You’ll see the terms REALTOR® and MLS® system used frequently in this column, as well as out in the world of real estate advertising. The terms are now ubiquitous enough that most people have at least a basic idea of what they think those terms represent. But you might be surprised to know that both of them are registered trademarks owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), and used under license by real estate boards and associations across Canada.
The term REALTOR® is not synonymous with “real estate agent” or “broker”. The trademark REALTOR® identifies only those real estate professionals who are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association and, as such, subscribe to a high standard of professional service and a strict Code of Ethics. Every member of a Real Estate Board is also a member of CREA, and therefore we are permitted to use the term REALTOR® to describe themselves as members of CREA. All REALTORS® across Canada, are governed by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, which states that REALTORS® are committed to:
- Professional competent service
- Absolute honesty and integrity in business dealings
- Co-operation with and fairness to all
- Personal accountability through compliance with CREA’s Standards of Business Practice