The word or expression REALTOR applies to all the real estate practitioners in Canada who are associates of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) as well as to the affiliates of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the neighbouring United States. Members of the REALTOR advocate a very high measure of specialized services or assistance and abide by an austere code of moral values in business. In Canada, the CREA authorizes the members to use the REALTOR signs in all matters relating to them or their dealings in real estate property.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is in charge of upholding the approved and appropriate utilization of the brand names or trademarks 'REALTOR', 'REALTORS' and the 'REALTOR' insignia through out Canada. As far as the 'REALTOR' brand names are concerned, the CREA has an accord known as the Trademark License and International Affiliate Agreement with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the United States. At the time of writing this piece, the agreement is being renegotiated between the two organizations.
In their capacity of being members of a board or association, individual members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) are authorized to make use of one or multiple REALTOR signs for themselves as individuals as well as for their dealings in real estate property. However, these individuals are not permitted to use the REALTOR marks as a component of their company or trade names. Even the agents as well as the marketing persons may use the REALTOR marks to indicate that they are members of the CREA. Nevertheless, they are not entitled to use the REALTOR marks or insignia denoting the synonym for a real estate agent or marketing agent. They are also not entitled to use the signs of any other business relating to real estate.
The prerequisites for obtaining a membership of a local real estate board are usually decided by the board. The member board of CREA preserves the exclusive right to deny membership involving the use of the REALTOR trademarks to an individual or agency if it is found that they are occupied with pursuits that does not presently come under the purview of what is described as real estate or property business as specified in the CREA's manuscript named the 'Real Estate Trademarks Manual'.
The membership of an individual as well as his or her permit to utilize the REALTOR marks or signs expires by design when the reputation of the member falls in the standing of a CREA associate board. There are several reasons that may lead to the termination of an individual's association with a CREA member board and they include failure to reimburse outstanding payment amounts or any other raison d'Ítre. The membership of an individual may also be terminated if for any reason he or she no longer remains in the good reputation of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). It is important to note that an individual or organization that is not a member of the CREA is by no means allowed to use the expression or emblem of REALTOR in relation to their corporate identity or business dealings.
Incidentally, the expression REALTOR does not precisely specify the profession of those using the term. According to the CREA, a realtor may be any individual or organization that constitutes any of the multiple professions under the real estate business. For instance, a realtor may be engaged in real estate brokerage or commission agency, funding mortgages, property management, evaluating real estate properties, counselling people desiring to buy or sell real estate properties, land development, forming partnerships or unions with other real estate individuals or organizations and even construction of buildings.
Here it may be mentioned that trademarks or brand names may be defined as exclusive expressions or symbols/ emblems that convey an explicit significance to the masses or a clientele regarding any individual, firm and/ or their products and/ or services. Often trademarks include both symbols and terms. In due course of time, trademarks or brand names have turned out to be related with the yardstick for measuring the superiority of services or products. In fact, the masses or public regard the trademarks and brand names as assurances of continued superior services and products.
If the owners of the trademarks are not cautious enough about protecting them, they may loose them. In order to protect and uphold the trademarks, the owners should essentially make use of them discreetly and only in their capacity as trademarks. It is important that the trademarks ought to be differentiated from common words normally by means of capital letterings. In addition, the users of the trademarks need to abide by the laws regulating the application of the symbols or trademarks compliant with definite criterion of services or aptitudes of the people using the trademarks.
A number of regulations have been laid down by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) vis-à-vis the use of the REALTOR logo or insignia. Some of these selected rules are mentioned below.