What’s the difference between DESIGNATIONS and CERTIFICATIONS?

The National Association of Realtor’s Center for Realtor Development explains both education options as two different choices of credentials. The Merriam-Websters Online dictionary defines credentials as

“1:something that gives a title to credit or confidence; also :qualification 3a
the applicant with the best credentials  2. credentials plural :testimonials or certified documents showing that a person is entitled to credit or has a right to exercise official power .a doctor’s credentials. 3:certificate, diploma.”
How is that important to me, you ask? Let’s apply the two ideas together.  Designations and certifications are education options that offer documents or titles for you, the REALTOR, to use to inspire confidence in your clients and peers.  They entitle you to “exercise official power.” Hopefully, after absorbing their knowledge, you feel more confident and better qualified.
According to RISMedia’s Education Insider: What’s the Difference between a Designation and a Certification? the two biggest differences are time and money. Designations, like college degrees, hold more clout and authority; however, like the aforementioned college degree, it takes more class time and more money.  Certifications are more like any professional development opportunity.  They beef up your already existing knowledge; provide proof that your are serious about pursuing additional learning to better your career; and take less time/money.  Both offer your clients a better picture of your dedication to your career, and, of course, increase your skills, proficiency, and knowledge.  Honestly, who lists the 24 hours of state required CE Credit classes in their email signature or business card? No one, that’s who.  BUT they do list designation memberships and certifications earned –John Brown: ABR, CRS, GRI; Nancy Smith: RCE, SRS, SRES, etc.  So, research your course options and contact your local, or state, association about offering the development opportunity that is right for you.

Want to learn more about designations and certifications? Check out these references to get more details and determine which choice may be best for you.

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