Each one of these commonly used terms is trademarked!
Popsicles are the same thing as ice pops, but with one big difference. These yummy blocks of ice on a stick are created by the company called Unilever. If anyone else makes an ice pop, no matter how delicious it is, they can’t call it a Popsicle®. If you are intrigued by this trademark and want to read an interesting story about someone who called their business “People’s Popsicles,” click here.
Jeff Meyers expressed, in his article called Rollerblade Inc. Playing a Name Game, that Rollerblade Inc. isn’t exactly happy about people using the verb “rollerblading.” They want to protect their brand name and are concerned that if people turn in-line skating into the verb of “rollerblading,” it will hurt their brand. That’s an interesting tidbit of knowledge to remember next time you hear someone say they’re going rollerblading. Maybe check to make sure the Rollerblade Inc. police aren’t around listening, if you use that term.
We now come to the term “commercial realtor.” Technically, “REALTOR®” is trademarked and belongs to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Don Pasek gave some very good insight about NAR REALTORS® in this thread. He pointed out that MLS, which is heavily used by residential real estate agents, is almost entirely controlled by the NAR, and if you want to have your listings found on MLS, you should be a “REALTOR®.” A difference between commercial real estate and residential real estate is that commercial real estate brokers don’t depend on MLS. There are listing sites for commercial real estate brokers, but you don’t have to be a registered commercial REALTOR® with NAR in order to post your listings for the general public to find. Because of this, unlike residential real estate brokers, commercial real estate brokers do not have as much of a reason to be registered with NAR as commercial REALTORS®.
I’ve talked to our marketing director about this specific term, and apparently, we get a good number of people who come to our website because they did a Google search that included the keywords “…commercial REALTOR®….” Often times, people end up finding our website from that search, they end up working with our commercial real estate advisors, and next thing you know, they have sold, purchased or leased their property through us. Sure, we help them accomplish their real estate goals, even though we may not be registered as commercial realtors, as they had assumed when they discovered us online. However, we are commercial real estate advisors [or brokers, agents, professionals, or whatever you want to call us. Just not necessarily “REALTORS®”].
My purpose for writing this post is two-fold. First, I want to make it clear that “commercial REALTOR®” isn’t technically a term that all commercial real estate brokers are free to use. But even though that’s the case, there are countless commercial real estate brokers out there who are incredibly experienced and more than capable of helping their clients achieve their commercial real estate goals. Having the designation of “commercial REALTOR®” doesn’t guarantee that one broker will be more or less qualified than another broker who isn’t registered with the NAR. Although, there certainly are pros and cons to being a registered commercial REALTOR®.
The second reason for writing this post is because I’d love to get some feedback from others within the commercial real estate industry. Here is the question I’m putting out there: Why are you, or why are you not, a commercial REALTOR®, registered with the NAR? – Being able to call yourself an actual commercial REALTOR® may add some extra weight to your credibility within the profession, but on the flip side, is the cost associated with having everyone in your firm registered with the NAR really going to make a difference in bringing in additional clients? We at SVN | SouthLand Commercial have been members of the NAR in the past, but currently we are not members. We have spent time analyzing whether or not it’s worth it to us, but I would like to know what other commercial real estate brokers think on this matter. Is becoming a commercial REALTOR®, through the NAR, really worth it? What do you think?
About Sonny Granger – Sonny has more than 15 years experience in the real estate industry, with a special passion for commercial brokerage and development. Sonny is based in Pensacola, Florida, with broker licenses for Florida, Georgia and Alabama. He is also one of four partners for SVN | SouthLand Commercial. Click here to view his full profile, or if you would like to contact him, you can call him at 850-610-8339, or email him at [email protected] You can also follow him on Twitter at @SonnyGranger.