What is a REALTOR®?
What is a REALTOR®?
A Realtor® is a licensed real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors®, The Voice for Real Estate , and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
The term Realtor® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a licensed real estate professional who is a member of NAR.
There are approximately 2.6 million licensed real estate professionals in the United States, but only 1.2 million are members of NAR.
The terms Realtor® and Realtors® are not generic terms. That is, they are NOT synonymous with “real estate agent” and “real estate agents.”
The term Realtor® was coined in 1916 by a national association official, Mr. Charles N. Chadbourn, a past president of the Minneapolis Real Estate Board. Chadbourn saw the term functioning as a collective mark to distinguish members of the national real estate association from nonmembers. NAR registered the trademarks in 1949 and 1950.
The NAR Code of Ethics obligates Realtors® to be honest with all parties involved in a transaction, whether it is the buyer, seller, or cooperating agent.
The Code requires Realtors® to identify and take steps to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or dishonor the real estate profession.
Realtors® must take a refresher training course and examination on the Code of Ethics every four-year cycle. Real estate licensees who join NAR are required to take a minimum of two and a half hours orientation on the Code.
NAR’s Public Awareness Campaign, now in its ninth season, is aimed at increasing consumer awareness about the value Realtors bring to the real estate transaction.
The new ethics spot, “Someone You Can Trust,” highlights the honesty and integrity that Realtors® bring to each and every transaction, and also specifically mentions the quadrennial ethics training requirement every Realtor® must complete.
There is also a new spot aimed at the unrepresented seller market. The spot, “Don't Try This At Home,” targets unrepresented sellers with a hard-hitting message: Realtors® have the experience to price your home, so it can sell for up to 16 percent more than selling it yourself.
In 2005, the NAR increased marketing efforts to the Hispanic audience with the introduction of a 30 second television spot that aired on major Hispanic networks. In just one year, the awareness of the term Realtor® increased 9 percent among Hispanic audiences.
Realtors® are strong advocates for homeowners and homeownership.
Every year, NAR leads the way on Capitol Hill and in the corridors of Washington to keep homeownership a top national priority.
NAR’s support for the mortgage interest deduction and other federal policies helps to keep housing more affordable and makes housing a great investment. Sound housing policies empower home seekers to purchase a home of their own.
Realtors® build communities.
The role of Realtors® in our communities goes far beyond the real estate transaction process of buying and selling. As local business owners, Realtors® are vested in building healthy and vibrant communities across the country, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Realtors® nationwide participate in several NAR programs that better our communities. One such program is the Housing Opportunity Program, which provides tools and resources for promoting affordable housing at local, state and national levels. The Good Neighbor Awards honor Realtors® who have made an extraordinary commitment to improving the quality of life in their communities through volunteer work.
In the industry’s HOPE Awards (Home Ownership Participation for Everyone), real estate professionals recognize individuals and groups who are making outstanding contributions to increasing minority homeownership.
Local and state associations of Realtors® also initiate many community projects to improve our neighborhoods.
Realtors® have access to educational opportunities and training in real estate specialties that are not available to other licensees. In these courses, Realtors® learn to develop skills in guiding clients and customers through the complex real estate transaction process.
NAR offers advanced educational opportunities to its members that enable Realtors® to present the public with such accredited sub-specialties as buyer’s representation (ABR), residential real estate expertise (CRS), or Internet readiness (e-PRO).
Through membership in NAR’s affiliated institutes, societies, and councils, Realtors® devote themselves to continuous study of the most recent trends in their fields to stay abreast of industry developments in their specialized areas and better address industry issues.