Entry by Merv Forney

Email from a potential ACRE - interesting & disturbing


I recently received an email via my contact info on my Blog from an agent pondering the question: "Should I do C-CREC, ACRE or both?" Here is my response:

C-CREC was the only organization active when I started in the business. Since then, ACRE was born with the primary mission of actually helping practitioners implement the consulting model through our coaching program (I am one of the coaches).

You don't need both. Choose ACRE.

As you can see I fully disclosed that I am an ACRE coach so he would know that I perhaps had a personal motivation for pointing him to ACRE. That being said, I do strongly believe that ACRE provides a more practical experience coached by people who have actually practiced what we preach.

Here's the rub and it is more disturbing...

In another email to ACRE (the program) he had this to say:

Hello, I am very intrigued by your business model and philosophy. I am considering purchase your program. I think it will be a great compliment to my GRI designation.

Anyway, with the exception of Merv Forney, I noticed that most of the ACRE agents do not have a primary focus on ACRE type programs on their websites. Some do not refer to the ACRE designation at all.

Have all the agents seen an increase in their business? Client acceptance?

Lastly, do I have to be a member of the NAR to be earn the ACRE designation?

I look forward to your reply.

I could care less that he pointed me out. What I DO care about is what YOU are communicating to your clients, potential clients and potential ACRE's. Mollie, Judi, Ron and I are on a mission to make an industry change, however big or small. BUT, some (many) of you claim you are an ACRE but have no evidence of that fact whatsoever.

If you believe in it and practice it, tell the world. Get it on every piece of marketing you do.

If you believe in it but don't practice it, ask yourself why. If you are having trouble getting started, tell us ... we are here to help. "There is nothing to fear but fear itself."

If it is just another designation to add to your list, don't really believe in it, don't advertise it, don't practice it, discreetly withdraw from any and all participation. We will miss you but you may do more harm to our mission than good.

These are strong words from someone that created a very successful real estate consulting business and believes in the model.

If your business is slow, now is the time to re-engineer it. I really don't care what you call yourself: ACRE, C-CREC, Consultant, Advisor, or whatever. Show the world that you have the desire and ability to be different. We want you to be a public ACRE. We want more to have an impact on the industry. It needs to change and you can participate as a change agent ... or not.


Good questions from a protential ACRE. Refer him to my website. All I do is consulting, no traditional commission based model with rare exceptions. I do have ACRE on my home page but I could and probably should make it more prevelant. The only focus on my site is consulting.

As far as business increase and client acceptance, refer him to my testimonials.


I should probably also add that I don't have any other designations except ACRE. ACRE is my main source of information, technology and training support, feedback and a great sense of community for a consulting only agent. I should and probably will get other training or designations, but ACRE is my major. Everything else is an elective.

I could go on, but all of my eggs are in the ACRE and consulting basket.


Those of you on the Dialogs Webinar sessions yesterday (or those who have read my book) have heard me talk about the perception that agents are seen by the public as a "commodities". If you view something as a commodity (in other words "they're all the same") than as a smart consumer, you will shop it by price. Which is why so many consumers are trying to find the cheapest agent.

The best way to prove that you are not a commodity is to prove you're different. And nothing makes you stand out more than the ability to listen, counsel and offer choices based on the client's needs and goals. THAT is consulting.

So, as Merv so succinctly put it: if you believe in consulting and practice it, than don't be a secret ACRE! Put the logo everywhere. If you believe in it but don't practice it, let us know what's holding you back.

And if you don't really believe in it, don't advertise it, and don't practice it, I agree with Merv that you should discreetly withdraw from participation in ACRE. Not everyone CAN or SHOULD practice consulting and better to get out now before you waste more of your time or dilute what we want ACRE to stand for: a model providing REAL choices, not just a title that sounds good.

We'd welcome your thoughts. It's ok to disagree - fleshing out our thoughts is how we build a strong community. As Merv said, these are strong words, but the Council has put our heart and soul into building the ACRE brand and we want it to stand for something.

And please don't wait for someone else to respond - YOU are someone else.

BTW, I haven't heard from anyone other than Kim Loredo regarding topics for future webinars.

Please take a moment and weigh in.



Your reply to the potential ACRE is fine. Perhaps he's done us a favour by pointing out the absence of ACRE identification on our websites and other media. Your kick in the butt to "unmarked" ACRES is timely and we could thank this individual for prompting it. Further to your exhortations on ACRE being more than just another designation, I might reiterate a comment I made here a couple of months ago, "consulting is a mindset."

