By Darlene Sodano, Chair of MAR GRI Subcommittee
The Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) is a designation that symbolizes a REALTOR® who has made the financial and time commitment to increase their skill set with further education. These individuals seek to be the best they can be in their industry and provide the highest level of professional services to their clients. It is one of the most beneficial and longstanding designations, originating in the 1960’s as the formal entrance into the profession of real estate.
The GRI education track was originally developed as six courses taken within a three-year period and geared to the newer agent in the business for five years or less. However, with a real estate industry changing and evolving at a faster rate than was ever imagined, and the GRI covering such a broad range of current business topics, seasoned REALTOR® were also seeing its value.
Improving the Program
Yet over recent years, with the downturn in the market, this untapped treasure has been passed up by many REALTORS® looking for educational options. The Association sees the GRI designation as too valuable to leave alone. Therefore, MAR formed a GRI Subcommittee to explore better ways to deliver and communicate this valuable educational institution. Interestingly enough, on the national level, REALTOR® leaders in other state associations across the country began to see the same patterns, but believed in the GRI enough to also form task forces and subcommittees to work on improving the program.
Our committee is conducting surveys, reviewing other Association formats, and researching relevant ways to deliver the GRI program to make it more convenient with regard to time and travel. We are exploring a blended concept whereby the six module course structure, which is currently presented live over two days for each course, totaling 90 hours, can be possibly formatted into a combination of live, online and simulcast sessions. Recently NAR has suggested states may reduce the minimum hour criteria to 60 hours so this may be another area to consider if found to be beneficial.
While the main base of the GRI course topics remains unchanged, the Association has been diligent through the years to continually update the course content. They proudly use exceptional instructors to re-write and teach the most upto- date information that provides REALTORS® with the right tools to both launch a business and stay successful in the industry. The bottom line is the GRI is too valuable to ignore. Your Association nationwide will work to bring this designation to the forefront of the education course must-haves. Stay tuned.