed and authorized by your IREM chapter.
  • Full the Ethics for the Actual Property Supervisor course.
  • Pledge to uphold the IREM Code of Skilled Ethics.
  • ​​Go the CPM certification examination.
  • Go a administration plan on both an precise property or a expertise evaluation.

7. Licensed Residential Specialist

Certified Residential SpecialistFinest for Residential Gross sales Brokers, Managers, and Brokers

The Licensed Residential Specialist is probably the most prestigious credential residential gross sales brokers, managers, and brokers can attain.

Right here’s how a lot the residential property market is anticipated to develop by:

residential real estate market size

It’s time to leap in. The designation strengthens any residential actual property skilled’s resume whereas offering them with entry to a strong and energetic community of residential specialists. The typical REALTOR serving as a gross sales agent makes $49,700 yearly. In distinction, CRS designees make $127,000.

The designation covers superior subjects in property advertising and marketing, consumer relations, and transaction administration in residential actual property. The course focuses on mastering negotiation methods, understanding market traits, and utilizing expertise in residential gross sales.


  • Instructional reductions: Reductions of as much as 50% on most training supplied by the Residential Actual Property Council (RRC). This makes steady studying extra accessible.
  • Referral community: Holding a CRS title grants professionals unique entry to the Council’s referral community, a priceless useful resource to broaden enterprise outreach and collaborate with different famend specialists within the area.
  • Advertising alternatives: A list within the Council’s on-line and print directories and professionally branded supplies — like customizable signal riders, truth sheets, enterprise playing cards — and different recognition and sources.


  • Unique training supply: Professionals pursuing related training elsewhere can’t earn the CRS designation with out fulfilling all academic necessities by means of RRC. The designation doesn’t settle for outdoors credit or programs.
  • Expertise and manufacturing necessities: The CRS designation calls for particular standards regarding years of expertise and transaction quantity. Assembly these stipulations could be difficult, particularly for newer professionals or these in markets with slower transaction charges.

Easy methods to earn it:

You may take certainly one of two paths to earn the CRS designation — the 60/30/30 Program or the Professional Program.

60/30/30 Program
  • Have 60 transactions or $30 million in quantity prior to now 5 years.
  • Full 30 Hours of RRC training.
  • Be a member in good standing of the Residential Actual Property Council.
  • Be a member in good standing of the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors.
  • ​​Full two hours of continued training each calendar yr.
  • Pay annual dues.
Professional Program
  • Have 10 or extra years as a licensed actual property agent.
  • Have 150 transactions complete or a mean of $1 million per yr with a minimum of 40 transactions.
  • Full 16 Credit of RRC training.
  • Be a member in good standing of the Residential Actual Property Council.
  • Be a member in good standing of the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors.
  • ​​Full two hours of continued training each calendar yr.
  • Pay annual dues.

8. Vendor Consultant Specialist

seller representative specialist designation

Finest for Actual Property Professionals Who Symbolize Sellers’ Pursuits

The Vendor Consultant Specialist designation is a high-profile credential for actual property professionals who characterize sellers and their monetary pursuits in actual property transactions. It supplies a chance for vendor representatives to refine and challenge their talent units.

The designation provides designees a stable basis to raised characterize the pursuits of sellers by means of thorough coaching, a variety of sources, networking alternatives, and ongoing assist.

By way of this system, Vendor Consultant Specialists study to use a code of ethics, adjust to state and federal legal guidelines whereas representing sellers, speaking worth to sellers, and several other different key obligations vendor representatives have to have a grip on.


  • Elite membership: Incomes the SRS designation locations professionals amongst an unique group of skilled vendor consumer advocates. The highlight improves their standing within the trade.
  • Wealthy academic sources: SRS members have a treasure trove of unique training, sources, and companies at their disposal.
  • Elevated visibility and referral alternatives: The “Discover An SRS” On-line Listing not solely permits the general public to simply find SRS members but additionally facilitates direct member-to-member referrals.


  • Upkeep and renewal: SRS might require periodic renewals and continued training, doubtlessly incurring extra charges.
  • Over-reliance on digital platforms: Much less tech-savvy professionals would possibly discover it difficult to interact with the SRS group and leverage all the advantages.

Easy methods to earn it:

  • Full the SRS course, both on-line or in a classroom.
  • Full one of many SRS elective programs.
  • Be a member in good standing with the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors.
  • Be a member in good standing with SRS.
  • Have documentation of three accomplished transactions wherein you acted solely as a vendor consultant.
  • Submit the designation utility.
  • Pay annual dues.

Incomes an actual property designation could be extraordinarily labor-intensive and exhausting — among the ones listed right here may even take years to land. Nonetheless, having one behind you possibly can bolster your repute, improve your skilled community, fast-track your skilled growth, and in the end make what you are promoting extra profitable.

If you happen to’re prepared to place within the effort and time for these advantages, exploring one of many designations listed right here is likely to be in your finest curiosity.

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