Like you, I cut my consulting teeth with NAREC and the C-CREC designation, and value that experience and the connection with its people.

The ACRE Graduate Exchange, however, thrives because it's a stimulating and content-rich environment. It will become more so as individual members participate and wave the ACRE flag.

You might refer your inquirer to www.ronstuart.com where I'm in the process, like Brent, of re-engineering to a full consulting emphasis. That takes some work, but putting a profile on Agent Finder and a little blurb with the ACRE logo on one's website is far from onerous.

By the way, as a suggestion in the spirit of raising the profile, wouldn't ACRE Finder be a better term than Agent Finder?


According to this RISMedia article, it looks like some of the big franchises are recognizing the need for consulting.



Hi all,

A little late to the game, but wanted to chime in anyway. BTW thanks to all of you for your posts, direct emails and phone calls with concern about my Mother - that was so thoughtful! She is home now, and lots of care still needed, more surgery, but I'm trying to play catch up on work.

Merv, did you respond to this guy yet? If yes, tell us how it went, if not, I can tell you what I would have said.

First of all let me say this: Due to medical issues with my mother and an upcoming operation for her and myself, a new web site still in progress, I am guilty of not having ACRE info on my site either, so I can understand this persons concern.

It was on my old one, then things started happening in my world and the new web site is still 'in the works' but these people don't know the inner workings of our world like the ACRE Grads do, so his question was valid.

For those of you who are not dealing with these extenuating circumstances that I am, think about why you have not moved forward and fully embraced the consulting mindset? There is a reason for it.

Is it because you thought it was a magic pill?
Just wanted to have more initials after your name?
Really think about it and move forward one direction or another.

Molly, JudiB, Tom and Merv have put a lot of time, effort, Money and energy into ACRE, and I can tell you from past experience, it is time consuming, but they love it and believe in it, or they wouldn't be doing it.

When I was a coach with ACRE in years past, and I was asked about C-CREC, I told everyone pretty much the same thing you said Merv. At one time that was all there was, but why spend more money and not have all of the wonderful tools that ACRE has available that NAREC does not?

You can't learn consulting by taking a class or reading a book, you NEED the coaching, the marketing materials, webinars, and the support that is only offered by ACRE .

Brent and Ron, GREAT web sites!! Is it ok to 'borrow' some of it? ;-)

And Vince thanks for the post, I saw that earlier this morning and was going to post it, so you saved me the time. If you have not read that post yet, print it out, save it to a .doc file, it is VERY thought provoking and is what ACRE stands for and where real estate is headed (imho).

From what I've heard as to why most ACRES don't really DO what they should, it is not because they don't want to do it, it is a time issue. They always mean to do it, they just never get around to it...

You are now in the middle of the lake, it is just as easy to swim forward, as it is to swim back ;-) You've spent money, time, energy and effort, it is now time to get the engagement ring and get married, you are past the kissing/dating stage.

The coaches want ACRE babies, and their biological clocks are ticking! (As Larry the Cable guy says "I don't care who you are, THAT WAS FUNNY!")

I've often said AND I'll fess up right here and now and say that I should take my own advice - that you should time block and spend 15-20 minutes, an hour or whatever you decide you can spend, each day, or for 3 days a week, whatever you can or are willing to do.

Make a plan, then implement the plan. This way you'll be able to eat one 'byte' of the elephant at a time.


Just curious. Have you ever had a post that meausured less than an inch?


No. Not til now ;-) JudiB, Mollie and I were trained at same campus.


Sure, "borrow" whatever you consider useful! There's a quid pro quo though. I'm redoing my site to place more emphasis on consulting and when ready to launch I'll be looking for peer review and critique. OK?



Sure, "borrow" whatever you consider useful! There's a quid pro quo though. I'm redoing my site to place more emphasis on consulting and when ready to launch I'll be looking for peer review and critique. OK?

That's a deal! As everyone knows, I have no problem giving critiques ;-) I am not so good at doing it without hurting one's feelings though, but I try. Let me know when you are done and I'll be happy to give you my .02 but you have to disregard my bluntness. If you can do that, then we have a deal!

:-) Paula

This page contains a single entry by Merv Forney published on October 15, 2008 4:55 PM.

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ACRE's are Peacocks! is the next entry in this blog.

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