The ABC’s of earning your GRI in Illinois

GRICalling all Illinois REALTORS® who are interested in making themselves better at what they do! As a member of the Board of Governors for the Illinois GRI program I am here to tell you the real reasons earning your GRI (Graduate of the REALTOR® Institute) designation is worth the time, effort and money.  I’ll cover the normal talking points but also give you my #1 reason I truly believe GRI are the three best letters you can have after your name being in this business.  Let’s begin:

  1. The GRI program is 90 hours of curriculum covering almost every aspect of the residential real estate industry.  It teaches you not only about real estate but HOW TO DO IT!  Big difference.  As a Governor for the program I can tell you that the people volunteering their time to make this the best designation are always coming up with new material and up to date material in this ever changing market.  Classes on short sales have been introduced to compliment timeless classes such as marketing and listing presentations.  All in all once you receive your GRI you will be wanting more….and you can have it if you choose to attend the GRI Grad Program we offer.
  2. 90 hours of class work sounds pretty boring….sounds like I’ll be sleeping through half of it.  That is what I thought when I earned my GRI in 2002 & 2003.  All I can say is IT’S NOT!  The only way to keep people’s attention for that length of time is to get the best instructors from across the nation.  It’s one of those things where if I described it then justice would not be done.  Let me put it to you this way:  after a GRI session is complete we always take surveys and pretty much every year one of the most popular instructors is a gentlemen by the name of Chris Bird.  What does Chris teach?  TAXES!!  I mean c’mon.  If we have found somebody that can make a few hours of taxes interesting then you can only imagine how our other instructors are with material we’re all actually interested in.
  3. This, I would argue, is the #1 reason to attend the GRI program.  THE NETWORKING!! Above I told you a few (of many) reasons I feel getting your GRI is worth the time and effort but what about the money??  The money you make by attending GRI will pay for the cost of GRI.  What do I mean?  I mean if you actually attend the program mentally and not just physically there is a great opportunity to add/supplement your existing business.  I mean if you go outside your comfort zone and have lunch with someone you have never met or if you actually mingle and NETWORK with people from outside your area then GRI WILL MAKE YOU MONEY!!

The concept is simple.  If you just be yourself and talk to people and they actually wind up liking you then they will send you business when they can.  Also the best reason I can give on traveling to GRI no matter how far away it is.  If you live in Naperville and GRI is in Bloomington then GO TO BLOOMINGTON!  Stay the week, network and in the long run you will increase your referral business.  It’s that simple and yet one of the hardest things for some of us.  When it comes to doing well in real estate it is not who you know but how many people you know and making sure they know what you do for a living.

So, how did I do?  I could keep going but I feel like I’ve gotten my point across.  If you are looking for a way to keep up with your business and you are seriously considering a real estate designation to attach to your name I would urge you to strongly consider GRI.  It’s a designation I have worn with great pride over the past several years and at this point the only one I have.  If you have any questions feel free to get in touch as we are all here to help.  Best of luck!!

9 thoughts on “The ABC’s of earning your GRI in Illinois

  1. 90 hrs. seems like a huge comment. How do you compare 90 hrs. of GRI to earning a Masters Degree? Would it be comparable? It just seems so long. The last program I took and lost all over $300 from the RealEstate Inst. was not user friendly at all. So I anticipate problems. I don’t like paying in full for something I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish. There’s alot I don’t understand about RE and would love to learn, but I’m afraid of not being able to get the help I’ll need.

  2. Last year you offered the course in Lombard but I could not attend. I wish you had an opportunity for those of us who are very far from Bloomington. Do you think that you may offer locations a little closer to the city of Chicago?

  3. Hi Betty,
    The GRI program consists of 90 classroom hours not credit hours which you would typically find in a college or university setting. I am not sure I could compare the program to a Master’s degree because it is more practical and less intense. I am sorry you had a bad experience with an online program but I would like to assure you that we have some of the best instructors in the country teaching our GRI program, and between the instructors and the Board of Governors who are in each classroom, I would be very surprised if there would be any questions you couldn’t get answered on the spot. The GRI program, in my opinion, is outstanding because it provides practical information which allows you to succeed in real estate. If you have any more questions, please feel free to be in contact with me at any time.

  4. Hi Vicky,
    As a resident of Naperville who practices real estate in the Western Suburbs I would love nothing more than to see GRI return to this area. The problem came about when nobody in and around Chicago decided to attend the GRI in Lombard. The tough decision was made for the GRI program to be offered once a year and in a “centralized” location. I can’t imagine when we will expand back to two offerings of GRI with one of them being in and around Chicago but I can tell you it is something I am interested in seeing down the road. I truly believe GRI is a designation that makes you a better agent for new agents or seasoned vets. The Bloomington GRI is a much different experience in that most people are staying at the hotel…so between the class work and the networking you learn soooo much heading into 2010. Hope to see you there and thanks for the question!!

  5. Hi Harry,

    The next GRI will be held November 29-December 2 and will be in Bloomington. More details as we get closer to that date but mark your calendar today. Let me know if you have any more questions and hope your 2010 is off to a great start!!

    Mike Long, GRI
    Long Realty

  6. Any chance the GRI classes will be held in the southern portion of the state? I plan to take the on-line I course right away, but I think I will have trouble going up north for 3 days.

  7. Hi we are required to have/get CE hours for our license and or designations. Can we ever use our CE hours for/toward a degree? With all the education and money we invest in our Real Estate education, fees, dues etc, IAR/NAR should help Realtors be able to get classroom hours toward a Finance/Business degree. Is there ever any discussion on this? or for the future? This would be absolutely wonderful instead of constantly trying to get money out of Realtors for education…

  8. I have been approached by students who are enrolled in a college program where they do accept credit for prior continuing education and pre-licensing course work towards certain degree programs. This of course is on a case by case basis and you would need to speak with an advisor at the college of your choice to see if they do have programs like that available. In the case where they are available, IAR is always happy to comply with providing letters, or certificates of completion for real estate continuing education and pre-licensing programs to the institution of their choice.

    Carrie Elliott
    Education Manager
    Illinois Association of REALTORS
    522 S. 5th St., Springfield, IL 62701
    Ph: (217) 529-2600 Fax: (217) 529-3904

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