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Proposed New Real Estate Designations for 2009

I hate real estate designations. They mean absolutely NOTHING.

Of course, this is only partially true. (But I like speaking in absolutes, as it is bound to piss someone off, and pissing people off WAS one of my New Years Resolutions for 2008.)

Real estate designations only MEAN something if the agent actually uses the education that it TOOK to get the designation to better the real estate world around them and then goes onto explains the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) to their clients. Neither of which most designation-heavy real estate agents do… leaving their real estate designations relatively meaningless.

All that said, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to get me some real estate designations. I was sure that somewhere behind the alphabet soup, there was some good education to be had… and I am sure there is. But in my quest for continued education, I realized that our industry is in need of NEW and BETTER designation opportunities for 2009.

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5 Proposed New RE Designations:

  1. LOL – Licensed Official Laugh-er: This designation would give the bearer the right (and duty) to Laugh Out Loud while in the presence of idiots. Idiots would be defined as any party to a real estate transaction that acts in anyway OTHER than in a professional, head-screwed-on-right kind of way.
  2. ASS – Accredited Snobby Slimeball: This designation would not require any further education on the part of the bearer, and would be “awarded” to current members of the real estate community who display the personality traits of a stereotypical used car salesman while simultaneously treating other agents as worthless trash. Note: This designation is limited, so act now. Supplies are running out!
  3. POSR – Professional Obtainer of the Slightly Real: Again, this designation would not require any further education on the part of the bearer, and would be “awarded” to the “real estate agents” who list “short sales” without any working (or related whatsoever) knowledge about what a short sale is, nor how to negotiate one. This designation is also available for residential real estate agents who can “magically”work a large commercial deal without assistance nor experience.
  4. IRL – In Real Life: This designation is available for any real estate professional who can prove that they do more than just talk-the-talk, i.e. actually close deals. Continued education and on the job training is available in most areas.
  5. SM-Pro – Social Media Professional: This designation would show that the real estate agent is proficient with, and fluent in the languages of Twitter, Facebook, Skype, MySpace, ActiveRain, DailyMugshots, Blogging, Seesmic, EyeJot, YouTube, etc. Specialized upgrade to this designation includes: e-Twit. Note: Designation requires actual USE of social media sites, not just a long-abandoned profile.

If we add these designations to the list of available letters at the end of our names, I think that the world will be a better place.

Written By

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?



  1. Russell Shaw

    December 26, 2008 at 12:38 pm


  2. Dale Chumbley

    December 26, 2008 at 1:05 pm


    What a fun post! I love this. I hope I am already qualified for #1, 4 & 5. I’ll leave #2 & 3 for the others out there. Unfortunately there are far too many #2’s & 3’s in our industry.

    You’ll notice I’ve already taken the liberty of adding eTwit to my business cards… ;?)

  3. Clint Miller

    December 26, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Mariana — This was HILARIOUS!! Thank you for posting what we are all thinking…lol

  4. Matthew Hardy

    December 26, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    This is really cute – nice job Mariana.

    I fondly remember the doctor/professors I’ve worked with who, while having longs strings of very-hard-to-obtain designations appended to their name still wanted to be called “Bob”.

    Some designations in real estate can get a bit hyperbolic, don’t you think? Oh, and here’s another for ya (from a post I just read on *another* real estate blog: FOTB – Full Of Themselves Blogger.

  5. Elaine Reese

    December 26, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Oh yes, these designations are MUCH more appropriate. Very funny. I really believe that #5 should be earned in tandem with #4.

  6. Chris Shouse

    December 26, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    I love them everyone:)
    Thanks Mariana

  7. Ann Cummings

    December 26, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Hey Mariana!

    These are really funny, and I love the 6th one that Matthew added in his comment! There certainly are plenty of the 2’s and 3′ floating around, and loads of the FOTB’s from Matthew.

