News & Information: ORRA BrokerWise

Duties of the designated REALTOR®

Thursday, June 2, 2011  
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Under NAR policy, the designated REALTOR® is the firm’s principal broker or the principal designated by the firm to serve. Firms with multiple principals (broker/owners) must designate one principal in writing to serve as the designated REALTOR® (note: all licensed principals must be REALTORS® as well).

Firms based outside of Orlando may name a local area or branch manager as designated REALTOR® as he or she is considered to be "standing in the shoes of the principal broker.”

The Designated REALTOR'S® Importance in the Membership Chain

The ability of a licensee to hold REALTOR® membership flows from the fact that the principal broker is a REALTOR®. If a designated REALTOR® resigns, or is suspended or expelled, all REALTOR® memberships in the firm are then subject to termination or suspension as the case may be.

The Designated REALTOR®'s Responsibilities under the ORRA Bylaws

Annually verify those licensed with the firm as part of the dues billing process. Report the affiliation or severance of all licensees to ORRA within 30 days. This information must be processed through the DBPR and must be verifiable before ORRA can make the changes.

The Designated REALTOR®'s Responsibilities under the REALTOR® Dues Formula

ORRA is bound by its charter to enforce the NAR dues formula, which states that the designated REALTOR®'s personal dues must be increased by an amount equal to the annual dues for each non-member the designated REALTOR® allows to be licensed with the firm. For example, if dues are $100 and a designated REALTOR® has nine non-members, the designated REALTOR® owes dues of $100 for himself plus $100 for each non-member (for a total of $1,000).

If a REALTOR® in the firm does not renew his or her annual membership, or is terminated for non-payment of dues, the formula is then applied and the designated REALTOR® is billed for the resulting personal dues increase.

The Designated REALTOR®'s Responsibilities under the REALTOR® Code of Ethics

To ensure accountability under the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, one of the primary responsibilities of a designated REALTOR® is to be personally responsible and accountable for the acts of all non-members licensed with the firm.

Therefore, if an ethics complaint is lodged against a non-member salesperson, the designated REALTOR® must be charged as if he or she had committed the infraction personally. If a hearing panel then rules that a violation has occurred, the association must impose any necessary discipline on the designated REALTOR® (letter of warning/reprimand, fines up to $2500, suspension, expulsion, etc.).

Given this potential liability, ORRA strongly recommends that principal brokers adopt a company policy requiring all associates to hold REALTOR® membership.

For more information, contact the ORRA Membership Department at 407.513.7282 or

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