Graduate, REALTOR® Institute

Increase your knowledge. Enhance your skills. Earn Your GRI Designation.

The North Carolina Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) curriculum consists of 60 Hours (13 courses) that each student must complete successfully in order to earn the prestigious designation. Five courses are available Virtually (Zoom) or Live (hosted by local associations across the state), while the eight Online courses are available 24/7. View the GRI program curriculum.

The North Carolina GRI Program accepts additional courses or certain NAR Certifications/Designations as equivalencies for certain online classes. These can be submitted during the GRI Application process.

Students working towards the GRI Designation will have the additional benefit of obtaining CE, fulfill NAR’s Ethics requirement, as well as earn credit towards the Workforce Housing Specialist Certification.

Ready to apply? Submit your application.

If you started your GRI journey before July 1, 2021, please email Savanna Reagin to discuss your personalized GRI path.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute?

This curriculum will increase your knowledge in areas that you won’t learn about in pre or post-licensing courses.  Achieving your GRI Designation will demonstrate to your clients that you take your professional development seriously and will provide you the enhanced skills for ultimate success in a real estate career.

How do I get started?

There is no application needed in order to begin the program. Just pick your first class from our course calendar or online course catalog and start learning! You can take them in any order that works best for your schedule. Once you’ve taken a class, NC REALTORS® will start tracking your progress.  Course Completion certificates will be available in your profile dashboard upon successful completion.

There is a limit of 5 years to complete the program requirements from the date of your first class.  However, most real estate professionals achieve their GRI Designation in 1 year or less! When you finish, submit your Graduation application and one-time fee.

How is the program offered?

The North Carolina GRI Program consists of 13 courses, totaling 60 hours of professional development.  You may substitute some online courses with select Live/Virtual Courses or NAR Certifications/Designations with equivalency credit.

Five of the courses are offered in a Live setting at a local association or Virtual environment.  These are listed on our Course Calendar.

Our Online courses are available for you anytime, anywhere!

BONUS! Each of our Live/Virtual courses provides 4 hours of CE credit.  Additionally, you will fulfill your NAR Ethics Requirement (which is required once every three years) by taking “Sticking to the Code of Ethics”.

Can I receive my GRI Designation from NC REALTORS® if I’m in a different state?

Yes! Many real estate professionals achieve their GRI through NC REALTORS®.  Now that virtual classes are available, it’s easier than ever to achieve your credentials! You will need to create an account at to register. *CE credit may not transfer to other states.

If you have additional questions, contact Savanna Reagin, Education Director.

What are the GRI Designation requirements?

In order to receive the GRI Designation from the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, you must:

  1. Be in good standing with the National Association of REALTORS®
  2. Receive a “Pass” or “Completion” for each course
  3. Complete the required coursework within five (5) years
  4. Submit the GRI Designation Application and pay the one-time application fee.

Will my other credentials or experience count towards my GRI?

The North Carolina REALTOR® Institute Program accepts alternative courses or select NAR Certifications/Designations as equivalencies towards some online courses:

  1. The Nuts & Bolts of Property Management in lieu of Real Estate Investing Made Clear
  2. ABR® Designation in lieu of Successful Buyer Client Systems
  3. At Home With Diversity Certification in lieu of Beyond Fair Housing
  4. C2EX Endorsement in lieu of Beneath the Surface: Understanding the Anatomy of a House
  5. RENE Certification in lieu of Mastering Real Estate Negotiations
  6. SRES® Designation or MRP Certification in lieu of Meeting the Needs of Buyers & Sellers
  7. SRS Designation in lieu of Successful Seller Client Systems

In order for these courses or credentials to count towards your GRI Designation, you will need to submit an equivalency application. *Some submissions require a $35.00 fee.

What is the cost of the GRI Program?

The pricing varies depending on if you plan to use equivalency credit.  The average cost of the GRI Program is $750 – $875.

