Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: My GRI Designation

My GRI Designation

GRI LogoOn several of my past posts on professional behavior I brought up designations.  A majority of responses agreed in the wisdom of getting them.  There were also more than a couple of folks, some brand new and some seasoned veterans who disagreed with the need to get them.

I thought I would write about my personal experience with the two designations I have starting with the lesser one the GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute).  Later this month I will right about the two I am working on.

When I get back into the business I made as part of my business plan that a percentage of my budget of time and money would go towards professional development.  I decided almost immediately that in my first three years I would have a goal of getting the GRI designation, the CRS designation and as close to my third anniversary as possible my broker's license.  I made a goal of getting my license to teach pre-licensing and continuing education at some future time and felt it important to get all the training and credentials I could.

Back to the GRI designation

I selected this designation first for a few of reasons:

  1. Once you earn it you do not have to join an organization pay any annual fees and it is for life.
  2. It gives you a broad range of basics in real estate.
  3. It had no requirements of time in the business or number of transactions to start.

It would take a minimum of a year to complete, so I wanted to start on it as soon as possible.

The first class or two were OK at best.  By the 3rd and 4th I came to realize this was going to be an endurance test.  One class was so bad, that about 50 of the 100 students did not return from lunch.  I and several others that stuck it out complained to the Association of Realtors, that this was not a good use of our time and money.

To their credit the quality of the classes seemed to improve. (a monitor from the Association of Realtors took attendance to be sure no one bailed out) A few of the classes them were quite excellent.  Two of the classes were taught by the attorney from the Board of Realtors.  He was really good at teaching us about the most common things that get agents in trouble ad how to avoid them.  Even if someone is not trying for their GRI, I recommend they take those classes.

One of my favorites was a class taught by a major commercial broker who taught real estate investment.  The timing for me was perfect the week before I took a similar CRS class with an instructor from Arkansas and this one allowed me to analyze local properties utilizing the skills taught in both classes. 

Another class that I thought was both educational and entertaining was the class on property management.  The instructor is an extremely well known property manager who owns either the largest or one of the largest property management companies in the state.  In the end he reinforced my original decision to sell them and not manage them. About 20 years ago I did some property management and still remember some of the hassles with bad tenants.  I don't miss it.

I almost forgot the class on new construction.  The instructor was in the development business for many years with a major developer.  He was able to give us a perspective from their side of the fence.

So today I have my GRI designation.  If you were to ask me should you get it this is what my response would be.  If you are new to real estate I would say absolutely yes.  Even though some of the classes were too basic for me, for most new agents they would be helpful.  It also gives you a well rounded view of the business and gives much needed skills.  If you have been in the business a long time, you may look at other designations and training.  GRI at least the classes I took were probably a little too basic.  I would still recommend a couple of the classes, especially the ones taught by attorneys, if that is who is teaching in your area.

Also see my post: My CRS Designation It is about my experience with the CRS designation. 

In the July I will be working on my ABR and e-PRO.  I will write about my experiences with those courses at that time.



Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 25 commentsRandy Prothero • June 27 2007 06:53PM


Not everyone cares, but some people do.  Some people only want to work with a Broker or Associate Broker.  Some people want to work with an experienced agent.  In the end, if GRI does nothing more than make you feel good about yourself and more self-confident.  It's worth having.  I might add that it makes a difference with some agents, when it comes to respect.  If I had three offers from three agents I don't really know, I would recommend my sellers take the one from a GRI/CRS agent over the others, because I would assume the case would go more smoothly.  That has been my experience in the past.


Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I actually been in the business for some time before I took my GRI.  I would agree that it would be valuable for newer agents to take, however, I still learned a lot from it, and you get a certain amount of respect with the designation.

I think that my experience was similar to yours in that it makes a big difference who is teaching the courses.  Some teachers really can add a lot to a course over and above the course syllabus.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) almost 12 years ago

Hi Randy, I decided not to pursue any designations mainly due to speaking with some of the agents who have gone through the courses and were not impressed with the classes.  The one designation that stands out is CRS - mostly positive comments.

I, too, have dedicated a percentage of my income towards continuing education and additional training.  I continue to train with Joe Stumpf from By Referral Only.  This organization has been amazing for me and my career in helping me set up systems in place that were badly needed.  I also take a lot of Keller Williams training classes which has always been spectacular.

I did get my Broker's license last year and am happy that I did that.  It's nice to have after my name, but mostly, it allows me the freedom to open my own office should I choose to do so.

I'll be waiting for your post on CRS.  Can't wait to hear what you think about that.

Posted by Irina Netchaev, Pasadena CA Real Estate (Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Margaret - It does tell me that this is an agent who at a minimum has taken his career seriously.

Brian - I agree the instructors make a huge difference.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago

Irina - I have spoke to several top agents who have used coaches.  They all seem to swear by them.  I am not quite ready for that yet.  In about year once I get my team rolling I will probably make that investment.

