Why I Chose to Earn a Certified Senior Advisor Credential

Posted by: Nikki Buckelew

I like to think of myself as a life-long learner. Even better, I like to actually act upon that ideal and put it into practice.

So when the folks at the Society of Certified Senior Advisors asked me to audit one of their classes and choose whether or not to recommend it to our Certified Senior Housing Professionals (CSHPs) of the Seniors Real Estate Institute, it seemed like a great opportunity for me to get a further fix for my education addiction.

In order to be the best resource possible for senior adult clients, families, and caregivers, I believe that our CSHPs must continually be learning and growing. Before I could fully recommend or endorse the CSA program, I knew I must first experience it for myself

Off I headed to Florida, took in one of their sessions and guess what? I liked it. I learned plenty. And so I decided to do the work, earn the certification and add the CSA to my list of senior related credentials. I also had plenty of fun at the class (see photo below:)

Here's why the continuing education has been beneficial for me and why I think it may be for you as well.

My philosophy is that in order to master something (expertise in serving seniors) you must approach it and study it from a variety of perspectives. By only seeing an issue from one perspective, (in our case, that of real estate agents) we limit our ability to contribute to the greater conversation. The Society of Certified Senior Advisors trains and certifies professionals serving older adults from a variety of fields making for a unique opportunity to learn from and collaborate with those having complimentary service offerings.

I know, I know. You may be thinking to yourself "Good grief, Nikki, I'm already loaded with plenty of work to do in mastering my CSHP designation and building my business. Now you're recommending something else?"

I understand. I'm simply sharing my experience with you and underscoring what I feel to be the benefit of constantly learning and improving in our profession and knowledge. I have no qualm with recommending other designations and organizations if I feel it will help me and you be better at our job of serving seniors.


The bottom line is that learning from other senior-centric individuals and organizations helps me to be a more well-rounded Certified Senior Housing Professional and therefore offer you even better advice, motivation and perspective.

Should you at some point be interested in pursuing designation as a CSA from the Society of Certified Senior Advisors, I have negotiated an arrangement where members of the Seniors Real Estate Institute receive a discount of $200 upon registration for a CSA course. Just contact the Society and ask for the discount.


Nikki Buckelew is the Founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute and administrator for the Certified Senior Housing Professional® (CSHP) designation. A veteran REALTOR® of over two decades, she holds a bachelor’s degree in gerontology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. As a professional speaker, coach, and trainer, Nikki is committed to empowering, equipping, and educating real estate sales and senior housing professionals seeking to better serve the mature market segment. 

Jeffrey Arnold commented on 26-Sep-2014 10:32 PM
I've done some research into the CSA designation, but have not yet talked to anyone who obtained the certification to see if they found it beneficial (either financially with additional business growth or additional knowledge outside of what we learned thru the CSHP training). I'm with you that life-long learning is vital to helping us maintain a valuable position for helping our older clients.

Just seems to get tougher and tougher to wade thru the alphabet soup of options out there. But if you found the CSA designation of value, I will definitely keep that on my radar. Thanks!

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