CREA has made a series of changes to the rules governing the use of the REALTOR® trademarks. The changes are intended to make using the marks easier, which should increase proper use and reduce improper use. The changes also reflect the reality of how CREA’s trademarks are used on the Internet.
- CREA’s previous rules required REALTOR® to be in all capital letters, followed by the ® registration mark. The new policy only requires that form for the first use in any publication. In all subsequent uses, the word can be spelled with only the ‘R’ capitalized, (i.e. Realtor) and omitting the ®.
- Up until this point, members have been required to add the trademark statement “The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA”. The new policy allows members to choose one of five acceptable trademark ownership statements:
- Not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®. Only REALTORS® are members of CREA.
- I’m more than a real estate agent. I’m a REALTOR®.
- What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®?
Visit crea.ca/why to find out.
- REALTOR®. Member of The Canadian Real Estate Association and more.
- The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
- CREA’s previous rules prohibited the use of modifiers with the REALTOR® The new policy allows it, provided that REALTOR® appears in all capital letters (e.g., Professional REALTOR®, Toronto REALTOR®).
- CREA’s previous rules prohibited REALTOR® or REALTORS® being used as part of a firm name (e.g., Smith REALTORS®). The new policy allows that use, provided the following three conditions are met.
- The proposed name is approved by CREA;
- The member enters into a license agreement with CREA before using the name;
- REALTOR® must appear in all capital letters whenever it is used in the name.
- CREA’s previous rules were silent on the use of REALTOR® or REALTORS® in a team name (e.g., REALTOR® Team Smith Jones). The new policy permits such use, subject to the same three conditions set out above.
- CREA’s previous rules prohibited the use of REALTOR® or REALTORS® in corporate branding. The new policy permits such use (e.g., use of REALTOR® in slogans), but the prohibition on use of REALTOR® and REALTORS® in product names will remain.
- CREA’s previous rules prohibited use of our marks in metatags. The new policy permits such use for both REALTOR® and MLS®.
- CREA’s previous policy provided that members may only use REALTOR® or REALTORS® in a domain name in association with their name or firm name. The new policy allows members to add modifiers to REALTOR® in domain names, email addresses, and social media usernames that contain their name, firm name, or team name (e.g. JohnJonesTorontoRealtor.com, JanetheProfessionalRealtor.ca, SmithTeamRealtors@gmail.com, @BigBobRealtor)
In order to implement the new usage requirements, CREA has re-written its Trademark Policy. A copy of that policy is found in the Resources and Compliance section on CREA’s REALTOR Link® page.
Did you know that the information about using CREA’s REALTOR® trademark appeared in CREA’s blog, “CREA Café”? Want to see what you might be missing? Check it out at www.creacafe.ca!
Here’s a sample of other great info you can find on CREA Café. The following article is reprinted from the CREA Café, October 22, 2015.
Refresh your knowledge of the REALTOR® Code with CREA’s new online course
The words “REALTOR®” and “real estate agent” are not interchangeable, although some real estate agents might like them to be.
What sets CREA members—REALTOR® members—apart? Their adherence to the REALTOR® Code: the standard of conduct that helps to ensure the protection of the rights and interests of consumers of real estate services.
As REALTOR® members are aware, CREA’s REALTOR® Code has been the measure of professionalism in organized real estate for many years. The first code was approved in 1913; members approved the first code of ethics specific to CREA members in 1959. The Code has since been amended many times, most recently in 2014, to reflect changes in the real estate marketplace, the needs of property owners and the perceptions and values of society.
REALTOR® members can be justifiably proud of their Code.
Like any set of principles, the Code is only truly valuable if incorporated into day-to-day practice. But what, you may ask, is the best way to go about doing that? In an ideal world, REALTOR® members would pick up the Code and refresh their memory on its various nuances, from time to time.
That’s why CREA created the REALTOR® Code of Ethics Course.
The course is designed to help increase awareness and understanding of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics amongst REALTOR® members, by presenting the code in a user-friendly manner, using practical examples and quizzes to help ensure the knowledge sticks, and providing members with up-to-date information on the most recent changes to the Code.
For example, did you know that in March, 2015, the Code was amended to include, among other things:
- A new commitment to civility;
- A new Interpretation to reinforce the obligation on members that they are responsible for the improper use by businesses partners of CREA’s trademarks; and
- A new Article with respect to unbecoming conduct (A REALTOR® shall not engage in conduct that is disgraceful, unprofessional or unbecoming of a REALTOR®).
Do you think this clause would apply if another REALTOR® member was curt with you? Take the course to find out! Hint: the answer is a two letter word starting with ‘n’ and ending with a vowel.