Attention Real Estate Pros: ‘Realtor’ Is 2 Syllables


After too many years of hearing people say real-uh-ter in reference to real estate agents, it’s time to set the record straight. ‘Realtor’ is two syllables, not three. It’s pronounced real-ter. Period.

You might chuckle, but I’ll use some other improper speaking to make the point: it ain’t no joke.

Here’s why: Realtor is a trademark of the National Association of Realtors. They’ve set the standard for professional conduct in the real estate industry since 1908—one of which is “truthfulness in statements and advertising.”

So if you’re a mortgage or real estate pro going around saying real-uh-ter, you’re not exactly up to standard.

Of course not every real estate agent is an NAR member, but Realtor is to real estate agents what Kleenex is to facial tissue—it’s become so pervasive since the trademark was secured in 1950, the word is now used to describe any real estate agent.

Most dictionaries confirm this by defining ‘Realtor’ as a real estate agent. This includes all Merriam Webster dictionaries, and here’s their pronunciation of Realtor.

So if you’re a three-syllable holdout, click that link over and over and over until it sinks in.

And yes, I’ll admit the topic is worthy of a chuckle. But only if you’re the person laughing at the guy down the hall who still says real-uh-ter.

Julian Hebron is San Francisco branch manager and a top producer for RPM Mortgage and also runs mortgage and housing blog The Basis Point.

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