Boost Your Value, Earn Your RCE

By Heather Wiedrich, RCE, e-PRO, AE at the HomeTown Association of REALTORS®, Ill.

I didn’t fully appreciate at the time when I first applied to earn my REALTOR® association Certified Executive (RCE) in 2006 that it would be a complete game changer for me and my small association. What I learned about the job, where to find essential information, and the best ways to go about the day-to-day operations of my association made me a better AE. Plus the new ways in which I managed the organization did not go unnoticed by my directors.

Since earning my RCE, my value has grown exponentially, and I have so much more to offer my association.

The RCE is the only professional designation specifically for REALTOR® Association Executives and our staff. It exemplifies goal-oriented AEs with drive, experience, and commitment to professional growth. Most job postings for AEs are requesting “RCE required or preferred.”

Education is vital in the real estate industry not only for REALTORS®, but also for us. The National Association of REALTORS® provides many avenues for this education and the RCE designation is a must for all who are serious about growing in professional development. The designation will help you better serve your members in many ways.

One of the top services we offer at HomeTown Association of REALTORS® in Sycamore, Ill., is being an information center for members. It was only after learning about the rich industry resources offered by NAR and where to find them that I felt comfortable establishing my association as a place where members can come with industry-related questions. This is an added value of membership that sets us apart.

I’ve been an AE for several small associations over the last 23 years and I often speak with other AEs of small associations about the value of the RCE. Sometimes I hear that their leaders do not believe the need for their AE to obtain the RCE designation. Some think the designation is just a career boost for the AE, who will then move on to a larger association. Some think AEs at small association don’t need to know all the management best practices that larger associations use, but the exact opposite is true.

A more knowledgeable AE enhances the association through effective association management. A more skilled AE can lower costs, boost services, build partnerships, reduce legal risks, and provide more value for members.

Despite the benefits to the associations, many AEs still pay for designations out of their own pocket and learn on their own time. The Judith Lindenau RCE Scholarship of up to $570 was established to help AEs cover the expense of the application and certification fees.

Earning your RCE makes you part of a team, the RCE community, that you can reach out to any time you have questions. There’s also a mentoring program to help you along the way.

Join your peers who have demonstrated their commitment to excellence in REALTOR® association management by earning the RCE designation. Currently a quarter of local AEs have the designation, as do half of state AEs, plus there are a few hundred non-EO association staff with their RCE. For more information on the RCE designation, visit

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