Realtor: Roles of A Realtor and How to Become One

Image source: Bogin, Munns & Munns

If you’re about to buy a house, you must have come across the terms “realtor” or “real estate agent”. Now, while these two might look the same, there’s more to being a realtor than just handling real estate affairs. Here, we’ll take you through the job roles of a realtor and how to become one, including the advantages and disadvantages that come with the role. 

What Is a Realtor?

A realtor is a real estate professional who belongs to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which is a professional organization. The National Association of Realtors defines the term “real estate professional” as a federally registered collective membership mark that distinguishes a real estate professional who is a member of the association and follows its code of conduct.

Understanding The Role Of A Realtor

Realtors are professionals who operate as residential and commercial real estate brokers, salesmen, property managers, appraisers, counselors, and other real estate professionals.

The word “Realtor” is a registered trademark. There were 1,564,547 realtors as of October 2021. 68% were real estate agents, 20% were real estate brokers, and 13% were associate brokers. Realtors must be members of a local association or board as well as a state association.

Realtors are supposed to be specialists in their industry and must adhere to the National Association of Realtors’ code of ethics, which compels agents to fulfill a specified standard of duty to clients and customers, the public, and fellow realtors.

The code of ethics states, among other things, that realtors “must avoid exaggeration, deception, or suppression of important information relating to the property or the transaction.”

Realtors must also “be honest and truthful in all real estate communications and offer a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations,” according to the rule.

Furthermore, realtors must “pledge themselves to defend and promote their client’s interests” while treating all parties to the transaction fairly.

Instructions for Using the Realtor Trademark

The NAR has strict guidelines regarding the usage of the realtor trademark. Professionals who are members of a member board as a realtor or realtor-associate are authorized to use realtor trademarks in connection with their name and the name of their real estate firm.

The realtor trademark may not be used as part of the legal corporate name of association members. According to the NAR, this is done to prevent the legal ramifications of a corporate name change if a member is suspended or expelled from the organization and loses the ability to use the trademark.

Furthermore, the NAR’s criteria stipulate that if a qualified member incorporates the realtor trademark into their name, it must be in all capital letters and separated from the member’s name by commas.

The Realtor trademark is not utilized by the NAR with descriptive terms or as a descriptor of the profession in the same way that terms like real estate broker, agent, and licensee are. The association also states that realtor trademarks should not be used to indicate a professional’s licensed status.

Real Estate Agents Vs Realtors: Are They The Same?

The terms Realtor and real estate agent are frequently used interchangeably. However, they are not the same. Both must be licensed to sell real estate, but there are some key differences. A real estate agent is not always a realtor. 

Realtors Vs Real Estate Agents: What Is the Difference? 

Both are licensed, but a realtor has gone the extra mile.

Real estate agents are individuals who have been licensed by their state to assist people in the purchase and sale of real estate. Realtors are real estate agents who have joined the National Association of Realtors. NAR members have access to a range of training, tools, and data to assist them to give a truly professional experience to their clients.

The difference between realtors and real estate agents is summarized as follows:

  • Both realtors and real estate agents must meet their state’s agent license standards.
  • Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors, while real estate agents are not.
  • The realtor must complete the NAR Code of Ethics training, while the real estate agent is exempt from extra requirements. 

Realtors Vs Real Estate Agents: Qualifications

Realtor Qualifications

A Realtor might be a real estate agent, a broker-associate, a managing broker, or an exclusive buyer’s agent, to name a few. What distinguishes them is that they must subscribe to the Realtor Code of Ethics for membership, which consists of 17 individual articles containing numerous underlying Standards of Practice.

Real Estate Agent Qualities 

Real estate agents must meet certain age and education criteria in the state in which they wish to work, however they are usually not strict. A four-year college degree, for example, is rarely, if ever, required.

Following that, agents must complete state-approved education courses and apply for and pass the state’s licensure exam. After that, they can apply for a real estate license. Some states need continuous certification.

To maintain certification, a Realtor must complete all of these requirements as well as pass a course on the NAR Code of Ethics every four years.

How to Become a Realtor

To learn how to become a realtor, first learn about the education, experience, and license requirements. The following are the essential steps to becoming a realtor:

#1. Comply with the minimum age and education requirements

Before following this professional path, any aspiring real estate agent must meet the necessary age and academic criteria. Although regulations vary slightly by state, you must be at least 18 or 19 years old to work in this sector.

In most states, you also need to have a high school diploma or a GED. Although a college degree is not required to become a real estate agent, some further education may help you prepare. Courses in business administration, accounting, communications, and marketing at the college level can all help you master the fundamentals of being a realtor.

#2. Take real estate classes.

Although an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is not required to work in this sector, you must complete a few common real estate agent education requirements. Almost every state has a minimum amount of coursework hours that you can complete in-person or online. Most states demand between 40 and 300 hours of classroom instruction.

First, determine the number of hours and type of pre-license training required by your state. Then, look into the programs offered by companies such as Kaplan Real Estate Education, the Center for Realtor Development, and Real Estate Express.

#3. Conduct a background investigation

Before you can apply for a license, you must normally pass a background check after completing the requisite curriculum. The requirements vary by state, but they may involve a criminal background check or a fingerprint check. Check your state’s requirements to ensure that you meet the standards.

#4. Pass the real estate licensing exam

You can take the real estate exam after passing the background check. If you pass the exam, you will be given your real estate license. Each state issues its own license and exams through the Real Estate Commission or a comparable entity. Most state exams comprise the following two sections:

National segment: Questions concerning listing, selling, and managing real estate, as well as financing and professional obligations.

