Every day new real estate professionals enter our industry. It is an exciting and rewarding career. There is almost an avalanche of information coming at these new agents, and one of the best parts of my job is to help navigate the “Pathways to Professionalism” that relate to an agent becoming a REALTOR®.
Let’s begin by explaining that REALTOR® is a specific, registered trade mark which means “a member of the National REALTORS® Association.” That is the only way this term is to be used. Other terms such as real estate agent or licensee, indicate that a person has been fully trained and passed a test with the required state agency, in our case, Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (dsps.wi.gov) . REALTOR® indicates that the individual has taken further steps to commit to the highest level of professional standards and a Code of Ethics that is over 100 years old.
Membership is based on a three-way agreement, which means our members are a member of the local (LARA-Lakes Area REALTORS Association), state (WRA-Wisconsin REALTORS® Association)* and national (NAR – National Association of REALTORS®). *Because of our proximity to Illinois, there are special circumstances for dual-licensed agents.
The steps to earning the designation of REALTOR® and the ability to proudly display “the big blue R” on business cards, lapel pins, and more are:
1. Complete and submit the LARA New Member Application with appropriate dues. (Available through your broker or at: http://www.lakesrealtors.com/?page_id=47 )
2. Once the application is processed at the LARA office, you will be directed to take NAR’s online New Member Code of Ethics training (a 2.5 hour course.) The certificate of completion will be forwarded to our office, at which time we will schedule your live New Member Orientation Class (currently held quartly.)
3. The live New Member Orientation class is currently a 3 hour overview of the various benefits available and expectations of you at all three levels of membership. At the end of class, licensees become REALTORS® by making the REALTOR® Pledge and are provided with a lapel pin to wear proudly.
Once a REALTOR® the opportunities for volunteer involvement and participation in career enhancing programs are almost endless. Please let us know how we can help you succeed in this wonderful career helping people achieve the American dream of home and land ownership.
Denise Schultz, LARA Association Executive