This blog is from our Coldwell Banker Bain Corporate ActiveRain site. I blogged about the use of the name "REALTOR", and want to reinforce that, if I'm not correctly pronouncing the name of the organization I represent, how can I expect my clients to take me seriously?
My name is George Roth, and I am a REALTOR®. It is an honorable distinction to be a member of a strong organization such as the National Association of Realtors®. I proudly emblazon the logo on my business cards and marketing materials, as well as use their brochures and information in client presentation packets. Most colleagues I work with do the same thing, and so do most REALTORS® across the country.
Why is it then – that with all the advertising, marketing, merchandising and discussion – would so many people mispronounce the word “Realtor”? Almost every day I hear someone say “Real-uh-tor”. Where did the “uh” come from? Uh, I don’t know!
So much has been written about the use of the word “REALTOR” and its mispronunciation, one would think that enough has been said. But with someone new mispronouncing it almost daily – brokers and public alike, it seemed worth putting my two cents worth into it. Even the National Association of Realtors has language on their website describing how to say it correctly!
I can understand anyone outside the real estate industry mispronouncing the word, due to lack of familiarity with the field and the organization. Mostly, I look at it as a great opportunity to talk further with them about what I do. But, I don’t always correct them. Who wants to be corrected while in an important business discussion? I do when it’s appropriate, and I try to be lighthearted and ‘bring them in on my little secret’. That works well, and they often become advocates for change among their friends. (And who do you think they will be talking about when they bring it up?)
What I don’t understand is a real estate professional who mispronounces REALTOR®. Oh, I have corrected a few, but I have heard replies like, “Well, I am a ‘relator’ of people and homes!” No, not really.
In regard to real estate industry peers, mispronunciation of the word REALTOR is tantamount to mispronouncing other common words, especially this one that is so widespread it’s almost a virus:
Nuclear, not “Nu·keu·lar” – (Nu·cle·ar - adjective \ˈnü-klē-ər, ˈnyü-, ÷-kyə-lər\)
Here are some more examples for your perusing pleasure (it’s okay to go outside so no one can hear you pronouncing them):
Realty, not “Realaty”
Athlete, not “Athalete”
Cavalry, not “Calvary”
Dilate, not “Dialate”
Regardless, not “Irregardless”
Orient, not “Orientate”
Triathlon, not “Triathalon”
Utmost, not “Upmost”
Why is it so important to correct the use of REALTOR? It’s certainly a matter of pride in my organization, but overwhelmingly my reason to correct people is that, if I don’t know how to pronounce the name of the organization I am proudly representing, how can I expect my clients to take me seriously? If I can’t pronounce my professional title, then what else am I doing wrong? - George Roth, Principal Managing Broker - Anacortes