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REALTOR vs. Licensee

It's a common misconception. Consumers think anyone that has a real estate salesman or broker licensee is a REALTOR®. But only members of the National Association of REALTORS® are allowed to call themselves a REALTOR®, which make you MORE than JUST a licensee.

Download the logos from the NAR website here.

Top 5 Things You Need to Know About the REALTOR® Trademarks:

1. REALTOR® = Member of NAR

The term REALTOR® should never be used as a substitute for "real estate agent." The REALTOR® trademarks, or as they are commonly called by NAR, "the marks," include:

  • the REALTOR® block "R" logo

The marks let people know that you are more than just a real estate practitioner: you adhere to the Code of Ethics that protects clients, the public, and other real estate agents.

The term REALTOR® is not only a trademark owned by NAR and protected by federal law, it's a valuable membership benefit that distinguishes members from other real estate licensees.

2. Members can use the REALTOR® trademarks, with limitations

Members may use the REALTOR® marks only in the context of identifying themselves as members of NAR. To maintain the value of the the marks, it's important they be recognized by the public as identifiers of NAR members, and used generically to denote a vocation or a business.

Members are licensed to use the marks only in connection with their real estate business and in connection with the place of business with which their membership is associated.

3. Design standards for REALTOR® marks must be followed

The preferred for of the term is REALTOR® - in all caps, and using the registered trademark symbol. If using the symbol isn't possible, then the next best form is in all caps:  REALTOR.

The REALTOR® block 'R' logo consists of a letter R set in Futura Typeface on a sharply contrasting rectangular background to form a block "R" with the term REALTOR® centered underneath. The rectangular block and the term REALTOR® centered under that block must be the same contrasting color.

4. The REALTOR® mark can be used on the internet and in marketing

In usernames, members are allowed to use the REALTOR® mark only to indicate membership in NAR by using the marks with a member's name or with the legal name of a member broker's real estate business.

In usernames, email addresses and domain names, the REALTOR® marks do not need to be separated from a member's name or real estate business name with punctuation, as they do elsewhere.

The marks may be used on merchandise such as t-shirts and ball caps, as long as the item includes the member's name or firm name. However, the marks may not be used in institutional advertising by franchisors.

5. Non-members may not use the REALTOR® marks

Non-members are never allowed to use the REALTOR® trademarks in reference to or in connection with their business or themselves. 

Certain nominal uses of the marks are permissible. For example, newspapers, magazines or radio or television programs may use the marks to accurately identify an individual as a member of NAR or in reference to a Member Board/Association.


Real Estate Industry News

Daily News

26 February 2020

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