Entry by Jennifer Allan

The Future of ACRE - Designation or Society?


This morning I sent out an email to my ASAC asking whether or not they feel the new ACRE should continue to be a designation... 

As I drafted up my email, it occurred to me that it might be kinda cool to make it more of a "society" of real estate consulting professionals - of which we could be "proud members of..." as opposed to just another meaningless (to the public) group of letters behind our names...

I haven't given this idea a lot of thought - since it just occurred to me within the last hour, but if y'all like the sound of it, I'll definitely devote some brain cells to it - and obviously welcome your ideas as well.

I hope you don't mind my thinking-out-loud brainstorming here with you - we have a wonderful opportunity here to create our path going forward - one that will be of great benefit to the current ACRE membership as well as attract future real estate consultants who will help us spread the word that there IS a better way. I'm willing to commit a relatively significant amount of my time and money to making ACRE all it can be, so I appreciate all the support in making that happen.



(Certified Real Estate Advisors and Fiduciary Representation)


"RealAdvisor" sounds good. However, there is already a "Real Advisor Realty company in Mountainview, Ca.

Paula - did you just make that up? Very catchy!

I don't think it would be right, at this point and time, to leave out the ACRE designation. THAT...is what would really set us apart. That is why I joined in the first place. Besides, "ACRE" obviously is a brilliant word to remind people of real estate, and therefore, US!

Yeah, I saw that too... but I really like your tagline, Paula.

I should have some ideas to share later this week or early next... Stand by!

Yes, I just made it up.  I think we need a word to replace Realtor.  A word that explains something about what we do.   No one knows what the letters stand for anyway -- they are useless.

Jose - I think you'll like what we're working on - actually Mollie came up with the idea!

I like the society idea. Get off the whole designation band wagon. Society really sets us apart in my mind. 

I like Paula's name. 


Please, don't think I'm trying to defend NAR and the word "Realtor" when I say that the word Realtor has NOT been useless. "Realtor" IS what the general public has come to know as a real estate licensed person who is a true professional. It's like the CPA designation for accountants. I'm sure there are many, many very good accountants out there, that can do the same work as a CPA. Yet, most people would choose a CPA if they could afford one, over the regular accountant, 99 to 1!

The public does NOT know what realtor means. They think it is equal to salesperson. They don't know it's a trademark or that not all sales associates are realtors. I teach real estate licensing here in PA and every time I have a class of new people this is totally foreign to them. Even those who have bought/sold houses don't understand that realtor is different. 

Definition of SOCIETY

(According to Merriam Webster Dictionary)  #1 may cause some discomfort?
: companionship or association with one's fellows : friendly or intimate intercourse : company

: a voluntary association of individuals for common ends; especially : an organized group working together or periodically meeting because of common interests, beliefs, or profession

a : an enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another b : a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests

a : a part of a community that is a unit distinguishable by particular aims or standards of living or conduct : a social circle or a group of social circles having a clearly marked identity <literary society> b : a part of the community that sets itself apart as a leisure class and that regards itself as the arbiter of fashion and manners

a : a natural group of plants usually of a single species or habit within an association b : the progeny of a pair of insects when constituting a social unit (as a hive of bees); broadly : an interdependent system of organisms or biological units

I agree with Erica. As Realtors call themselves Consultants, Sales Professionals, Agents, ETC. The public is very confused.

When I said "letters" I was not referring to the term Realtor.  I was referring to designations such as GRI, CRS, etc. --  No one knows what those are.  And ACRE does not explain itself either.  I do not call myself a Realtor because I believe it has to many negative connotations.  I would like a new word that elevates us to something better than just Realtor that people can sort of understand when they see it in print.

I agree, Erica, and I have very little regard for the whole notion of being a REALTOR somehow makes you more ethical, competent or successful. Hey, you write a big check to your local board every year, take a useless ethics class every once in awhile (the one I took recently was one sales pitch after another) and voila! You're a REALTOR. That's exactly what I DON'T want to happen here - I do want our designation or society or whatever to be meaningful... to ourselves, to our colleagues and to the public. Okay, so maybe that sounds a bit idealistic, but what the heck.

Jose - I'm still confused as to where you got the idea that we're trying to get away being REALTORS or belonging to NAR. That's simply not an option for most of us and it's not related to what we're doing here at all, unless I'm missing something. Can you please clarify what you're referring to?

Well, Glenn, 'cept for #1 and #5 - I think the definition is applicable to what we're talking about! Was that your point or did I completely miss it ;-] ?

My point was that its a dead hit for what your looking for!

As a synonym to society, I like "Alliance."



a : the state of being allied : the action of allying b : a bond or connection between families, states, parties, or individuals <a closer alliance between government and industry> 2 : an association to further the common interests of the members; specifically : a confederation of nations by treaty 3 : union by relationship in qualities : affinity 4 : a treaty of alliance

Modify the words in 1:

a : the state of being allied : the action of allying b : a bond or connection between real estate professionals and consumers

Whew - I hate it when I misinterpret!

OK there's two conversations going on. My 2 or 10 cents input is to not concentrate on a designation but, rather to concentrate on forming a group of our peers that we can trust. Society seems a good word but anything else with the same connotation would be OK too. lets think about the competancy we would expect of our peers before we would want to be a part.

Was it Groucho Marx who said that he'd never want to be a part of a group that would accept him as a member!?

let's make sure that membership means something - we need an evaluation process.


I like the direction of Merv's thoughts. RealAdvisor (or perhaps a variant thereof) resonates here for two reasons: 1. The word Real hints at our business, real estate,  2. Advisor has a most favourable connotation being entirely distinct from selling. (Let's own the 'high road' folks).

