In order to earn a real estate license in Colorado, an applicant must complete a total of 168 hours of coursework covering real estate law and practice, Colorado contracts, trust accounts, legal issues, closings, and practical applications. Colorado has much more stringent educational requirements than other states. Therefore, after agents are licensed and can practice real estate, it is common for many of them to stop right there when it comes to their training and professional development.
If a real estate agent does want to strengthen her qualifications, the next step is to become a Realtor®. A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the industry’s leading trade organization, which been around for over 100 years. NAR develops standards for efficient, effective, and ethical real estate business practices – and provides resources including business tools, real estate market data, and educational opportunities to help Realtors achieve a higher level of professionalism. A Realtor must take classes on the Realtor Code of Ethics and make an oath to uphold the code of ethics in dealing with both the public and with their peers. Realtors also pledge to educate themselves and advance their competency in their specific area of expertise.
Only 2% of Realtors nationwide take their profession to the next level by becoming a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest credential in the industry. The prestigious CRS designation is granted by the Residential Real Estate Council (RRC). This organization was first formed in 1976, then known as the Council of Real Estate Specialists, to provide residential real estate brokers with shared knowledge and tools. The Council is recognized as the leading provider of real estate education and networking for residential real estate agents. The Council offers training courses that Realtors must take in order to obtain the CRS designation. In addition, the Realtors must provide evidence of experience by having completed a certain number of successful transactions. A Realtor must take 30 hours of RRC training and show evidence of 60 transactions or $30 million in sales volume over the last three years. As an alternative path to the designation, Realtors with 10 years of experience and 150 transactions will meet the base requirements. The CRS designee must also commit to continuing education in order to maintain their designation.
Buying or selling your home is one of the biggest and most important decisions you will make in your lifetime – and the process can be complicated with many financial and legal considerations — so it makes sense to rely on a real estate agent who has been around the block, so to speak. You need a trustworthy expert by your side who is looking out for your best interests with the knowledge, skills, and experience to make your home purchase or sale as smooth as possible. The CRS credential reflects this.
In order to serve clients better, over 1,000 CRS designees gather once a year to attend classes, share ideas, and network with other CRS designees across the country. This year’s event, held last weekend in Las Vegas, featured world-class speakers as well as superb educational events that help CRS designees stay at the top of their game. CRS designees have established a nationwide network, meaning that not only can your CRS designee serve you better in your home town, if you are planning to relocate to another town or state, your CRS designee will know another CRS designee in the place where you are moving – and this results in a more seamless transition.
Benefits of working with a CRS designee:
- CRS designees receive advanced training.
- CRS designees have a proven track record of experience.
- CRS designees continuously improve their skills for success in an ever-changing real estate environment.
- CRS designees adhere to a strict code of ethics not required of an agent who is only licensed at the state level.
To find a CRS designee in your area, go to the Residential Real Estate Council (RRC) website at https://crs.com/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to use the “Find a CRS” search tool that will locate CRS designees by city and zip code.
By Duane Duggan, RE/MAX of Boulder. Duane is an award-winning Realtor and author of the book, “Realtor for Life”. He has been a Realtor for RE/MAX of Boulder since 1982 and has facilitated over 2,500 transactions over his career. Living the life of a Realtor and being immersed in real estate led to the inception of his book, Realtor for Life. For questions, e-mail Duane at DuaneDuggan@boulderco.com, call 303.441.5611 or visit boulderco.com.B