Anyone who has contemplated and researched buying or selling a home has most likely seen the Realtor logo. It frequently appears on brochures, business cards and advertisements. That is feature Realtors and/or homes for sale.
The logo is simple and strong, evoking a sense of stability and trust. In recent years, the National Association of Realtors decided the logo needed an update. Let’s examine the history and evolution of the widely recognized Realtor logo and brand.
About the Realtor Brand
Firstly, Realtor is a registered mark that is used by real estate professionals. To identify their membership in the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Founded in 1908, the NAR is compose of commercial and residential brokers. Also, salespeople, appraisers and other real estate professionals.
Secondly, The NAR represents 1.3 million members who belong to around 1,200 local associations. Or boards in the United States and some U.S. territories. Its headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois.
The term, “Realtor,” was proposed originally by a real estate agent in Minneapolis, Minnesota named Charles N. Chadbourn. The idea was for the NAR’s members to be able to distinguish themselves from non-members.
While, many people are unaware of the fact that “Realtor” is a registered mark. As opposed to a blanket term that covers all real estate professionals. Use of the term, “Realtor,” means that the user is a member of the National Association of Realtors. And non-members may not use the mark.
Realtors must follow the NAR’s code of ethics. The mission of the NAR is to empower its members’ success. Also, it maintains that everyone has the right to own, transfer and use real property.
Futhermore, the National Association of Realtors developed a ethical business practices for the real estate industry. It affords its Realtors a vehicle for professional development. As well as a means to exchange ideas and information between members.
The Realtor logo may be used online. Also in marketing materials to officially identify someone as a Realtor. Specific trademark guidelines must be adhered to when the logo is used. Lastly, according to brand research by the NAR, the “Realtor” logo is highly recognizable. Perceived by consumers as trustworthy, iconic, influential and authoritative.
The Realtor Logo Design History
Traditionally, the Realtor logo is a large, bold and stylized letter “R” inside a square. Three individual shapes (a rectangle, triangle, and half-circle) come together to form the letter. Which is reversed out against a dark background.
The background forms a square around the “R” which can either be filled with black or dark blue. Underneath the square with the “R” is the word “Realtor” in all caps with a registered service mark symbol. The color of the word should match the black or dark blue color of the square.
The Realtor logo can be used by itself
Or in conjunction with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) emblem. MLS is how real estate agents compensate other brokers and share property information. Furthermore, the service mark that features the Realtor logo in conjunction with the MLS emblem contains. Both logos inside a larger rectangle that is a 30% tint of the original color (black or dark blue).
When the “R” logo is used with the NAR name. The font for National Association of Realtors is Garamond, a thin serif typeface.The abbreviation “MLS” is presented in a bold italic, sans-serif typeface. The words “Multiple Listing Service” are spelled out in an italic sans-serif font in all caps. The typeface used on “Realtor” is a simple sans-serif font that is neither bold nor italic.
In addition, the MLS Realtor logo can be printed in blue, black or black and white. In the blue version, the frame and the lettering are blue, and the background is light blue. A dark blue square holds the white letter “R.” That square then sits atop a white rectangle with a dark blue border. In black, the color of the larger box is gray while the lettering and frame are black.
The Realtor Logo Evolution
In 2016, the Presidential Advisory Group of the NAR recommended that the Realtor brand change by modernize the brand. In early 2017, a brand evaluation was conducted, and a budget was approved for re-branding.
Also, in the latter half of 2017, surveys were given to over 1,000 members. As well as consumers before Conran Design Group supplied their findings to the leadership team.
The survey research found that the existing Realtor logo. And NAR branding already instilled a sense of trust, authority, and power. Yet, very few people perceived the logo as contemporary, warm, visionary or progressive.
Furthermore, this led to the decision that the logo need not be re-invented. But modernized with evolution. So that it retained recognition but appealed to current consumers. About 15% of the re-branding budget was allocated to the new logo design.
Conran Design Group Approach
In February 2018, new logo options were presented by the Conran Design Group to the leadership team. The new Realtor logo still uses the blue color, but now the “R” sits on a three-dimensional cube shape. One edge of the cube is darker to give the cube depth and shadowing.
The “R” has been slightly redrawn so that it looks more uniform. And modern, but it is still recognized as the Realtor “R.” The word Realtor has been removed from underneath, and the NAR name sits to the right of the cube.
The font used for “National Association of Realtors” is Montserrat. . Which is cleaner and bolder than the before used Garamond.
Why These Specific Changes?
Some people feel that the new Realtor logo is not a dramatic improvement over the old. Claiming that it feels like a lateral move rather than a positive one. The “R” logo now has slightly more of a cushion around it inside the blue frame than it did, which is easier on the eyes.
The slight redesign of the “R” into two shapes rather than three is also an improvement. But, some critics say the retained box shape. And bolder Montserrat font make the logo feel bulky, unoriginal and dated.
We disagree somewhat with this assessment. The bolder sans-serif font allows for greater readability. And more diverse usage of the logo. But, we do question the particular usage of Montserrat. When there are so many other more modern fonts available to choose from. We also disagree that the logo now seems more dated in comparison to the old Realtor logo.
We think the added dimension makes the logo stand out and moves the brand’s perception into the future.Some realtors believe that the new Realtor logo was unnecessary. Also too expensive for a result that is not all that different from the original.
We tend to agree with this sentiment. Since the NAR spent roughly $250,000 on the new logo only to end up with minimal changes.
The new Realtor logo: a slight change from the old. Was it worth it? Do we like the look? We conclude that it was a wise decision for the National Association of Realtors to improve. Also modernize the Realtor logo.
The cube in perspective and the slightly altered “R” give the logo a dynamic. And modern feel while retaining important brand recognition. We also find the choice of a sans-serif font on the “National Association of Realtors”. Text to be an improvement in the readability and versatility of the logo.
Our only criticisms of this change would be the usage of the Montserrat font. Also, the amount of money spent by the NAR on redesigning the Realtor logo given. That the overall effect was not very dramatic.
We think that a more modern, upscale sans-serif font could have been used instead. And perhaps some slightly more significant changes made for effect. Right now, the new Realtor logo too closely resembles the old. We venture a guess that laypersons who don’t have a background in design. Will not notice that anything has changed at all.