I'm just going to get this post started with the opening topic. This is a question for my REALTOR® Associates, regarding the use of the word REALTOR® in other countries. We all know that the word "REALTOR®" can legally only be used to describe a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and subscribes to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. Most REALTORS® also know, but are just too lazy to print the word in it's proper form, as I've done in this post. (REALTOR®)
Now since it's very likely that there are members of the public reading this post, who may or may not be aware of the legalities involved in the use of the word REALTOR®, I'll reiterate a couple of simple facts before I continue with the subject at hand.
- The word REALTOR® is associated only with real estate agents who are member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to the REALTORS® Code of Ethics.
- There are very specific ways the word "REALTOR®" can and cannot be used.
Now for my question. I was on Wikipedia, where I stumbled upon a page about REALTORS®. The page talks about the usual stuff, and proceeds to discuss the law suit a few years ago, by the jerk man who thought he should be able to call himself a REALTOR® even though he's not. As far as I can tell, at that point the Wiki page appears accurate in it's facts on that matter.
But then I noticed several places that said "citation needed". I also noticed that there were several pages attched to the one I had found. I managed to find a site that held some of the information that would qualify for the "citation needed", and added it to the post. But then I found some more information that seemed very slanted and questionable. Unfortunately, I clicked through a few pages, and couldn't find the original page with the questionable information. But I clearly remember the context.
The page I found on Wikipedia stated that around the world, the term REALTOR® is commonly used to describe ALL real estate agents, except in the U.S., where NAR controls the use of the word. I'm assuming this information was provided by the same person who slanted the wording of several other paragraphs within the articles, all of which can be discussed in the "talk" section.
So I'm asking you all. Do you know if this information is true? Is the word "REALTOR®" used casually and improperly in other countries? I did a little bit of research but all I could find was a blurb on the NAR site that mentioned NAR having a large presence around the world. But that doesn't specifically address the usage of the word "REALTOR®" around the world.
Anyone? Do you have the answer to this? If you do, PLEASE see if you can track down the page that contained the negative information on Wikipedia. You may also want to chime in on the discussion in the "talk" section, about this and other information about REALTORS®. I already spent a couple of hours cleaning up the improper presentation of the word REALTOR®, and adding the needed "citation" to another section. I also provided information to someone in the "talk" section who thought the word REALTOR® did not need to be capitalized at all. I supplied the applicable link to the NAR site page that addresses all uses of the trademarked word and symbols. (My Wiki name is "brattygirl" ... sounds appropriate, no?) =D
I believe it would serve us all well if we took some time to clean up the Wikipedia information about our industry. You can follow the links in this post to get started, and click around from there.
I already know that we're a tightly-knit group of professionals who look out for each other. I've seen it many times here on AR, and I've experienced it in person. This is one of the reasons that I'm PROUD to be a REALTOR® and will fight to make sure it's used properly. Yes, we have to compete against each other, as well as negotiate for our clients, but that's business. True professionals are able to separate their business and personal lives. I have proof of this in my REALTOR® friends. I will fight for the best interests of my clients, and then have lunch with the REALTOR® for the opposing party. We see attorneys do it to a far greater extent than us. At least we're not yelling and slinging mud like they do... or at least we shouldn't be! But my point is, I believe this is one of those time when we should all pull together.
As for the handful of REALTORS® who are not proud of the Code of Ethics and/or their Title that is supposed to serve as a higher standard of professionalism, remember what your mother and/or father taught you. As I've said before... "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Do it if for no other reason than because there are MANY of us who are proud of our profession, our industry, our Code of Ethics, our title, and more. Please don't make us look unprofessional. Let's not see any in-fighting on the Wikipedia pages. Only post what is factual, and be sure to provide the NAR links to support any information you provide.
Thanks! HAPPY MONDAY! I hope you all have a great week.