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Designations and Certifications

All real estate licensees in Maryland have met legally required continuing education requirements and passed the state real estate examination. However, to be called a REALTOR®, licensees become members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.

Sometimes, you will see a few – or maybe many – letters after your REALTOR’S® name. Those refer to designations or certifications that the REALTOR® has obtained, which denote special training or knowledge in certain areas.

Below, you will see some of the common credentials that REALTOR® may advertise, or that you may look for based upon your buying and selling needs.

Maryland REALTORS® Housing Opportunity Certification

Housing Opportunity Certified (HOC) REALTORS® are specially trained to receive customer inquiries on workforce and affordable housing finance programs for selected jurisdictions. Certificate holders have knowledge in federal, state and local housing programs, the Maryland Mortgage Program and homebuyer education resources. See a full list of Maryland HOC REALTORS® here.

Nationwide Real Estate Designations and Certifications

Designations and certifications acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors are awarded by NAR and each affiliated group upon completion of required courses. You can search for a REALTOR® Member by location or designation here:


  • The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is designed for real estate buyer agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients at every stage of the home buying process.
  • Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) are trusted, knowledgeable, and experienced experts in all segments of land sales.
  • At Home With Diversity® (AHWD) designees work successfully with and within a rapidly changing multicultural real estate market.
  • A Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) is a recognized expert in the commercial and investment real estate industry.
  • The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation is for REALTORS® from the United States and abroad wish to develop or grow their international real estate business.
  • Certified Property Manager (CPM®) designees are recognized as experts in real estate management.
  • The Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) is for experienced owners, brokers, managers, and supervisors who have expertise in brokerage management.
  • The Certified Real Estate Team Specialist (C-RETS) certification provides the tools, strategies, and knowledge that are required real estate professionals who o perate as a team.
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation is the highest credential awarded by the Residential Real Estate Council to residential sales agents, managers, and brokers.
  • Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) empowers REALTORS® to evaluate, enhance and showcase their highest levels of professionalism.
  • The Counselors of Real Estate® (CRE®) is an organization of commercial property experts worldwide who provide seasoned, objective advice on real property and land-related matters.
  • NAR’s e-PRO® certification program helps REALTORS® master the advanced digital marketing techniques of today.
  • Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designees have in-depth training in legal and regulatory issues, technology, professional standards, and the sales process.
  • The Green Designation (GREEN) is awarded to real estate practitioners who find, understand, and market properties with green features.
  • Luxury Homes Certification (LHC) is for agents who have knowledge of pricing and negotiation strategies in the ever-growing luxury home market.
  • The Military Relocation Professional (MRP) REALTORS® work with U.S. service members and their families and veterans to find the housing solutions that best suit their needs and to take full advantage of available benefits and support.
  • Performance Management Network (PMN) REALTORS® have practical skills in business leadership, negotiation, networking, and planning.
  • The Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) certification designates skills in pricing properties, working with appraisers, and helping clients determine home values.
  • The Real Estate Investing (REI) certification program is for REALTORS® who work with investors and provide insight into 1031 exchanges and REITS.
  • The Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE) certification is for real estate professionals with developed negotiation and client advocacy skills.
  • The Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS) certification is for REALTORS® who specialize in buying, selling, or management of properties for investment, development, retirement, or second homes in resort, recreational, and/or vacation destinations.
  • The RRC Digital Marketing: Social Media certification is for real estate professionals who have developed expertise with social media resources.
  • The Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation is awarded to real estate professionals who demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for seller advocacy.
  • The Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) designation is for REALTORS® who meet the special needs of maturing Americans when selling, buying, relocating, or refinancing residential or investment properties.
  • The Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®) certification is for REALTORS® who help buyers and sellers of distressed properties.
  • The Smart Home certification is for real estate professionals who have expertise in the technology, privacy issues, and best transition tactics involved in selling smart homes.
  • Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR) designees are commercial specialists in industrial and office markets.