Clearly, there is some confusion about the term "REALTOR®" and what it means. The common misconception is to equate the term REALTOR® with home seller, agent, or broker. The fact of the matter is 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 subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
Membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® is available to individuals engaged in the "real estate business." "Real estate business" as defined in the bylaws of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® includes real estate brokerage, management, appraising, land development or building. An Official Interpretation of the bylaws of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® states:
"It is not an inequitable limitation on membership for a Board of REALTORS® to require that applicants for REALTOR® Membership who are principals in a real estate firm must maintain a real estate broker's or salesperson's license or must be licensed or certified by an appropriate state regulatory agency to engage in the appraisal of real property."
To be clear, the term REALTOR® may include individuals involved in real estate brokerage, but does not eliminate individuals involved in other specialties included in the definition of "real estate business."
As an appraiser, and member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS®, all the benefits of membership are available, including some of particular interest to my Appraisal specialty. These include:
- The NAR Appraisal Designation Program and Fast Track Program to Designation
- NAR involvement and participation in The Appraisal Foundation
- Representation on The Appraisal Foundation Board of Trustees (sponsor)
- Representation on The Appraisal Foundation Advisory Council (TAFAC)
- The NAR Library and Information Central
- Access to the Multiple Listing Service
- Networking opportunities with other real estate professionals
- Increased business (over half my assignments are referred to me by real estate brokers)
- Using brokerage contacts as source for market information, transaction specifics and confirmation
- Legislative and advocacy efforts