Why a REALTOR? By Ricki Free “The term REALTOR® has one, and only one, meaning: REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. The single most important rule governing the MARK is that it may only be used to convey this meaning, and never used to convey another meaning.” This quote is straight off the NAR (National Association of REALTORS) website. In Georgia, when a salesperson makes the committment to become a REALTOR, they become members of their local Board of Realtors, GAR (Georgia Association of REALTORS) and NAR (National Association of Realtors). Just like the quote says we are sworn to uphold a strict code of ethics along with the “Golden Rule”. The 17 articles in the code of ethics are consumer and our fellow REALTORS centric. I think another misnomer is that we are in sales. We are, but we are actually in the service industry; we provide a service. We do however, have to sell people on the value of our services. My father-in-law Donnie Free, who is now retired from an over 40-year career in real estate, says all you have to offer a buyer or seller is your time and knowledge. There really is no truer 38 The word REALTOR is used incorrectly every day. Not all real estate sales people are REALTORS. When someone passes their real estate exam and become licensed by their state, they are considered a Real Estate Salesperson. Only when they join a Board of REALTORS, take their oath and pass Code of Ethics training, may they then call themselves a REALTOR. statement. REALTORS are knowledgeable on all aspects of buying and selling property. Most Realtors will “specialize”, for example home sales, commercial, land or property management in order to be experts in a particular type of real estate transaction (they are all different animals). That is not to say that an agent couldn’t specialize in more than one or all types of real estate transactions. As you read the other articles in this magazine, you can see we are a part of the whole process, that is our service. We are here to facilitate you throughout the entire real estate transaction. The decisions are yours, we just give you Advice and Counsel. If you know any REALTORS, you know it’s not their job-it’s their lifestyle. They are up early maybe not out of the house but certainly planning their day to service their clients and they are the last in their families to arrive home at night. They work when most are off work – after hours and weekends. Realtors are a close nit group, often misunderstood, competitors yet friends. If REALTORS cared about what they made per hour, there would be none. They love the job of helping people find their home and that of helping a seller sell and move on to their next chapter of life. They are the calm in the storm, when everyone else is emotionally tied to the transaction they are the voice of reason and resolve. I have some accomplishments in my life that I am very proud and grateful for and being able to use REALTOR behind my name is one them.

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