RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

FEB 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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26 February 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE T he spring season is just around the corner, and with it, the busiest time of year for real estate professionals across the country. 2018 President of the National Association of REALTORS® Elizabeth Mendenhall has set a significant goal for fellow members to 'Own It' by seeking out education and getting more involved in the industry. The Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation of- fered by the National Association of REALTORS® helps real estate professionals stand apart from the compe- tition by educating themselves on the fundamentals of real estate, in addition to providing detailed courses on technical subjects. The GRI program is state-run, and while courses may differ, each program contains courses on these core competencies: market knowledge, busi- ness skills, systems and tools, and avoiding setbacks, fines and lawsuits. Here, three REALTORS® who are GRI designees, as well as members of the Professional Development Com- mittee, share their unique insights on how the designa- tion provides the added educational value necessary for helping consumers navigate a busy spring market. "The education I received from the GRI courses has truly moved my career to a whole new level," says Jill Kjorstad, a broker associate with RE/MAX Bakken Re- alty. "Within the small market that I work in, knowledge, skills and an understanding of the real estate industry put you ahead of those that have not spent the time to invest in their knowledge for their career," adds Kjorstad, who obtained her GRI designation in 2016. "When I talk with prospective clients (buyers and sell- ers), I explain to them that continuing education is impor- tant to me," notes Melissa Hailey, broker and founder of North Texas Top Team, REALTORS®, Inc. "I talk about not only the GRI, but other designations and certifications that I've earned, and I let prospective clients know that I have the education and experience necessary to assist them in the process of their move. I want to build trust with my clients, and by being the real estate expert, I find that I can earn their respect and trust." Having earned his GRI designation in 2015, Keith Hef- ner, REALTOR® team leader at Colleen Frost REALTORS®, concurs with the sentiments shared by both Kjorstad and Hailey. "The designation separates me from the vast majority of REALTORS® and helps me show clients where I'm dif- ferent," says Hefner. While these real estate professionals put their GRI designation to use in different ways, one element re- mains the same: consumers always benefit. "My education benefits my buyers and sellers by giving me the extra knowledge and resources to market, and the ability to price their property right to get it sold fast and for top dollar," says Hefner. Hailey believes the GRI designation is necessary for providing excellent service to homebuyers and sellers. "From understanding contracts better, to knowing how to best market a listing, Graduate, REALTOR® Institute designees are better equipped to assist the public with their real estate needs." Designees also find value in different portions of their GRI program. For Kjorstad, the negotiation-based cours- es have been most useful in her career. "I've referred back to many topics, hints and ideas I received from those courses many times. In fact, I was recently speaking with another agent, telling them to earn their GRI just because of the negotiation classes," says Kjorstad. Meanwhile, Hefner says other courses have played a larger role in his real estate business, stating, "The tech- nology and marketing portions of the designation series Using Education to Better Serve Consumers Real estate professionals 'own it' with the Graduate, REALTOR ® Institute (GRI) designation by Liz Dominguez

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