When Is a Real Estate Agent a REALTOR®?
A real estate agent is a REALTOR® when he or she becomes a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, The Voice for Real Estate®, the world’s largest professional association. The term “REALTOR®” is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abides by its strict Code of Ethics.
Founded in 1908, NAR has grown from its original nucleus of 120 members to more than 1 million today. NAR is composed of REALTORS® who are involved in residential and commercial real estate as brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors, and others who are engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry.
Members belong to one or more of 1,700 local associations/boards and 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS® and can join one of our many institutes, societies, and councils. Additionally, NAR offers members the opportunity to be active in our appraisal and international real estate specialty sections. REALTORS® are pledged to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
Working for America’s property owners, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® provides a facility for professional development, research, and exchange of information among its members.
REALTOR® Family Designation and Certification Programs
What do the letters after a REALTOR®’s name mean? They proudly show the designations a REALTOR® has earned to further their professional development. To earn a designation, a REALTOR® has taken coursework and demonstrated specific skills, performance and knowledge in a particular area of the real estate industry. To serve today’s consumers, REALTORS® need to be strong generalists and specialists. Designations are one way practitioners develop specialized skills that help the industry thrive. Designations also help practitioners demonstrate to their clients their commitment to professional development. The National Association of REALTORS® and its institutes, societies and councils offer the highest quality real estate education in the world. Learn about the real estate designations recognized by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
Careers in Real Estate
The real estate profession has expanded and offers one of the widest career selections in the business world today. Helping people buy and sell homes, office buildings, industrial property and corporation farmland, property management, land development, mortgage banking, urban planning, real estate counseling, appraisal and research are all aspects of a career in real estate.
Advantages and Rewards of a Career in Real Estate A career in real estate provides flexibility and freedom to set your own pace. Income directly reflects your efforts, with no limits on what astute, hard-working men and women can earn. Successful people in real estate are goal-oriented, persevering, self-motivated, ambitious and people-oriented. The rewards of a real estate career are a potential for high earnings, status in the community, autonomy, time freedom, helping people, the intellectual challenge and the satisfaction from those accomplishments. Working in real estate allows for independence and choices of environment in which to work, such as affiliation with a large or small firm as a listed salesperson. With more experience and upon passing of an additional exam, becoming a real estate broker is the next step. Brokers can own their own businesses and employ other salespeople.
Education for a Career in Real Estate
Colleges and universities now offer a variety of real estate and related courses. At many of these colleges, students can specialize in a program that leads to a bachelor’s degree in real estate. Some universities offer graduate level courses. Contact your local public library for university and real estate college course information and directories.
Professional Requirements for a Career in Real Estate
Entry into the real estate profession takes preparation. As with other professions, licensing is required. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but all require prospective salespeople and brokers to pass a written exam. For more information on licensing, contact the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials at 334/260-2902 or at their Web site. Some states allow students to take pre-licensing educational courses accredited by the state licensing agency before they qualify to sit for the exam. In other states, students can take these educational courses within a specified time after being licensed. In order to obtain a broker’s or sales agent associated license, more than half the states specify special education and/or experience or their equivalents. However, states are upgrading their license laws and prerequisites for both brokers and sales associates at a rapid rate. Current information is available from your local Board of REALTORS® at www.realtor.com or the Real Estate License Commission in the state(s) where you would practice.