What is a Realtor?
A realtor is a real estate professional who is officially registered as a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR is a North American trade association for professionals working in the real estate industry.
Currently, there are over one million realtors officially registered with the NAR. The association’s membership comprises all professionals working in all areas of the real estate industry, including salespeople, real estate brokers, property managers, and appraisers.
Membership in the NAR is collective. In other words, if the principals of a real estate company register as realtors, their subordinates (e.g., real estate agents) also become eligible to register as one at their discretion.
An NAR realtor membership provides several benefits to its holder. For example, member realtors can access exclusive materials published by the organization, including reports and statistics concerning the real estate industry.
Also, the realtors can participate in the organization’s education programs that lead to professional designations (e.g., Certified Property Manager), as well as various educational and professional events.
Code of Ethics for Realtors
All realtors must follow the NAR’s Code of Ethics. Created in 1913, the association’s ethics code is one of the first codes of ethical norms adopted by a professional group. NRA members must strictly abide by the norms established in the code of ethics.
Generally, the realtors must carry the duties to their clients, public, and peers in the industry. For example, they must always defend and promote the interests of his or her customer, as well as treat honestly all parties in a transaction. Furthermore, they should not misrepresent any information to a client or provide false or misleading information.
Registered realtors are also given the right to use the realtor’s trademark and logo created by the NAR. The right helps the members of the association to distinguish themselves from other real estate firms.
Under the association’s rules, the trademark can be only used in connection with a firm’s corporate or business name, but it cannot be used as a part of a legal corporate or business name. In addition, the logo of the organization can only be used on a firm’s official documents in conjunction with the latter’s logo.
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