Not many people know that all real estate agents can not call themselves Realtors®. In order for real estate agents to call themselves Realtors® they must belong to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), their state Realtor® associations and their local Realtor® associations. What's the difference? Realtors® have access to benefits that other real estate agents do not have.
The Purpose of NAR
According to the National Association of Realtors® website, "NAR's goal is to demonstrate the value of a Realtor® to consumers and distinguish Realtors® from other real estate agents. Members of NAR get perks and benefits that help make them stand out as professionals from other real estate agents. According to NAR's statistics, they are America's largest trade association and have been "advocating and protecting the rights of property buyers and sellers in the U.S. and around the world for 114 years."
One of the ways Realtors® stand out from other real estate agents is their access to education, designations and certifications. Real estate agents must take continuing education (CE) classes every two years in order to renew their licenses. NAR provides these classes to Realtors®. NAR also offers classes for Realtors® to earn certifications and designations that other real estate agents who aren't members cannot earn. In fact, over 200,000 Realtors® hold expertise certifications and designations. Working with Realtors® who hold these certifications and designations helps you receive better service as a real estate consumer. Your Realtor® has knowledge that other real estate agents do not have. This places them in an advantageous position to work smarter on your behalf.
Code of Ethics
According to NAR, over 1.5 million real estate professionals subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics. The National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics "ensures that customers are served by requiring Realtors® to cooperate with each other in furthering clients' best interests." This assures that buyers, sellers, investors, tenants, and commercial real estate clients are treated honestly and fairly. Realtors® place their clients' interests first and foremost.
Research and Statistics
NAR produces a full range of up-to-date real estate data for its Realtor® members. They analyze this data and make it available to all Realtors®. It includes the latest housing statistics and real estate market trends, the housing affordability index, the latest housing indicators, and much more. This data is available on a state and metro area level as well as the U.S. level. This data gives Realtors® knowledge to help serve their clients better. This, in turn, may help their customers gain a competitive advantage and receive higher home values.
Realtors® have access to websites, emails and social media perks as well. NAR posts information for Realtors® daily on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. This helps Realtors® stay abreast of current market information thus benefiting their real estate clients.
Realtors® are committed to excellence. The NAR program, C2EX, is a commitment to excellence program which "empowers Realtors® to evaluate, enhance, and showcase their highest levels of professionalism." Working with real estate agents who hold the Realtor® designation is advantageous to real estate clients everywhere.