In the early 2000s, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) developed the e-PRO® certification program to teach real estate professionals how to effectively use technology to grow their businesses. Since then, a collaborative effort between the National Association of REALTORS® and the Social Media Marketing Institute (SMMI) has prompted the development of a new e-PRO® curriculum that focuses on the most recent developments in real estate technology. Here, we introduce the e-PRO® certification, discuss its benefits and explain the certification process.

What Is the e-PRO® Certification?
The e-PRO® certification program is designed to teach real estate professionals the technology skills they need to serve today's increasingly connected consumers. The two-day e-PRO® course explores topics such as:

  • Social media technologies and techniques, including Facebook and Twitter
  • Internet marketing
  • E-mail marketing
  • Web strategies and online presence
  • Digital media (photos, videos and online sharing)

The Internet and social media have become increasingly important to the real estate industry as more consumers look to the Web to conduct research and make purchasing decisions. Today, 62% of adults worldwide use some form of social media via computers, smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices. A study by digital marketing agency ODM Group shows that 74% of consumers depend on social networks to steer their purchase decisions.

The real estate industry is not immune to these modern consumer habits; according to data from the 2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the Internet is the primary source of information used by consumers in a home search. The e-PRO® certification program helps prepare real estate professionals to embrace technology and better serve today's connected consumers.

e-PRO® Benefits
The e-PRO® certification provides the opportunity to learn the technology and techniques that can help you serve clients and market your real estate business more effectively. The e-PRO® certification demonstrates to your potential clients that you utilize technology and social media to help sellers market their homes, and help buyers find homes. As an e-PRO® certificate holder, you can use the e-PRO® logo and name for all your marketing materials, including business cards and your web site. In addition, you will have access to customizable marketing materials, an online referral network, a downloadable certificate, free e-PRO® webinars and a searchable, customizable e-PRO® online profile.

The e-PRO® certification counts as an elective credit for other designations, including the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Certified International Property Specialist (CISP) and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designations. It also counts as an elective credit for the Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS) certification. As long as you remain a current member of the National Association of REALTORS®, you can continue to use the e-PRO® certification with no annual dues or recertification fees. Past e-PRO® students can take refresher courses as new content becomes available, at a discounted rate.

e-PRO® Certification Process
To earn the e-PRO® Certification, you must be a member in good standing of the National Association of REALTORS® and successfully complete a two-day e-PRO® course. Day one of the course is offered online in a Day 1/Day 2 bundle through REALTOR® University, or in a live classroom setting (day one is not available as a stand-alone online course). Day two is offered exclusively online and can be taken as part of the Day 1/Day 2 bundle through REALTOR® University, or as a stand-alone course online.

The first day of the course covers the changing real estate market, modern consumers and how to use modern real estate technologies to your advantage. Specifically, topics for day one include:

  • Trends in online real estate marketing and technology
  • Connecting with consumers online
  • Creating an online presence
  • Reputation management and measurement
  • Intellectual rights and ethics on the Web
  • REALTOR® Code of Ethics
  • Social media hazards
  • Overview of e-PRO® Toolbelt

The second day of the course (which is available online only) provides a hands-on experience using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and explains how these tools and technologies can be used to build your real estate business. The curriculum for day two includes:

  • E-Strategies
  • E-Office (cloud computing, Contact Relationship Management software, online transactions, etc)
  • E-Networks (social networks used by real estate professionals, creating effective profiles, privacy concerns, risk management techniques, etc)
  • Microblogging and geotagging
  • Rich media (review of cameras, how to take better digital photographs, photo editing and formatting, videos, sharing platforms, etc.)
  • Integrating your online efforts

Once you have completed both days of the coursework, you will automatically be awarded the e-PRO® certification and can start using the logo and name in your marketing materials.

The Bottom Line
Today's consumers are connected, and the majority of adults now depend on the Internet and some form of social media to make their purchasing decisions, including real estate. The e-PRO® certification program teaches you use available technology to your advantage – helping you market your real estate business more effectively and improving the real estate experience for your buyers and sellers.

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    A Guide To Financial Designations

    Find out which certifications can bring you the greatest career returns.
  2. Professionals

    Real Estate Careers And Their Designations

    The real estate industry offers a wide variety of career opportunities and dozens of designations to increase your skills.
  3. Professionals

    Financial Designations That Employers Require

    We break down the designations that are important to have if you want to work in the financial sector.
  4. Professionals

    Designations For The Buy Side

    For those interested in picking securities and financial planning, these certifications could be just what your buy-side financial career needs.
  5. Professionals

    7 Designations For The Sell Side

    While all of these designations demand a substantial commitment in time, money and effort, the end result is worth it.
  6. Personal Finance

    Does It Make Sense to Go to College in Europe?

    If you're deciding whether to get a degree abroad, first do your research and talk to alumni who have completed the same program.
  7. Personal Finance

    A Day in the Life of an Equity Research Analyst

    What does an equity research analyst do on an everyday basis?
  8. Investing

    Career Choice: Bulge Bracket Vs. Boutique Bank

    Bulge bracket banks offer higher salaries and prestige. But boutique banks are rapidly gaining market share and may offer better work/life balance and job security.
  9. Personal Finance

    Careers: Equity Research Vs. Investment Banking

    Equity research is sometimes viewed as the unglamorous, lower-paid cousin to investment banking. In this article, we compare the two careers.
  10. Investing

    7 Reasons You Will Make a Good Investment Banker

    Many seek at the door of investment banking, but few can enter. Possessing these seven traits will help you land a job and succeed in investment banking.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Series 6

    A securities license entitling the holder to register as a limited ...
  2. Advanced Diploma In Insurance

    A qualification earned by insurance professionals and conferred ...
  3. Associate In Personal Insurance ...

    A designation earned by professionals looking for training in ...
  4. Fintech

    Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes ...
  5. Associate In Reinsurance (ARe)

    A designation earned by insurance professionals looking for reinsurance ...
  6. Associate In Surplus Lines Insurance ...

    A designation earned by insurance professionals involved with ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Which real estate agency is the best to work for?

    The real estate market varies widely from year-to-year and state-to-state, so deciding which company to work for and in what ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can I use my IRA to pay for my college loans?

    If you are older than 59.5 and have been contributing to your IRA for more than five years, you may withdraw funds to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can I use my 401(k) to pay for my college loans?

    If you are over 59.5, or separate from your plan-sponsoring employer after age 55, you are free to use your 401(k) to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How can an investment banker switch to a career in corporate finance?

    It's pretty easy for an investment banker to switch to a career in corporate finance. The career skills are easily transferable, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the best MBA programs for corporate finance?

    Opinions vary based on which publications you consult, but the best MBA programs for a career in corporate finance are at ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How stressful is the typical corporate finance job?

    In the financial industry, corporate finance jobs are often contrasted with investment banking jobs. The traditional view ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!