Communicating With Your Real Estate Agent

Advance Your Career In The Luxury Home Market

Most Realtors are familiar with the professional designations typically offered by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Most specializations are straightforward--one specialization, one certification. Not so with the luxury-home certification, because NAR doesn't offer it directly. Instead, you'll earn your credentials through other industry organizations,

Accredited Luxury Home Specialist

The Accredited Luxury Home Specialist designation comes from the Luxury Home Council, which was founded in 2004 to support real estate professionals working with wealthy clients. The council created the designation and the designation course a year later, and it updates the course annually.

To qualify for the designation, you'll need to pass the course and then submit an Achievement Verification Statement verifying two closed transactions within two years of completing the course. The transactions must meet the council's sales price criteria. In addition, designees must be members of the Luxury Home Council and the National Association of Realtors. You'll pay separate fees for each membership, but the course tuition covers your first year's fee for the council.

Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist designation comes from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. This independent organization also has a Million Dollar Guild for agents with proven expertise in homes selling for $1 million or more.

Designees must complete a training course, which they can take online or in person. Additional criteria include an Institute for Luxury Home Marketing membership, which has a fee, and the successful completion of three residential transactions with minimum sales prices of at least $500,000 that also fall within the top 10 percent of the agent's local market, within two years of completing the educational requirements. Membership in NAR isn't required.

Complementary Certifications from NAR

NAR has three certifications that complement luxury-home designations. The Certified International Property Specialist designation prepares member agents to work with diverse clients from around the world. The Pricing Strategy Advisor designation training gives agents the tools they need to help clients determine optimal pricing in what can be a tricky market due to luxury homes' unique characteristics. Finally, the Resort & Second Home Property Specialist designation serves as a specialty-within-a-specialty for agents working in resort areas.

Earning designations requires a time commitment to complete the coursework, and membership requirements mean a financial investment as well. However, considering the earning potential for luxury-home specialists, who average seven times the closed sales volume of non-designees, the potential rewards are considerable.