Council of Residential Specialists
Founded in 1976, The Council of Residential Specialists is the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, with its headquarters in Chicago, IL. It is composed of nearly 40,000 Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designees and Candidates/General Members and over 52 chapters across the United States. According to the Council's website: "the association was created to attract and retain those Realtors seeking the knowledge, tools and relationship-building opportunities needed to maximize their income and professionalism in residential real estate."
The Council also quality tests products related to the real estate industry by seven independent reviewers followed by a committee and upon approval will receive the CRS Quality Tested Seal. Examples of products that have received this seal are: Pro Step Marketing’s Action Agent Web System, Point2 Agent, Agency Logic and Single Property Sites. The Council is also recognized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
The Council began in 1923 when Realtors National Marketing Institute (RNMI, then known as the National Institute of Real Estate Brokers) was established to provide "practical education for its Members and working with them to establish sound and ethical practices...and to promote the professional standards of Realtors." In the 1960s, the Institute established divisions for commercial real estate and residential brokerage whose main focus was education. By 1974, the residential brokerage division began to discuss the development of training courses for sales agents that could potentially lead to a professional designation. Those plans culminated in 1977 when charter members who "had demonstrated extensive experience and knowledge of residential real estate" received the Certified Residential Specialist Designation. In 1985, RNMI endowed what was then called the Residential Sales Council, Real Estate Brokerage Managers Council and the Commercial-Investment Real Estate Council with their own bylaws and governing powers.
Mission Statement and Objectives
According to the Council's website, its mission is to "recruit and retain Realtors and international real estate professionals seeking the knowledge, tools, relationship-building and referral opportunities they need to maximize their income and professionalism in residential real estate."
Also, their general objectives are:
"1. To create and provide superior educational opportunities that enhance professional competency.
2. To provide and promote benefits which enhance the economic and other values of membership in the Council.
3. To develop an organization that reflects the diversity of real estate consumers and provides its members with tools to serve their clients.
4. To create and maintain organizational systems and alliances with appropriate organizations to ensure the integrity of the Council of Residential Specialists."
Board of directors
Chair: Gregg Fujita, CRS
Vice Chair: Franklin T. Serio, CRS
First Vice President: Mark Minchew, CRS
Immediate Past President: Gregory Hodges, CRS
At-large Member of CRS Executive Committee: Ron Canning, CRS
At-large Member of CRS Executive Committee: Mary T. McCall, CRS
CRS Rep on NAR Executive: Ex officio Kay L. West, CRS
Chair Of Nominating: Michael Selvaggio, CRS
Staff Liaison: Ex officio, non-voting Nina Cottrell, Chief Executive Officer
According to the CRS web site:
"The Board of Directors shall have supervision, control and direction of the affairs of the Council, shall actively pursue its purpose and shall have discretion in the disbursement of the Council funds. The Board will approve the budget, budget requests and act on amendments and exceptions to the budget. The Board of Directors shall adopt from time to time regulations for the conduct of its business as deemed necessary or appropriate provided, such regulations are not in conflict with the Constitution, Bylaws or policies of NAR. The Board of Directors may, in the execution of the powers granted, appoint such agents, as it may consider necessary."
According to the CRS web site:
"The Council's officers, at-large member serving on the Executive Committee and representative serving on NAR's Executive Committee serve one-year terms. Seventeen (17) at-large Directors serve two-year staggered terms. No Director may be elected for more than two consecutive two-year terms."
Current Board Members
Listed with the year in which each member's term expires in (parentheses):
Margaret Bannochie (2010), Shelly Campbell (2010), Dale Carlton (2011), Lois Cox (2011), Tina B. Daniel (2010), Treasure A. Faircloth (2010), Gail D. Flagel (2011), Joanne Fraser (2010), Ingrid Glancy (2011), Bert S. Harrington (2011), Robert Imperato (2011), Michael Litchin (2011), Carol A. Murphy (2010), Sandra Nickel (2011), A. Janelle Pfleiger (2011), Nancy A. Rogers (2010), Janis Smith (2010)
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designation
The main function of the Council of Residential Specialists is to oversee and provide benefits to the CRS Designees. To earn the designation, realtors must fulfill one of several education and transaction options:
|Option A||Option B||Pro-Program *(minimum of 10 years licensed)*||Managers Program|
|Transactions Required||75 within five years
$25 million over five years ($5 million/year average)
|25 with no time frame
$8 million with a minimum of 10 transactions within any 2 years
|150 with no time frame
average of $1 million per year with a minimum of 40 transactions
|Directly oversee a minimum of 400 closed residential transactions
Directly oversee $80 million in closed residential transactions
Have 4 years of real estate management experience
Realtors must also be in good standing with the National Association of Realtors which has drawn some criticism because of the independence of the organization but is ultimately required due to its affiliation with NAR. The Council also has strict guidelines on which transactions count and has limited them to: single family home, townhouse, cooperative, up to and including four-unit building, duplex, condominium or permanently affixed mobile home unit.
Upon earning the CRS designation, the Realtor abides by a strict code of conduct which includes many rules and regulations such as: keeping confidential information safe, fully disclosing any issues with the property that is apparent to someone with that level of expertise and informing clients of any additional compensation or commission if a sale or referral is made. Violations of the code of ethics could eventually lead to revocation of an individuals real estate license.
During the period 1998-2009, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) spent the 10th largest amount lobbying out of any political action group in the United States. Despite the Council's affiliation with NAR, they currently have no active PAC group and do not contribute any funds to RPAC (Realtor Political Action Group).
- "About CRS". CRS Web site. Council of Residential Specialists. Retrieved February 2010.
- "CRS Quality Tested Product Seal & Approval Process". CRS Web site. Council of Residential Specialists. Retrieved February 2010.
- "CRS features Pro Step Marketing and its quality-tested product for February" (Press release). Pro Step Marketing via TransWorldNews. February 9, 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "Point2 Technologies Receives Council of Residential Specialists “Quality Tested” Approval for Point2 Agent Real Estate Solution" (Press release). Point2 Technologies. September 7, 2005. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "AgencyLogic Receives Council of Residential Specialists 'Quality Tested Seal of Approval' for PowerSites, an Innovative Single Property Website Creation and Marketing Tool" (Press release). AgencyLogic via IssuesWire. August 29, 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "Single Property Sites Awarded CRS Quality Tested Seal of Approval" (Press release). Single Property Sites via PR.com. June 16, 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "BBBOnLine Participation and BBB Accreditation Confirmed For Council of Residential Specialists (CRS Profile)". BBB Online. Better Business Bureau. 25 February 2002. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "Appendix B: Other Marks and Logos.". National Association of Realtors web site. National Association of Realtors. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- Council of Residential Specialists: History of the Council of Residential Specialists, page 8. Council of Residential Specialists, 2009.
- "CRS Strategic Plan" (PDF). CRS Web site. Council of Residential Specialists. November 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "CRS Committee Roster". CRS Web site. Council of Residential Specialists. Retrieved February 2010.
- "CRS Designation Requirements" (PDF). CRS Web site. Council of Residential Specialists. Retrieved February 2010.
- "CRS FAQs". CRS Web site. Council of Residential Specialists. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of Realtors". NAR Web site. National Association of Realtors. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "Top Spenders". Lobbying Spending Database. The Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved February 2010.