Confused About Using the Term "Realtor"?

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The proper use of the term Realtor seems to be a confusing subject for many real estate professionals, as well as the public. Is a real estate agent a Realtor or is a Realtor a real estate agent. The terms seem to be used interchangeably by everyone. However, these terms are not interchangeable and do not have the same meaning.

Simply put, the term Realtor is to be used solely to indicate that person using the term is a membe, in good standing of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and who strictly adheres to its Standards and Code of Ethics. The term real estate agent or broker refers to the profession itself .

When is it proper to use REALTOR®, REALTORS® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® on your website, business cards or other marketing materials?

  • To indicate that the real estate professional is a Member or Member-affiliate of the National Association of Realtors (R) in good standing
  • To convey to the public that the real estate professional is a Member in good standing of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  • To convey to the public that as a Member, he / she adheres to the highest professional standards and a strict Code of Ethics

Why the fuss? If you do not promote and protect the proper use of REALTOR®, REALTORS® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, then you will become another box of Kleenex. Kleenex is a brand, not a product and yet the general public refers to almost all facial tissue products as Kleenex. The National Association of Realtors, wants you to stand out above the rest; not as a general product but as a a proud member of an elite organization.

The National Association of Realtors (R) was founded in 1908. In 1913, a strict code of ethics was adopted by the Association with the Golden Rule as its central core. The term Realtor (R) was coined in 1916 with the sole purpose of identifying members of the real estate profession, who were members of the Association of Real Estate Boards and subscribed to its Code of Ethics; that purpose has not changed.

Proper Usage For Your Marketing Materials and Website:

  • Does the word "REALTOR®" convey membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
  • If the word member can be substituted for the word "REALTOR®", you have used the term correctly.
  • If the meaning is changed in any way, which does not solely convey membership, then the term has not been used correctly.
  • Never use the terms as part of a phrase such as "Any-town's # 1 Realtor" or "the best Realtor in Any-town"

Proper Form:

  • Capitalize every letter of the term used: REALTOR®, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, and REALTORS®
  • Whenever possible, you should use boldface print, or use italicized lettering.
  • The "®" registration mark can be omitted, but only when the use of the registration mark is not possible.
  • Use separating punctuation whenever possible
  • Whenever possible use separating punctuation: Jane Doe, REALTOR® or Jane Doe and Team, REALTOR®

Proper Internet Usage of REALTOR®, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, and REALTORS®:

  • Never use any of the terms as part of a domain name or URLs which point to website pages.
  • When a term is used in an email address capitalization and separating punctuation is not required.
  • Do not hyper link the Block "R" logo, unless you are linking to or to a web-page.

This article written to help to clarify the proper use of the terms, REALTOR®, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, and REALTORS®, if you still have questions or need more detailed information visit the website, then click Membership Marks Manual link.

If you need further assistance call the association, they have a great staff and will gladly guide you in the proper use of the National Association logo as well as how and when to use the terms: REALTOR®, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, and REALTORS® in your marketing materials and on the Internet.

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Source by Pamela S Cendejas

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