*As a reminder, the GRI is the ONLY Designation offered by the National Association of REALTORS® that does not require continuing education or annual dues.

I have more questions about the GRI Program – who can I contact?

For additional details or specific questions, contact Savanna Reagin, Education Director.

Live/Virtual Courses

Local Associations across North Carolina partner with NC REALTORS® to offer these courses in a Live or Virtual format.


Course Descriptions

Financing in Today’s Market (4 Hour CE)

Representing your client to the best of your abilities includes being knowledgeable about financing options!  Learn how to adequately advise a consumer about the potential lending resources available for clients, advise their buyer and seller clients about the pros and cons of various financing options, be knowledgeable about available programs, and more.

Legal Risks in Real Estate (4 Hour CE)

The focus of this course is to help you develop, implement, recognize, and monitor plans to address issues long BEFORE problems arise that could put your business in jeopardy.

Protecting Yourself from the Cyber Enemy (4 Hour CE)

Malware and Phishing and Wire Fraud, Oh My!  Don’t let your business become a statistic.  This course will inform you to be knowledgeable of the tips and tricks used to steal you and your clients’ information. Remember, you have a duty to protect this valuable information or you risk your real estate license.

Sticking to the Code of Ethics (4 Hour CE)

This course reviews key articles of NAR’s COE, highlights pertinent changes, and offers important takeaway points you can apply to your day-to-day business dealings to ensure you’re always ethical in your business practices.

The Road to a Perfect Contract (4 Hour CE)

This course will decipher the many parts of the Buyer Agency Agreement and the Offer to Purchase and Contract.  You’ll walk out with the full understanding of the requirements of proper representation, tips on how to avoid miscommunication when entering into a Buyer Agency Agreement, utilize forms properly, and establish a working relationship with an unrepresented seller.

Online/Self-Paced Courses

The following courses are provided by our online partner, OnlineEd. CE is an optional add-on for most courses, for which there is an additional fee. In order to receive CE credit, courses must be completed within 30 days of purchase or by June 10, whichever comes first. CE is not available between June 11 – July 1.  

Find an Online Course

Course Descriptions

Beneath the Surface: Understanding the Anatomy of a House

Product knowledge is especially important in real estate sales.  The course will review structures of new and existing houses, and focus on how floors, walls, and roofs are built.

Contract Law for Real Estate Professionals

Understand what constitutes a contract, how to write a contract, the importance of them in the real estate transactions, and what to be aware of in the process.

Fair Housing & Beyond

This course covers discrimination and housing, types of violations, advertising rules, ADA, penalties, fair employment practices, fair credit practices.  It also explores anti-trust laws, bankruptcy protection, environmental considerations, and data security.

Mastering Real Estate Negotiations

The ability to understand and recognize different negotiating styles and strategies results in successful client interactions and closed transactions. You’ll review “DISC Behavior Profiling,” learn how to build trust, reduce stress, and ultimately achieve a “Win-Win-Win” negotiation.

Meeting the Needs of Buyers and Sellers

Learn techniques on how to establish productive relationships with buyers and sellers with less stress for all parties involved.

Real Estate Investing Made Clear  

Become more comfortable with investment terminology, strategies, and technicalities for increased success when working with real estate investor clients.

Successful Buyer Client Systems

This course will provide real estate professionals with the proper training, technology, tools and systems to generate more successfully completed closings by educating buyers on the buying process, and by helping buyers negotiate the best terms for a loan and for a purchase.

Successful Seller Client Systems

This course takes real estate professionals through each step of the process and includes unique strategies, dialogues and skill sets to enhance the professional counseling and services provided to today’s sellers.

GRI Course Calendar

Looking for a Live or Virtual Course? Search our calendar to find the course and register.




Looking to take an Online Course on your own time? Search our online course catalog to find the course and register.



