A realtor will sometimes be written as REALTOR®, indicating that it is a specific registration. By joining a local association of REALTORS®, an agent’s membership is automatically extended to both the state and national groups. So, by joining the St. Louis organization, the agent gets automatic membership in both Missouri REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®. When a real estate brokerage joins, all of the agents employed there are eligible too, if they choose.
Once designated a REALTOR®, there are certain resources available to an agent, but also some additional expectations.
Ethics. REALTORS® commit to following a strict 17-point Code of Ethics.They pledge to uphold various standards defined by honesty, integrity, and fairness.
Training. REALTORS® must continue their professional education with courses that keep them up-to-date real estate trends, best practices, and changes to real estate law.
Fees. In addition to keeping Missouri real estate licensure current, REALTORS® are also subject to association dues.
Benefits. Membership allows REALTORS® access to educational resources, special real estate market data, and other services like help with transaction management. They may also use the trademark REALTORS® logo or “badge” in their marketing materials.
Becoming a REALTOR® is seen by many as a mark of professional esteem. The NAR holds REALTORS® accountable, and should they break the rules, they may be stripped of their membership. Their reputation will suffer, and so might their business.
It must be recognized, however, that a real estate agent who is not a REALTOR® may be just as ethical, even though they have not formally agreed to be. And while any further education is voluntary and not required, they may be well-informed on the details of the current market. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties for example, we offer frequent training opportunities and encourage all of our agents to attend.
Real estate agents do not answer to anyone except themselves and the company that employs them. REALTORS® are monitored by the NAR. The difference is really that simple