REALTORS® can specialize in areas of real estate practice, and through education programs and courses, earn a designation or certification, which they can use to advertise to clients and consumers. These are recognized and supported by the National Association of REALTORS®. Although SMDRA offers GRI (Graduate REALTOR® Institute classes throughout the year, some designations are only offered once per year, or are only available online through the National Association of REALTORS® website).
Designations are earned through initial coursework, and must be maintained over time through specific continuing education requirements and/or additional membership dues.*
Certifications are achieved through “one and done” coursework, typically through a one to three day course, and may require an additional application fee, but do not require ongoing education or dues maintenance.
*The GRI (Graduate REALTOR® Institute course is an exception, as the only requirement is to take all fifteen classes and pay a one-time application fee. It is classified as a Designation due to the 60 hours of coursework required. Click here to learn more about the GRI Designation.