The Realtor® Lowdown

Brand recognition is one of the elusive goals that all businesses strive for. The ability to bring into someone’s mind the image of a product or service by simply saying its name is a powerful marketing tour. Some brand names have become so synonymous with a product that the name is used to describe a product regardless of who makes it. When you have a runny nose, do you ask for a facial tissue or do you ask for a Kleenex®?

An organization that has beyond any doubt accomplished this goal is The National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Anyone looking to buy or sell a home will say they are working with a Realtor®. Rarely do they say they are working with a real estate agent. So what is the big deal with the word Realtor®?

The word has become such a part of our vocabulary that we forget that not all real estate agents are Realtors® and not all Realtors® are real estate agents. Confused? Here is the NAR definition of a Realtor®:”NAR is composed of REALTORS® who are involved in residential and commercial real estate as brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry”. NAR is an organization that someone in the real estate profession can join.

So, what does this have to do with us? Many Real Tour Vision virtual tour providers are participating in public forums and blogs that we fully expect to have people from the real estate industry read. We all pride ourselves in delivering that extra little bit that will make us stand apart from all others. One extra little bit that takes very little effort would be the use of the word Realtor®

I rarely use Realtor®; I prefer real estate agent or real estate professional. When I first started as a mortgage broker, I had a few agents correct me about the use of Realtor®. Several went to great lengths to let me know they belonged to NAR, but were in fact real estate agents. Some agents will not care one way or the other how the word is used. Others are like I was. When a service provider came into the office, the first question was always “Are you a Realtor®”. I would say “Yep, I am also a real estate agent”. That would always slow them down.

The point I am trying to get across is simple. Set yourself apart from others by using the word Realtor® correctly. When you write something that potential clients are going to read, I know you carefully craft the sentences and check for misspelling. Why not go that little extra distance and write the word as it is registered? One last little bit. Try not to pronounce it “relitter”. Think about how RTV is pronounced. Real Tour said fast sounds a lot like Realtor®.

Roger Hall
Sunwheel Consulting