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Are You A Realtor Or A Real-a-tor?

Written by on Tuesday, 30 March 2004 6:00 pm

Exactly how do you pronounce the word Realtor?

Is it pronounced real-y-tar or is it real-a-tar? I've heard it pronounced both ways. Does a realytar work for a reality firm?

I have been a Realtor and around real estate agents who are Realtors since 1975, when the big push was to get the public to understand the difference in a Realtor and a real estate broker. Basically, in the mind of the public, there is no difference.

I understand why the public cannot pronounce the word correctly, but I am at a loss to explain why members of the National Association of REALTORS can't seem to pronounce their own association's servicemark correctly.

Here are some pronunciations that I have heard in the last 12 months or so.

"The first thing you must do is join our Real-i-ty Board."

"I am with the best Real-i-tor in the area."

"My Real-a-ter is always available to answer my questions."

"Let me check with my Real-i-tar."

You would think after spending no doubt multimillions of dollars establishing the Realtor brand, that members of the NAR would know how to pronounce it as it is spelled, REALTOR, with two syllables and the emphasis on the first. It is awkward to say the least to be associated with an organization that its members cannot pronounce and the public doesn't understand. What's even worse is to be in front of a very sharp agent, fully competent in every way, who is introducing herself or himself as being a REAL-A-TOR when the consumer knows the agent is mispronouncing the word, Realtor.

So, I have some suggestions for the NAR to fix this problem:

  1. Forget surveys and research. We all know that what I am saying is true.

  2. Develop a creative and humorous advertising campaign for radio, the Internet,and perhaps television based on the pronunciation of the word REALTOR. If done right, it could be the talk of the country, not to mention totally educational to Realtors and the public alike.

  3. Encourage your education committee to open every training session, no matter what the subject with an overhead of the word REALTOR in big letters across the screen and have the entire class in unison say REALTOR three times.

Like most NAR members and their affiliates, I take pride in being associated with NAR and its REALTOR members.

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  About the author, David Fletcher, NHCB

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