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NAR REALTOR® Trademark and Social Media

May 05, 2016
As social networking websites and blogs continue to gain popularity in the real estate marketing world, real estate professionals are striving to create unique and clever usernames that identify them publicly to others viewing the site.

REALTOR® Trademark

Due to recent complaints, ECAR would like to remind our membership about the NAR rules regarding REALTOR® Trademarks and Social Media.  The following FAQ was taken from realtor.org:

Social Media Use

What is a Facebook username?
Facebook is for the first time allowing users to register a custom username. Each Facebook account can only have one username and you can never change nor can you transfer it to someone else. In fact, even if you delete your Facebook account, your username will not go back in the pool of available usernames. As of now, Facebook usernames are only being used for custom URLs, but the uses for usernames might change in the future. Choosing a Facebook username is optional and having a username will not change the name that appears on your profile or anywhere else on the site.

Can I use the REALTOR® marks with my username on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter?

The same rules governing the use of the REALTOR® marks apply on the internet. In a username, members are authorized to use the REALTOR® marks only to indicate membership to NAR by using the marks with a member’s name or with the legal name of a member broker’s real estate business.

Do I need to use punctuation to separate the REALTOR® marks from my name in a username, email address, or domain name?

The REALTOR® marks do not need to be separated from a member’s name or real estate business name with punctuation in usernames, email addresses, or domain names.

In a username, do I still need to capitalize the REALTOR® marks or use the trademark registration symbol?
The requirements to use capitalization and the registration symbol with the REALTOR® marks are relaxed since such formalities either cannot or are not normally observed on the Internet including on social media sites.

Why do the rules prohibit the use of descriptive words or phrases with the REALTOR® marks (e.g. hotshotrealtor or floridarealtor)?

The term REALTOR® was created by a member to identify members and distinguish them from non-members. When the REALTOR® marks are used with a descriptive word or phrase it does not identify a person as a member but is most likely to be understood to be referring to a type or service that might be provided.

Is it okay for me to use the REALTOR(R) block R logo as the icon for a mobile device application, such as an iPhone App?

The rules for using the REALTOR(R) logo as an icon for an application are the same ones which govern its use in any other medium. The logo is intended to identify the user as a member of the Association. A Member may use the REALTOR (R) logo as an icon for an App if (i) the App is provided in connection with the Member's real estate business and (ii) the logo appears in the icon adjacent to the Member's name or the name of the member's real estate business. A Member Board may use the REALTOR(R) as an icon for an App if (i) the App is provided in connection with the Member Board's publications, or its educational courses, clinics and similar service projects produced or sponsored by the Member Board and (ii) the logo appears adjacent to the Member Board's name. Please note, acronyms and abbreviations are not permitted.

What's Your Username?

April 3, 2012

As social networking websites and blogs continue to gain popularity in the real estate marketing world, real estate professionals are striving to create unique and clever usernames that identify them publicly to others viewing the site. “Number1realtor” or “yourMichiganrealtor” or “jane_chicago_realtor” may sound like unique usernames, but each of these examples violates the National Association of REALTORS® trademark usage rules as well as the bylaws of the Emerald Coast Association of REALTORS®.

The rules governing the use of the REALTOR® marks are the same regardless of the medium in which the marks are being used, i.e., print advertising, web advertising, URLs, e-mail addresses, usernames, and more. These rules require the REALTOR® marks to be used with the name of a member or with the legal name of a member broker’s real estate business. A separate rule prohibits use of REALTOR® with descriptive words or phrases. Because domain names must be lowercase and cannot accommodate the R symbol, the requirements to use capitalization and the registration symbol “®” with the REALTOR® marks are relaxed for usernames. Here are some examples of acceptable and unacceptable usernames:

Acceptable usernames


Unacceptable usernames


janesmithrealtor


realtor


jsmithrealtor


chicagorealtor


smithrealtor


yourchicagorealtor


jane_smith_realtor


your_chicago_realtor


realtorjanesmith


cyberrealtor


realtorjsmith


virtualrealtor


realtorsmith


realtor_mom


realtor_smith


realtorsolution


Illinois_association_of_realtors


localrealtor


jane_the_realtor


top_chicago_realtor


jane_a_realtor


number1realtor


realtorjanechicago


hotshotrealtor


chicagojanerealtor


residentialrealtor


realtor_jane_number1


commercial_realtor




janechicagorealtor