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, northcarolinarealtor@gmail.com and www.numberonerealtor.com are both incorrect uses of the term REALTOR®. On the other hand, sallyjonesrealtor@gmail.com 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.

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