What are the rules about using the term REALTOR® in an email address?
QUESTION: I would like to create an email address for my real estate business that would include my first and last name followed by the term “REALTOR®.” On my business cards, the term REALTOR® is separated from my name by a comma, and the term appears in all caps with the trademark registration symbol. Do I have to separate REALTOR® from my name with punctuation, and do I have to capitalize REALTOR® in my email address?
ANSWER: No. For use in an email address or a domain name on the internet, the term REALTOR® does not need to be separated from the member’s name or firm name with punctuation. Also, since the public has adopted the use of all lower-case letters when writing email addresses and domain names, for email addresses and domain names only there is an exception to the rule on capitalization of the term REALTOR®.
Take note that all the other rules regarding use of the term REALTOR® still apply on the internet. The term REALTOR®, whether used in an email address, as part of a domain name, or in some other fashion, must refer to a member or a member’s firm, and it may not be used with descriptive words or phrases. Thus, for example, email@example.com and www.numberonerealtor.com are both incorrect uses of the term REALTOR®. On the other hand, firstname.lastname@example.org and www.jonesrealestatecompanyrealtors.com are both correct uses.
The rules regarding proper use of the term REALTOR®, as well as the block “R” logo, are found in the National Association’s Membership Marks Manual, a reference manual explaining proper use of the REALTOR® marks, including examples of correct and incorrect uses.
This article is intended solely for the benefit of NC REALTORS® members, who may reproduce and distribute it to other NC REALTORS® members and their clients, provided it is reproduced in its entirety without any change to its format or content, including disclaimer and copyright notice, and provided that any such reproduction is not intended for monetary gain. Any unauthorized reproduction, use or distribution is prohibited.