The Realtor brand generates an average of $32,000 in incremental income for every Realtor during membership in the National Association of Realtors trade group, according to a brand valuation conducted for the association.

The study was conducted by absoluteBRAND LLC, an independent brand valuation firm, using data on industry licensing expenses and consumer attitudes toward Realtors to compute the results. The brand valuation study used an income approach based on an estimate of the relief from royalties that real estate professionals would have to pay for the marketplace advantages of the Realtor brand if it were not a free benefit of NAR membership, the association announced today.

The study calculated the marketplace advantage of the Realtor brand above and beyond all other benefits of association membership.

The longer a Realtor is in business, the greater the benefits of the brand, according to the study. The average member, who has six to 10 years experience, realizes $4,500 a year in incremental income due to the marketplace advantages the Realtor brand brings to his or her business, according to the survey.

“For the first time, we have calculated in dollars and cents the value of the Realtor brand. As the image of Realtors continues to improve, the value of being a Realtor will also continue to rise. Our brand is based on the trust more than a million Realtors have established with consumers,” said NAR President Al Mansell of Salt Lake City.

According to consumer tracking studies conducted for NAR’s Public Awareness Campaign, consumer attitudes toward Realtors improved 11 points, from 48 percent in 2002 to 59 percent last year. However, the same study found that less than half of all consumers who bought or sold a home in the past 12 months can recall whether the agent they worked with was a Realtor.

“Members receive the full value of their membership only if they tell every one of their customers that they are Realtors and why it is important to work with a Realtor. Now we can prove that when members fail to do so, it’s money out of their pocket,” Mansell said.

The association will be working to provide boards and brokerages with training materials to help members to communicate the benefits of working with a Realtor to their customers, the association announced.

The Realtor brand is a collective membership mark owned by the National Association of Realtors. It was first registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1947. The term Realtor and the “block ‘R'” Realtor logotype signify membership in NAR.

The Realtor trademark was actually challenged by a California real estate broker who alleged that the term “Realtor” has become generic because it is sometimes used to describe real estate agents, whether or not they are members of the association. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office disagreed with that argument and issued a decision in favor of the association.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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