So you ask
These definitions are taken from The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, which governs the real estate professionals.
When Is a Real Estate Agent a REALTOR®?
A real estate agent is a REALTOR® when he or she becomes a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, The Voice for Real Estate®, the world's largest professional association. The term "REALTOR®" is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abides by its strict Code of Ethics.
Founded in 1908, NAR has grown from its original nucleus of 120 members to more than 1 million today. NAR is composed of REALTORS® who are involved in residential and commercial real estate as brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors, and others who are engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry.
WHAT DOES THE “CRS” DESIGNATION MEAN?
There are over one million REALTORS® in business today. So if you want to find that one-in-a-million REALTOR®, start with the over 34,000 who hold the Certified Residential Specialist Designation. CRS is the symbol of excellence in residential real estate. Our members have proven they have the experience, training and commitment to be among the best in their profession.
What Is REBAC? What is the ABR® Designation?
REBAC focuses on buyer representation. While it is now a broadly-accepted, mainstream business model in real estate circles, it’s sometimes easy to forget that it wasn’t always so—and how quickly the shift occurred. Within the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), buyer representation officially took hold in November 1996, when NAR acquired the then-independent Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), giving full support to a trend that had been gaining momentum throughout the 1980s.
Now, ten years later, REBAC has enjoyed exponential growth and is the largest of NAR’s Institutes, Societies, and Councils. Numbering more than 40,000, active REBAC members span the globe, with nearly three quarters holding their Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation.