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What All Those Letters Mean

Earning designations is one way that REALTORS® demonstrate their commitment to meeting the needs of their customers and clients in order to provide the best real estate experience possible.

Here is a reference guide for some of the designations which members can earn from the Institutes, Societies, and Councils of the National Association of REALTORS® as well as some other terms commonly used in the real estate industry:

SID– Special Improvement Disctrict
A Special Improvement District is set up to provide an infrastructural improvement such as sewer connections or sidewalks.

Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance

Another term for a “Lockbox.”  A lockbox is a device that hangs on a doorknob and provides a secure place for keys to a property.  REALTORS®  can access the keys in order to show the property.

Modular homes are built in sections at a factory to conform to all state, local or regional building codes at their destinations. Sections are transported to the building site on trucks and then joined by local contractors. Local building inspectors ensure the modular home structure meets requirements and all finish work is completed properly.

Formerly referred to as mobile homes or trailers that were built in a factory. They conform to the HUD Federal Building Code rather than the building codes at their destinations. Segments are not always placed on a permanent foundation. Building inspectors check the work done locally (electric hookup, etc.) but are not required to approve the structure.

A parcel, plot or other land area created by subdivision or subdivision exemption division.

A unique identification number assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue to every parcel.

Acre–160 Square Rods (rod = 6 1/2 feet)
or 43,568 feet.  Housing density is often measured by the number of dwellings per acre.

GRI–Graduate, REALTOR® Institute
A REALTOR® who has completed a series of courses over three years which provide in-depth training in the general practice of real estate. The GRI designation is often a requirement of eligibility to earn other designations.

CRS–Certified Residential Specialist
A REALTOR® who has completed a series of education courses specific to residential real estate transactions and met other requirements of business practice. To find out more about the Montana Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists, visit:

CMA–Comparative Market Analysis
A tool a broker uses to compare properties which have recently sold in a specific area, helping the buyer make a “fair market” bid.  For the seller’s property, it assists the seller in determining the price to ask for their home/property.

ABR–Accredited Buyers’ Representative
A REALTOR® who has completed a series of education courses specific to the needs of buyers involved in real estate transactions and met other requirements of business practice.

CCIM–Certified Commercial Investment Member
A REALTOR® who has completed a series of education courses specific to real estate transactions involving commercial and/or investment properties and met other requirements of business practice.

BRR–Board of Realty Regulation
This is the Montana government agency that issues licenses and administers state statutes relating to broker licenses, salesperson licenses and property management licenses.  Appraisal licensure and certification is handled by a separate Montana licensing agency.

A Member of the National Association of REALTORS® whose members subscribe to the Code of Ethics. Not everyone to whom BRR issues a license chooses to join the REALTOR® Association. To belong to the Missoula Organization of REALTORS® one must hold a broker, salesperson, property management or appraisal license or certification. Only those licensees who choose to belong to the association are authorized to use the term ‘REALTOR®.’

MLS–Multiple Listing Service
This is one of the services offered to brokers who are members of the Missoula Organization of REALTORS®. Through the MLS, brokers provide information about their property listings to other brokers to assist in locating a buyer for the seller’s property. Not all members of MOR Participate in the MLS. Brokers who hold membership in REALTOR® associations other than MOR can also be Participants in the MOR MLS. Through this process, the MOR MLS includes properties from throughout Western Montana.