The terms “real estate agent” and “REALTOR®” are often used interchangeably, but they are actually different. While real estate agents and REALTORS® are both licensed to sell real estate, a REALTOR® is a trademarked term that refers to a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). With over 1 million members nationwide, it is the largest trade association in the United States.
To become a member, you must first join a local association of REALTORS®, like SABOR. Membership at the local association automatically extends your membership to the state association and national association.
What really sets REALTORS® apart from real estate agents, however, is their commitment to the Code of Ethics. The Code was founded on the “Golden Rule” and requires that REALTORS® treat each other fairly and honestly and act in the best interests of consumers and their clients. Local and state REALTOR® associations are responsible for ensuring members adhere to the Code.
As a member of the association, you have access to numerous perks that come with membership including the opportunity to participate in committees, leadership programs, events, networking and more. You also have the benefit of the association’s advocacy with local, state and national legislators to protect private property rights.