As a member of a REALTOR® Association, you adhere to a Code of Ethics that protects clients, the public and other real estate people. When you adhere to the Code of Ethics, you are responsible for properly using the REALTOR® marks. The term REALTOR® is not only a trademark owned by NAR and protected by federal law, but is also a valuable membership benefit that distinguishes members from all others in the real estate business, showing your commitment to your ethical practice.

The term REALTOR®, simply put, is defined as a being a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Think of it as the term REALTOR® being a brand. A Klennex® is not a “kleenex,” it’s a tissue. Just like a “REALTOR®” isn’t just another real estate agent, it’s direct representation of your membership.

A few simple rules can help preserve and promote the value and the meaning of the marks for years to come. Here are a few very important rules to remember. Be sure to check the Membership Marks Manual for a complete set of rules or view FAQs.

The term REALTOR® may never be used in connection with a descriptive word or phrase. You can use the REALTOR® mark with your name or the name of your firm, (ex. John Smith, REALTOR® or Sunshine Realty REALTORS®). But when it’s used as a description (ex. Your Hometown REALTOR®), adjectives may suggest improper vocational meaning and can refer to anyone in the business, regardless of whether they are a member or not.

There is only one way to properly pronounce the term REALTOR®: REAL-tor (two syllables!), it’s NOT pronounced real-i-tor or real-e-ter. Consistent aural use is just as important as consistent visual use to the preservation of the distinctive and recognizable character of the marks.

The preferred format for written use of the MARKS is use of all capital letters with the federal trademark registration symbol. When the preferred format is not feasible, members and Associations may use the marks with an initial capital letter “R.” Unless it is used in a domain name or email address, members and Member Boards are prohibited from having a mark appear in all lowercase letters.

  1. Preferred Form:
  2. Permitted Form (only when useof the “®” is not feasible):
  3. Permitted Form (only when use of all capital letters is not feasible):
  4. Permitted Form (when use of the “®” and all capital letters is not feasible):

What’s Your Username? With social media, real estate professionals are striving to create unique and clever usernames that identify them in the digital world. “Number1realtor” or “yourSarasotarealtor” or “jane_bradenton_realtor” may sound like a great option for a username, but each of these examples violates trademark rules. Here are some examples of acceptable and unacceptable usernames. Because domain names must be lowercase and cannot accommodate the “®” symbol, the requirements to use capitalization and the “®” are relaxed for usernames.

Acceptable usernames Unacceptable usernames
janesmithrealtor realtor
jsmithrealtor sarasotarealtor
smithrealtor yoursarasotarealtor
jane_smith_realtor your_sarasota_realtor
realtorjanesmith cyberrealtor
realtorsmith realtor_mom


It is important to use NAR’s membership marks correctly and according to the rules outlined in the Membership Marks Manual, without this consistency, all meaning of the mark is lost. Thank you for keeping the integrity of the REALTOR® marks and showing your commitment to your membership with the National Association of REALTORS®.