REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
The single most important rule governing the MARK is that it may only be used to convey this meaning, and never used to convey another meaning. Misuse is a trademark violation.
Trademarks are unique terms, symbols, or combinations of terms and symbols that communicate a specific message to the public. The term “COKE”, for example, is a trademark that identifies a specific soft drink produced by The Coca-Cola Company. A service mark is a type of trademark that identifies the source of a service and distinguishes that service provider from all others. For example, the term “FedEx” is a service mark that identifies a specific provider of parcel delivery.
A collective mark is a type of trademark that indicates membership in an organized collective group, such as a union, an association, or other organization. The term “Jaycees” is a collective mark that indicates membership in the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. Over time, trademarks like those mentioned become associated with standards of quality or care and the public looks upon such marks as guarantees of repeated quality or care.
If a trademark owner does not properly protect its mark, it may be lost forever. Many of the words we use in our everyday speech were once valuable trademarks that could have been maintained as such if they had been promoted and protected properly. The words “escalator” and “aspirin” were once valuable trademarks, but for lack of vigilance, care, and public promotion, they lost their distinctive protectable qualities and are now words of ordinary use.
A video to help explain the importance of NARs membership marks:
If you see incorrect uses of the REALTOR® Trademark, please email those to firstname.lastname@example.org
The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
Founded in 1908, NAR has grown from its original nucleus of 120 to today’s 720,000 members. NAR is composed of residential and commercial REALTORS®, who are brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry. Members belong to one or more of some 1,700 local associations/boards and 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS®. They can join one of our many institutes, societies and councils. Additionally, NAR offers members the opportunity to be active in our appraisal and international real estate specialty sections.
REALTORS® are pledged to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Working for America’s property owners, the National Association provides a facility for professional development, research and exchange of information among its members and to the public and government for the purpose of preserving the free enterprise system and the right to own real property.
The term REALTOR® is not only a trademark owned by NAR and protected by federal law, it is also a valuable membership benefit that distinguishes members from all others in the real estate business. Watch this entertaining, three-minute video to learn how members can protect the value of the mark by using it properly. Remember, a REALTOR® isn’t “just another real estate agent.” Being a REALTOR® means more.
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR “R”logo on their business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84 percent of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.