The vision of RealAdvisor in a nicely stylized logo format really grabs me!

It's interesting to note how the financial services industry has embraced the term  'Advisor' in recent years and at the same time pulled away from any reference to selling. Powered by Enron, Madoff, et al do you suppose!

For those who don't want to incorporate Realtor, it may be a moot point if NAR's copyright usage is anything like ours in Canada. The word REALTOR cannot be used  with any adjective, i.e. terms such as Consulting REALTOR or REALTOR Advisor would each constitute a violation. REALTOR, as we render the word here, is not the name of an occupation but rather signifies membership in CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) and compliance with the Code of Ethics etc. Unfortunately, the public neither knows or cares and in common parlance it is most assuredly the name of an occupation, regrettably not always the most savory kind!


I, too, love the term "advisor".  When I left the wealth management arena, the concept of being the client's trusted advisor was just taking off, and that is exactly my goal in real estate - being their trusted advisor as well.  (And so many people pronounce REALTOR incorrectly, which drives me crazy.)

I really like Real Advisor, but I think we missed the boat on that one - too many other real estate companies are using it and I'd hate to invest in a brand that someone will fight us on later... and probably win.

I'll have something to show you later this week, probably... so sit tight!

Jennifer & Mollie,

Whatever name, or title, or designation you finally decide on, what would be the most important thing to all the present members is....are you going to create a real estate company that all the present "ACRE" people can have an opportunity of investing in, and therefore truly benefit from the future profits that it will generate...or are YOU (and Mollie, of course)  going to be the only "owner" of this future company? Just keep in mind, that we "souls" want to make some money too!

For legal reasons I did NOT use the word "Advisor" when choosing a name for my company. A legal challenge from a disgruntled client can say that I was a trusted Advisor. Additionally, If I should decide to syndicate a real estate investment to a group of investors, then by using the term "Advisor" may require that I become licensed as an Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other federal licensing agencies.

I chose the name "Realty Consultants" because ACRE uses the term 'Accredited Consultants in Real Estate".

Now some ACREs? are consider using another term?

Do we have to scrap the 14 videos that Mollie created since those videos use the term "Consultant". Now I have to nix and recreate my website that uses those videos?  There has been a lot of Mollie's work over the past four years which will need to be useless and I may need to change some of my printed material.

Lester- Excellent points - and unless something pretty compelling convinces me otherwise, we will continue to use the word "Consultant" because I believe it best describes what we do, misperceptions and all. And of course, it continues the brand that we've developed.

However, I can pretty much guarantee that much of the current ACRE material will become somewhat obsolete as we move forward. The message won't really change, so I don't expect the material will be "wrong" - just a little out-of-date. Can you continue to use the videos? Absolutely. Will you need to/want to re-do some of your printed material? That will be up to you, but I suspect at some point you'll want to. But no rush...

I personally am not interested in being part of a new company. I went to my broker and explained what I was doing and he liked it. As simple as that. Total transparency. 

The public wants choices and options. Here we are able to give it to them and explain a difference. I don't think re-branding will automatically remove the need to educate and explain. Clients want that.

I'm ok with rebranding and bringing the designation into this new year and help the consumers understand, but it has to be really thought through. 

Look at what is really great and build upon that. 

BTW, Lester has some very valid points. Real Estate Boards are going after Realtors using too many non qualified titles. 

Just a thought. "The Society of Accredited Consultants in Real Estate"

Howard Abell,

Sounds perfect to me! It could look like this..."The Society of Accredited Consultants in Real Estate (ACRES).

Wouldn't that be SACRE? French for Sacred? We would really need The Big Guy upstairs to approve! ;0)

Personally, I'm not comfortable with the term 'consultant'.  Every pharmacy has a makeup consultant, and the product they produce isn't always pretty!  Every bank has consultants for insurance, and they don't always have the best value for the customer.   I prefer the whole concept of coaching, advising, counselling, being a sounding board, a specialist, etc.  Love the word 'alliance' or 'society' because it means there are more than 50 of us who think the same way.  Also important is the 'total transparency' that we all hold to.

I totally agree with Lester's take on the word Advisor as it may have a legal connotation. I don't think the goal here should be to re-brand anything, but to enhance what we already have. We provide consulting services to the consumer for a fee, and the acronym for what we do is ACRE®. It is synonomous with real estate. I don't agree with creating an altogether different tag line which would simply be converted to a longer more confusing acronym. I do however like the idea of creating a society of ACRE's®. Although nobody really knows what ACRE® stands for (especially the public), I do enjoy explaining the acronym to other agents and it is one that distinguishes your from all others. With ACRE®, we have the choice of using either the shorthand (as a designation) or longhand versions. I especially like the longhand version tied to my name, which provides an intriguing touch of elegance within itself. It says we are different, and different is what we hope the consumer will be looking at going forward.

Randy Landis
Accredited Consultant in Real Estate® 
(Society of Accredited Consultants in Real Estate)

Randy Landis,

I totally agree with you! We NEED to keep the "ACRE" part, both short and long versions!

I agree with Jose Rivera.  As a newer member of ACRE, I'm in favor of keeping both the "short and long versions" as Jose commented.  Branding takes a long time to achieve and I see no value in tossing it aside for something new.  It works, it's simple, it says what we do and the A C R E says a lot on it it's own. I'm disappointed to learn that I joined on the cusp of this total change in name, organization and philosophy.   

This page contains a single entry by Jennifer Allan published on January 3, 2012 12:10 PM.

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