The post on mt CRS experience should be up by tomorrow.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago


Congratulations on your accomplishments!  I wish you continued success!


Lucky :)

Posted by Lucky Lang, Marco Island & Naples Florida Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty Marco Island) almost 12 years ago


I earned my GRI in May 2007 and not only enjoyed the course but found (most) of the curriculum compelling and interesting.  The choice of instructors makes a huge difference.  Most of mine were engaging and exceptionally interesting.  Only 1 instructor lulled me into a comatose state, which I guess is a pretty good ratio.

My goal is to apply my GRI towards my broker associate designation, so it'll be helpful in the end.  Thanks for your post!

Posted by Maria "Antoinette" Scognamiglio, GRI, ASP, There's no substitute for EXPERIENCE! (Coldwell Banker Realtors) almost 12 years ago


I think it is cool that you have the drive an the time to get all those designations. I waited over 11 yrs before my manager bugged me to go for my CRS ...I just have not finished it but I am almost done. 1 module left. I kept putting it off.maybe I'll try the GRI even though I've been doing this a while or maybe E-PRO which the NAR gives the course online I believe. Good going brotha!

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago

Randy, I'm not sure that I am very coachable.... and personally, I haven't found a lot of value in the coaching part.  The information that the By Referral Only (BRO) program provides is invaluable.  I just take and implement.  It might be worthwhile for you to check into it. 

I am closing a transaction next month that was a direct referral from one of the BRO members via a referral system that BRO has.  This transaction will pay for at least 5 years of membership (even after paying a referral fee to the agent).  I'd say it makes it a good investment!  :-)

Posted by Irina Netchaev, Pasadena CA Real Estate (Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Randy - these classes are definitely worth the effort.  Even basic info that is important is worth re-visiting.  The greatest hitters in baseball hit off a tee in the winter time to develop their basic skills.  Not to mention the contacts and the bits of info you have not thought about.  I blogged about Realtor Eduaction as well and encourage everyone to get as much realtor education as possible. 

Wayne - Fort Benning Homes

Posted by Wayne Long, Homes for Sale In Fort Benning Ga (Columbus Ga Real Estate, LLC - Fort Benning - Phenix City ) almost 12 years ago

Lucky - thank you

Antoinette - I have spoken to agents from other states and they have said everything from great classes to yawners.  I guess it really depends on the quality of the instructors.

Neal - I am going to try the ePRO on-line this month.  Sally is pretty techie, she took it and she liked it.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago

Irina - Thank you for the clarification.  I thought they were a coaching team.

Wayne - Anybody who reads my posts knows I agree completely with you.  I just read you article, I love it.  Great job!

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago
Sorry Randy... I think I confused the issue.  They are a coaching and a training program.  It is hand in hand.  I, personally, have not been able to get too much value out of their coaching system.  Having said that, their training programs and on-line library of resources are unparalleled. 
Posted by Irina Netchaev, Pasadena CA Real Estate (Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc.) almost 12 years ago


I do not think it was a long course if I recall. I'll have to check out the NAR site.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago

Irina - I will have to look at them.

Neal - I think I can also take it on the Century 21 site also.  Either way I will do it later this month.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago
Randy, I wish the Lending Industry had courses like the Real Estate Industry has I would take them no matter how long I had been in the business.
Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 12 years ago

Randy and Neal...took me three days to complete e-PRO...on and off when I had the flu.  It also counts as one elective for the continuuing education for license renewal Dec. 2008 here...check it out....




Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 12 years ago

George - I think that a code of ethics and designations would be a good thing for the lending industry.

Sally - Thanks for the update.  You are the reason I am going to take it.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago
Randy, I stopped by now to your blogs my friend, very interesting posts, thanks for sharing that.,
Posted by Ray Saenz, Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor (Exit Realty Laredo) almost 12 years ago
Ray - Thank you
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago

I feel the same way.  We probably had the majority of the same instructors and only a small percentage were worth the time spent.  Some were so bad that I would have rather sat down and read a whole set of condo docs rather than suffer the pain of sitting through some of the classes.

Posted by 1SG (Ret.) David Kucic, President and Owner (Hawaii Military Realty, Inc.) almost 12 years ago


I did it backwards--I got my broker's license first and have taken a CRS course a couple of months ago.  I appreciate your insight and experience in taking the GRI courses and earning the designation.  Congratulations!  The timing was not right when the GRI courses were offered so I still don't have it, this is going to be the last one I'll take after CRS.  Like I said, I'm doing it backwards.  LOL  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Yolanda Hoversten, Broker - O Fallon, IL Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties) almost 12 years ago

David - The one instructor I mentioned where we lost a big part of the class, no longer teaches GRI.

Yolanda - It is worth it in any order.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago
Thank you very much for sharing, that was good information.
Posted by Shane Sarae almost 12 years ago
Shane - You are welcome
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago

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