Business Tips


By David Hooks, CRE®, managing principal, MarketHooks Consulting, Inc., Chicago

A key element of any successful marketing strategy is to differentiate your brand from that of competitors. In the real estate industry, often the use of “CRE” is common shorthand for “commercial real estate.” This becomes confusing when we, as Counselors of Real Estate®, use our version of “CRE®” – a registered trademark denoting a significant professional achievement.

But, there is good news. Because CRE is a registered trademark, granted to The Counselors of Real Estate, members can differentiate our use of “CRE” by adding the registered trademark symbol when applied to membership, as in David H. Hooks, CRE®. What may begin as a conversation piece may give you an opportunity to explain the very real difference between membership in–and access to–a Counselor of Real Estate, not just anyone engaged in commercial real estate.  And The Counselors of Real Estate® is also a registered trademark.

Do you use the CRE® credential on your website, stationery, email signature, court documents, slide presentations, business cards? It’s an easy way to differentiate yourself, and your credential.

Here’s what Cindy Shelton, CRE®, senior managing director, investments, LandQwest, Orlando, Fla., says about the value the CRE credential:

”I was an expert witness in a case against a commercial real estate agent who was being accused of not disclosing that the agent knew a property would flood. My CRE designation allowed me to be the expert in commercial real estate that stood well above the two witnesses from the other side. My side not only won but was reimbursed all fees and punitive damages.”

Counselors: Tell us how the CRE® credential has made a difference for you. Email