Jane Cavanagh

GRIInstructor-JaneCavanaughAlthough originally from Wilmington, NC, Jane began her career in real estate as a Realtor in Denver, Colorado.  After returning to North Carolina she became a mortgage loan officer for 25 years until she joined the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency as the Training and Outreach coordinator from 2014-2023.

Available to teach: Financing in Today’s Market




Kristie Ferguson

Kristie Ferguson headshot

Coming from an eclectic background in sales, marketing and education, Kristie has been in the real estate industry since 2005, beginning her career with new construction and custom homebuilding.

As a licensed NC and SC real estate agent, and REALTOR® member, she brings a wealth of practical knowledge and a real word view of topics covered in class.

A lifelong student, Kristie has earned several designations from the National Association of REALTORS® to include the prestigious Certified Residential Specialist™ (CRS), and Graduate of REALTOR® Institute(GRI). Most recently, she was selected as a North Carolina Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) Ambassador by the National Association of REALTORS® and is a 2022 Graduate of the NC REALTORS® William C. Bass Leadership Academy.

She loves connecting with other real estate professionals and encouraging them to grow their businesses through professionalism and knowledge.

Available to teach: Sticking to the Code of Ethics, Protecting Yourself from the Cyber Enemy


Debbie Henry

GRIInstructor-DebbieHenryDebbie has managed investment properties since 1983 and founded Henry Property Management in 1989.  Her personal and professional approach to property management has set her company apart from the rest.

In 2017, Debbie co-founded Capital Real Estate School. She has written several courses which she teaches to other property managers around the state for their annual CE credit.

Available to teach: The Nuts & Bolts of Property Management



Stephen Long

GRIInstructor-StephenLongStephen is a 15-year veteran of real estate. Over the years, he has added a Property Management Division to his company and co-founded The Carolina Crew, Inc. a real estate team affiliated with Keller Williams Realty Elite in Winston-Salem, NC.

Stephen teaches Pre & Post License, CE, and owns his own real estate school, Crew Academy of Real Estate (CARE). With a renewed love for education, Stephen spends many days of the year teaching and speaking, all the while nursing sales and putting out property management fires.

Available to teach: Financing in Today’s Market, Legal Risks in Real Estate


Mark Saunders

GRIInstructor-MarkSaundersMark has become known throughout NC as the “Technology Guru”. He has incorporated an emphasis on digital technology and 21st century communication into his multiple companies.

While working with clients to buy, sell or rent their homes, he realized how important it was for a REALTOR® to stay informed of the latest technology and use the tools available to their best advantage.  He has turned that passion for technology into educational seminars for REALTORS®, understanding that by helping others succeed, it will bring greater success to the entire profession.

Available to teach: Protecting Yourself from the Cyber Enemy


Stephanie Walker

GRIInstructor-StephanieWalkerStephanie has been in the real estate business for more than 3 decades. Stephanie holds a number of NAR Designations and is trained in both REALTOR® and Superior Court Mediation. She is a past President of both the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® and the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®.  In 2016, Stephanie was honored as the NC REALTORS® REALTOR® of the Year.

Attendees remark that sessions with Stephanie are enjoyable and full of real world examples that are relevant to the issues they face on a daily basis.  She has found a way to make Ethics fun!

Available to teach: Sticking to the Code of Ethics, Legal Risks in Real Estate


Patrice Willetts

GRIInstructor-PatriceWillettsPatrice began her real estate career in 1985. After 30+ years of volunteering and advocating for things she believes in, her motto is “Been there, Done That, Got the T-shirt”.  She is a past President of both Cape Fear REALTORS® and President of NC REALTORS®.  She is a graduate of the NC REALTORS® & NAR’s Leadership Academy.

Patrice is always looking for ways to raise the bar of professionalism for our members. She is an approved instructor for the NCREC and teaches NAR and REBI designation and certification courses.

Available to teach: The Road to the Perfect Contract, Sticking to the Code of Ethics, Legal Risks in Real Estate

Be Epic. Be an NC REALTOR®.