Trademarks are useful tools. They help us distinguish among products, services and , yes, sometimes people. When we ask for a Pepsi-Cola® brand soft drink we won't get
Coke®. Similarly, when the public asks for a REALTOR® or see the "R" logo, we want them to know that they are getting more than a real estate licensee - they are getting a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR).
Every time you tell the public you are a REALTOR®, you tell them you subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics, you are a member of the largest trade association in the U.S. and you are informed about issues that affect real estate business. That's a lot of mileage from one trademark! So, it's important to always use the REALTOR® marks and logo correctly to identify yourself as a member of the National Association.
The rules for proper use of the REALTOR® marks and logo apply to any and all media. Whether the marks are used on outdoor signs or newspaper display ads, masonry or paper mache, letterhead or flyers, the rules remain the same. Additionally, the same rules apply to use of the marks in all forms of electronic advertising and communication, including the Internet. A few special rules have also been developed to explain how members may use the marks as a part of the domain name for their real estate business.
The National Association has developed guidelines on the proper use of the REALTOR® marks and logo. This guide summarizes five limitations on the use of the marks. Further information on use of the marks may be found at NAR's internet site, www.REALTOR.org, on the 'Law and Policy' page under REALTOR® Trademark/Logo Rules.
On Your Mark: A Trademark Pocket Reference For Members (PDF)