I am a real estate broker in Florida. In my day-to-day work I deal with agents and brokers. I have no idea whether they are REALTORS or not, nor do I care. Realtors to me are not a protected class to whom ethical behavior is due, while all others are game.
Our license to work and our laws do not come from NAR. They come from our respective States. States license us. So, whether I deal with a person, who pays dues or does not pay dues, does not matter much to me. I deal with a broker or an agent.
I am not against the term Realtor, but it is trademarked, and there is a set of rules how and when you can and can’t use it. Of course, general public does not have to know or follow these rules, and can call us realtors instead of agents or brokers, but we should not do it if we consider ourselves professionals.
But we freaking do...
Just read blogs on AR and you will see the term Realtor used instead of agent or broker all over AR universe, and in many featured blogs. It is mindboggling. It is done by the same agents/brokers, who are so particular about educating general public. Shouldn’t we start by educating ourselves first?
We may not like NAR usurping the commonly used term, but it is what it is, so, let’s stop pretending that we do not understand it.
When you read blogs on AR, see how many times in just one day you run into “If you have a Realtor… You need a Realtor…Ask your REALTOR” etc.
Yes, public can say that you are their realtor, but you shouldn’t. If you are honest and professional, then don’t.
If we say that public is confused, aren’t we the ones who willingly add to this confusion?
Let us set it straight: To buy real estate you do not need a REALTOR, you need an agent, or the broker (if you insist on “Talk to your REALTOR”, it is, probably, about the amount of dues :)
if you are in real estate business and you do not know who you are, then you might be in the wrong business.
Because words mean something…
At least they should…
P.S. I forgot to mention that I am a REALTOR, but it does not really matter.
P.P.S. The only time you deviate, is in setting keywords, as you set them according to what the public is typing in their requests.
Image by Tsahi Levent-Levi via Flickr.com