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FAQ Friday – What are all those letters after your name?!

You’ve seen them on websites, business cards, and social media profiles—long strings of letters after the name of your friendly neighborhood real estate professional. You know they’re impressive, but you’re not sure why. Here, then, is your glossary of real estate certifications and designations so that you can better understand the unique expertise your agent brings to your transaction.

FAQ Friday - What are all those letters after your name?!
FAQ Friday – What are all those letters after your name?!

NAR Family Designations

Designations from the National Association of REALTORS® offer ongoing benefits and credentials, so they are renewed annually.

ABR® Accredited Buyer’s Representative

Real estate agents with ABR training have worked to refine the professional skills associated with buyer transactions, optimizing their effectiveness at each step of the buying process.

ALC Accredited Land Consultant

For clients who are looking to buy or sell land, an ALC offers unparalleled peace of mind. This designation requires extensive study and experience, ensuring that your land sale is in the hands of one of the nation’s most qualified real estate professionals.

CCIM Certified Commercial Investment Member

If you’re looking for someone to help with a commercial property, the CCIM designation ensures that you’ll experience world-class knowledge and service. In addition, you’ll enjoy the global reach of a professional network spanning 31 countries and 1,000 United States markets, so you can rest assured that your commercial real estate property has the widest possible audience.

CIPS Certified International Property Specialist

Whether you are selling a luxury property and want to get it in front of international buyers or are looking to buy a home in an international market, you’ll feel more confident working with a CIPS-designated agent. These 3,500 professionals make up an elite group of global professionals who truly understand the challenges and opportunities available in the international real estate market.

man talking in construction scene

CPM® Certified Property Manager®

For homeowners who are looking for reliable property management services for a second home or rental property, look for the CPM designation.

CRB Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager

The CRB designation is awarded to real estate brokers who have advanced educational and professional experience with operations, management, tech, and business development.

CRS Certified Residential Specialist

Offered through the Residential Real Estate Council, this is the highest credential awarded to real estate professionals and indicates exceptional expertise and experience in residential transactions.

CRE® Counselor of Real Estate®

This indicates a member of an elite group of commercial property experts and includes professionals from real estate, academia, and government. Membership is by invitation only.

GREEN NAR’s Green Designation

This designation indicates that a real estate professional has pursued additional education in finding, evaluating, and marketing properties that are environmentally friendly.

GRI Graduate, REALTOR® Institute

This designation indicates years of experience and advanced education in legal and regulatory matters, technology, professional standards, and the sales process. GRI is one of the most advanced designations available to real estate professionals.

PMN Performance Management Network

This designation focuses on personal optimization and advancement including work on negotiations, networking and referrals, business development, personal performance, and leadership development.

small model home on desk

RCE REALTOR® Association Certified Executive

RCE indicates that the real estate professional you’re working with has taken on an executive leadership role in their professional association and is committed to professional growth and development.

SRS Seller Representative Specialist

SRS indicates that the agent or broker you’re working with operates with the highest professional standards and personal performance on behalf of sellers, providing a higher level of client care and advocacy.

SIOR Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®

This is a designation for commercial real estate brokers and indicates a higher level of experience, production, education, ethics, and client satisfaction.

SRES® Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

These real estate professionals have advanced training and resources to provide optimal service and outcomes for clients age 50+. Many SRES real estate agents and brokers have experience working with senior buyers and sellers as well as their families.

NAR Family Certifications

Certifications do not require annual renewal. They indicate special training and guidance in the following topics and disciplines:

AHWD At Home With Diversity®

This certification indicates that a real estate professional has pursued advanced training and education in serving a diverse client population and providing optimal outcomes for all clients.

C-RETS Certified Real Estate Team Specialist

The C-RETS certification is designed for team leaders, team members, those considering starting a team, and those who are committed to increasing their skills as a manager. It cultivates skills in team development, individual leadership, and financial performance.


e-PRO is designed to help real estate professionals optimize their technological skills for more effective management of client information and property marketing through digital platforms.

Luxury Homes Certification / LHC

Luxury Homes Certification is for agents the knowledge they need to approach the luxury niche, including pricing strategies, negotiation tactics, and how to stand out from the crowd.

mother hugging her child

MRP Military Relocation Professional

This certificate program focuses on working with active-duty members of the military, veterans, and military families to facilitate real estate transactions while ensuring that service personnel are able to take advantage of their military benefits and support.

PSA Pricing Strategy Advisor

PSA helps real estate agents and brokers enhance their skills in pricing and presenting properties as well as working with appraisers and facilitating client conversations around home values.

Real Estate Investing / REI

The Real Estate Investing program focuses on the ins and outs of working with investors and becoming established as real estate investors.

RENE Real Estate Negotiation Expert

This is an advanced certification to help real estate professionals more effectively negotiate transactions and advocate for their clients.

home on the edge of a lake

RSPS Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist

RSPS helps enhance the skills of real estate professionals who work with the purchase, sale, or management of properties beyond the primary residence, including those for investment, retirement, vacations, and development.

SFR® Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource

This certification is for real estate professionals who specialize in working with distressed sellers to find help, formulate plans, negotiate with lenders, and protect buyers.

Smart Home

The Smart Home certification focuses on developing expertise in the technology, privacy issues, and best transition tactics involved in selling smart homes.

NAR’s REALTORS® Commitment to Excellence (C2EX)

“Empowers REALTORS® to evaluate, enhance and showcase their highest levels of professionalism. It’s not a course, class, or designation—it’s an Endorsement that REALTORS® can promote when serving clients and other REALTORS®. Members who earn the Commitment to Excellence endorsement will satisfy the Code of Ethics training requirement.”

If you want to know more about how my certifications and designations help maximize my effectiveness as your real estate representative, let’s chat!

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Kimmer Plunk

Based in Memphis and serving clients in West Tennessee and Northwest Mississippi. Serving others is a reward of its own and part of what makes me happy, and I've been doing that for 30 years through various activities including Girl Scouts, PTO, various board positions, unhoused ministry, and professional, award-winning teaching. I treat others the way that I want to be treated including being readily available, listening to your desires, answering your questions thoroughly, and walking you through the home purchase process. My ultimate goal is to see that you find the home of your dreams and experience the least amount of stress during the process.

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