That's Who We R: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the RCE Designation

RCE designees offer a variety of descriptors for the certification on its 30th anniversary.

The award-winning “That’s Who We R” campaign demonstrates to consumers that the people who wear the REALTOR® “R” are experts in the field of real estate and professionals who adhere to a higher standard. As association executives serving those REALTORS®, we have our own mark that denotes professionalism and commitment: The REALTOR® association Certified Executive, or RCE, designation.

As we recognize the 30th anniversary of the RCE designation this year, I’d like to reflect on the AE professionals who hold this designation. Since the first class in 1991, 905 AEs have achieved the RCE designation, and there are 523 designees currently active. With the new membership system, M1, and the Insights Hub, we can take a closer look at some of the statistical data about our RCE peers. To accompany the data, I’ve reached out to a few to ask what single word best describes the designation to them.

This is Who We Are:

  • Mike Barr, RCE, CAE, CEO of the Greensboro Regional REALTORS® Association in North Carolina, says “professional” is the word that comes to his mind. According to an involvement profile of RCE designees compiled by the National Association of REALTORS®’ Data Science Team in October 2020, 53% of all RCEs hold other REALTOR® certifications, and 28% are C2EX-endorsed.
  • Amanda Creel, RCE, CAE, CEO of the Prescott Area Association of REALTORS® in Arizona, tells me that “forward” is what describes the 7% of local association staff and 5% of state association staff who hold the RCE designation.
  • When told that 97% of RCEs attend conferences and 45% are “supervoters” who are in the top 20% of voting frequency for primary and general elections in their states, Ruth Hackney, RCE, CEO of the REALTORS® Association of South Central Wisconsin, says RCEs are “engaged.”
  • “Earned” is the word that comes to mind for Sheila Dodson, RCE, CEO of Baldwin REALTORS® in southern Alabama. Knowing the time and effort required to receive the designation, it’s impressive that 44% of designees come from medium and small associations with limited staff and resources.
  • At Tennessee REALTORS® in my home state, we have two new staff specialist RCE designees. Governmental Affairs Director Jennifer Farrar, RCE, and Communications Director Phil Newman, RCE, respectively, offer “thorough” for the amount of knowledge gained in the program and “advancement” for the growth one experiences when learning about the entire organization.

There are dozens of other words that can describe our designation and our RCE peers; among them are experienced, committed, educated, broad-minded, competent, and collaborative. When I asked the question of Stephanie White, RCE, CEO of the Mobile Area Association of REALTORS® in Alabama and 2020 chair of the AEC-RCE Certification Board, she said “dedicated.”

In 2020, White led the charge for a 20-week virtual study group for 65 RCE candidates, and “dedicated” only begins to describe the engagement of these AEs. The involvement profile shows that more than 15% of RCEs serve on the Association Executives Committee at some point in their career.

As we celebrate the RCE designation’s 30th anniversary, I look forward to meeting even more RCEs and hearing what their word is. No matter which you use to describe us or what statistics you cite to illustrate our achievements, esteemed REALTOR® association Certified Executives are the top of this profession and comprise a group I am proud to belong to—because that’s who we are!

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