National Association Of REALTORS® (NAR)


Definition of "National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)"

Jennifer Harvell real estate agent
Jennifer Harvell, Real Estate Agent RE/MAX Ocean Properties

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is not only a commonly used term in the real estate industry, but it is also the largest trade association in the US. With over 1.4 million members, NAR’s represents people from its societies, councils, and institutes integrated into all facets of the commercial and residential real estate industry. Its member brokers are known as REALTORS®. In contrast, member agents are known as REALTOR-ASSOCIATES®, both trademarks of the association, that helps identify any real estate professional that attained membership of the NAR and also adheres to their Code of Ethics.

Across the 54 territories where the association operates, there are about 1,200 local associations. The National Association of REALTORS® has a diverse membership that can cover any position in the real estate industry, from residential brokers to appraisers or counselors. 

History of the National Association of REALTORS®

Before the National Association of REALTORS® adopted this name in 1972, the association was known as the National Association of Real Estate Exchange when it was founded on May 13, 1908. Then, the name was changed again to The National Association of Real Estate Boards in 1916. However, through all those changes, the association remained in Chicago, Illinois, from its beginning.

Ever since its early beginnings in 1913, only 5 years since it was founded, the National Association of REALTORS® adopted its code of ethics and standards of practice. The code of ethics sets a list of obligations for the members of the association. These obligations are stricter than those demanded by law.

The code of ethics is why members that are called REALTORS® uphold the highest expectations of professionalism and quality of service for their clients.

The NAR Trademark

The association obtained the trademark REALTORS® in 1949 for situations when real estate professionals used the term to represent a collective of members of NAR. In 1950 they also acquired the trademark for REALTOR® for individual use. The trademarks were first suggested in 1916 by Charles N. Chadbourn, a vice-president of the association who wanted a professional title to be granted for the members of the NAR so that they could set themselves apart from other real estate agents.

With these terms registered as trademarks, other real estate professionals demanded cancelation hearings more than once for the terms above. The arguments that they presented against the registration of the two terms mentioned their generic use, even more, underlined with the presence of social media. During the hearings, all the petitions were denied, and the terms are still under trademark registration.

Becoming a Member of NAR

The NAR membership is said to open up a vast array of doors and opportunities for real estate professionals. The amount of increased professional skills that a real estate professional can obtain from the resources available within NAR are available for any interested member to increase their education and income. Some experienced professionals can offer their assistance to any member who might be looking for an answer.

In order to become a member of the NAR, it is necessary to obtain membership within a local association of REALTORS®. The membership will expand towards state and national membership in the association. If the real estate professional works for a Real Estate Broker, then the manager, person-in-charge, needs to become a member before the other real estate agents can. The other important factor is that the real estate professional that wants to be a member of NAR must respect and adhere to their code of ethics.

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