Licensing and statutory requirements, as well as the tasks of the state’s Real Estate Commission, are covered in the state component.

#5. Gain hands-on experience

You can start working in real estate with a real estate license. Most jurisdictions, however, require novice real estate agents to work for an established company for a few years before they can work independently. Typically, you can pick between two options:

Work for a typical brokerage, where you will be part of a team, receive on-the-job training, and earn experience alongside an established agent.

Look for a position with a non-traditional brokerage where you can be more independent or specialize.

#6. Get to know your local market.

It’s critical to get to know your surroundings as you gain experience. First, familiarize acquainted with your neighborhood’s communities, housing stock, and commercial properties. Next, devote time to learning about local property values, evaluating market patterns, and comprehending trends. The more information you have, the better you can counsel clients and develop credibility.

#7. Apply for NAR membership.

Join NAR to become a realtor rather than a real estate agent. Find your local real estate association and confirm the membership criteria, which usually include an application and an annual fee. You can enroll in continuing education and other professional courses if you join NAR. You can also have access to market data and services that will help you be more efficient as a real estate agent.

#8. Get a professional certification or qualification.

After a few years of experience as a realtor, you can choose to specialize in a specific region. Certifications and designations from NAR and other professional organizations can help you master your field and display your skills. Among the alternatives are:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative: This credential is offered by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council to realtors who choose to specialize in working as buyer agents.
  • Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager: This Real Estate Business Institute designation is for realtors that operate their own brokerages and prioritize efficient procedures.
  • Certified Residential Specialist: This Residential Real Estate Council credential is for agents who work with residential properties.
  • Real Estate Negotiation Expert: This accreditation is offered by the Real Estate Business Institute to realtors who want to improve their negotiation and advocacy skills.
  • Residential Accredited Appraiser: This NAR accreditation is reserved for real estate agents who specialize in residential appraisals.
  • Seller Representative Specialist: This accreditation is given by the Real Estate Business Institute to agents who work primarily with sellers.

What Are The Disadvantages of Being a Realtor?

Being a realtor has many advantages like flexibility, endless earning potential, and the opportunity to realize one’s dreams. However, the job does come with its disadvantages. Here are some of the disadvantages of being a realtor

#1. Patience is Required

The greatest challenge in this career is a lack of patience. It normally takes years for a new real estate agent to develop patience. It can take days for a fresh realtor to receive their first customer to make a real estate transaction.

There are numerous things that realtors must do before they can see any profits, such as advertising, prospecting, and holding open houses.

As a result, many real estate agents quit during their first year. They exist primarily because they did not plan ahead of time before entering the profession.

Home is one of the most important and emotionally charged decisions a family can make. They want the best and usually turn to seasoned realtors who have earned their confidence in the community. It is the most serious issue because a realtor only obtains experience after working.

#2. One Must Expect Rejection

One of the more difficult aspects of becoming a realtor is dealing with rejection. Because real estate is the most expensive asset and a realtor’s compensation is calculated as a percentage, the sum is significant.

Customers are typically strangers to realtors, even if they may know him publicly. Prospective clients frequently have a circle of friends. To save money on the commission, many clients choose not to use a realtor.

This leads to a high number of rejections for realtors. They become successful when they gain the ability to not let rejections discourage them from pursuing new opportunities.

#3. It is a competitive profession.

Each community has a large number of real estate brokers. In any given region, sellers and buyers will have numerous realtor options.

Realtors must work hard to promote themselves. One method is to select a niche, an area, a type of property seeker and owner, or a property type.

It is, nevertheless, advisable to begin pitching acquaintances. Realtors should rely on referrals from family and friends. As a result, their initial deals will come from family and friends.

#4. People are difficult to work with.

This is one major drawback – having to work with people who are difficult to work with. Realtors frequently contact clients, other agents, or third parties who are difficult to negotiate with.

Most people develop different opinions on how to do business, which frequently does not coincide with the people with whom they interact. Realtors must understand how to handle, collaborate, and distribute circumstances as they strive for professional greatness.

#5. Working Overtime Most of the Time 

It’s odd that having flexible working hours does not guarantee a comfortable job. In most regions, the well-defined standard work on any given day of the week is 40 hours. Overworking is common as a result of a lack of well-defined working hours, which can reach 80 – 85 hours.

Clients, like in any other profession, take center stage, and many client meetings take place on late workday evenings, weekends, or national holidays.

It could mean that realtors take time off in the afternoon to attend some personal work; they are compelled to forego family time in the evenings or on weekends.

How Do Realtors Dress?

These days, business casual is appropriate because the representative should be comfortable while being ready to meet with clients. Khaki pants, turtlenecks, jackets, and cardigans are all casual ways to look professional while doing office work. 

Where Did The Term Realtor Come From?

The term is coined from real (in real estate) and -or by Charles N. Chadbourn in 1916, on the model of Latin agent nouns ending in -tor (such as actor, creator).

In Conclusion,

A realtor is a professional who operates as a residential and commercial real estate broker, salesman, property manager, appraiser, counselor, etc for real estate deals. To become a realtor, one must be a member of the National Association of Realtors. If a real estate agent is not a member of NAR, it is usually because they do not generate enough business to warrant the cost of membership.

  1. 19 Top Best REAL ESTATE APPS FOR AGENTS 2023 (Updated)
  2. How To Sell My House Faster & Without a Realtor in 2023 (Detailed Guide)
  3. HOW TO SELL A HOUSE WITHOUT A REALTOR: Pros & Cons And Why You Should Consider It
  4. How to buy a house in Texas


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like