Are real estate designations worth the time and money? I am currently in the military in the Norfolk, VA area and I'm getting my real estate license. I was thinking about getting the military relocation specialist designation and starting off by targeting my marketing and networking towards veterans and active duty/reservists while building up my business because I think I have an advantage in that area already. I eventually plan to branch out but I think that would be a good way for me to jump start the business. Is getting the actual designation worth it and have you guys found clients find you to be more of an expert or more likely to choose one who has a designation that relates to them over an agent who does not?
I personally don't think anyone pays attention to the designations other than the organizations offering them. That said, the knowledge you will receive by going through the process of getting a designation can be invaluable. Don't do it if all you care about is the letters behind your name. If the work needed to complete the designation is going to give you more tools for you tool box and will make you more money, it makes sense to do it. Just my two cents.
It depends on how you market yourself with those designations. Now common buyers don't know the difference.
A lot of it is the education you learn from obtaining those designations. Especially if you are an agent who didn't practice real estate coming in. I came in as an investor, learned about property management, and then became an agent. I had 7 years worth of experience before I became an agent.
The other part is the network you gain by having those designations. My best friend who is also a REALTOR gets leads every now and then from her SRS designation group she is with.
I've never asked agents I've worked with for designations. Now that I am one, I doubt anyone would ask for them. I know how to source investment properties and homes for military families because I already have experience in that. Knowledge, experience, and hustle (most important) matter more. I often choose to work with agents that are more willing to hustle and work hard to help you get the property you want over a crusty 'ol "commercial" designation that's been in the industry forever. Many times those folks can't think outside the box they've been in for multiple decades. Certainly learning more can NEVER hurt. But most importantly, take care of the people you're working for and they'll take care of you!
I have 3 designations, ABR, SRS and MRP. Are they worth it in terms of do they return value in getting clients? No. Not a dime. Where they do add value for me, is I am involved in my local board/association, and there when you are applying for things like being on the board of directors, that is where they matter.