    Something about the ‘real’ NAR desigations – I hate it that you work really hard to earn some of them, and then you have to pay yearly to keep what you’ve rightfully earned. I finally gave up paying because it ticked me off that I was paying over and over for what should have been mine, since I did the work for it to begin with.

  8. Ines

    December 27, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Mariana, I totally missed your humor….where had you been??? I will work on my IRL designation immediately….starting with you? hello? o that’s right, February 😀

  9. Barry Bevis

    December 27, 2008 at 6:59 am

    Love it–
    No one outside the industry cares about all those letters.

  10. Sherry Baker

    December 27, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Here’s one, at least while I’m reading this post: ROFLMAO

    schweet, Mariana!

  11. Mariana

    December 28, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Thank you all for your comments on my New Designation post. Our industry definitely needs a little levity.


  12. Marvin Jensen

    December 28, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    I guess this means you don’t have any designations or worked you a*s off to get one?

    You don’t have to explain to your clients what these designations mean because ultimately they benefit from the additional education their agent has over the other guy.

    More education for our Realtor community should be praised, not made the butt of a mindless blog post!

  13. Mariana

    December 28, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Marvin – Thank you for your comment and there should be MORE agents who actually take the continuing education that it takes to earn a designation and better the world around them.

    However, since I do not make any apologies nor defenses for the humor of my posts, I will just remind you what I wrote:

    “Real estate designations only MEAN something if the agent actually uses the education that it TOOK to get the designation to better the real estate world around them and then goes onto explains the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) to their clients. Neither of which most designation-heavy real estate agents do… leaving their real estate designations relatively meaningless.”

  14. Marvin Jensen

    December 28, 2008 at 10:29 pm


    I understood your article the first time around.

    The very act of an agent spending time and money furthering their real estate education, through a professional designation, benefits their client without the WIIFM. Yes, explaining this to the client would be recommended, but even if they don’t explain the benefit of a particular designation, doesn’t make it meaningless. Their client will ultimately benefit by a MORE educated agent!

  15. Mariana

    December 29, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Too many agents get their designations just to have them… or to fulfill mandatory continuing education requirements.

    Real estate is about the consumer, and I believe that if someone is going to take the time and effort to GET a designation, then they should “use that power for good” and explain what it means to the consumer – otherwise the “abrgricrsetc” just looks like agent-to-agent bragging rights.

  16. Mariana

    December 29, 2008 at 12:45 am

    Marvin – I see that you have taken the time to earn many real estate designations. If you are taking what you have learned and making our real estate world a better place, then great.

    Sadly, not everyone does. Some of the WORST agents I have ever worked with have the MOST designations.

    The point of my post is that a designation is no longer an indicator of a quality agent – even though it should be.

    Furthermore, I understand your point that you choose not to explain your designations to your clients. If you can run a successful real estate business w/o explaining the benefits of your designations to your clients, then awesome!

    I just know that most consumers have NO IDEA what all those designation initials mean and therefore cannot/will not be able to make educated pre-decisions about an agent, when deciding who to work with.

  17. Danilo Bogdanovic

    December 29, 2008 at 8:22 pm


    How about “OAW” – “Only After Work can I show you those properties because real estate is only a part time gig for me” (Client told me his previous agent actually said that to him)

    Thanks for the laughs!

  18. Paula Henry

    December 29, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Thanks Mariana – I did not know there was POSR designation and realize it must have been a “free” class in Indy and that’s why so many people have it.

    I am now enlightened!

  19. Marvin Jensen

    December 29, 2008 at 11:14 pm


    I do explain my designations to my clients and prospective clients. However, some agents don’t and I think that is alright.

    Some agents are bad agents no matter what designations they receive. You have to do business as well. However, I will say, I have never worked with a bad CRS designated agent!

    My point is that more education for agents is needed. I think it is too easy for people to practice real estate. Getting a designation is just one way to achieve better agents, it is not the only way! I don’t think it is necessarily important to explain to your clients what each designation means, as long as you practice what you learned for their benefit.

    Thanks for the discussion.

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