Happy 100th, to All REALTORS®

From NAR President: This month the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® embarks on its second century. It was May 12–14, 1908, when a group of real estate practitioners from around the country met in Chicago to found our association.

May 1, 2008

The founders of NAR had an ambitious list of priorities that included establishing a code of ethics, promoting state licensing laws (none yet existed), and bringing their collective influence to bear on issues of importance to real estate—including the establishment of a tax code, building of highways, and community planning.

Like the founders, your association leaders today are focused squarely on your business needs. And our priorities as we begin our second century are no less ambitious than those of our founders. Perhaps you’ve begun to hear a bit about the association Second Century Initiative.

We plan to:

  • Create a real estate gateway online that will provide real estate professionals with data on every property in the United States.
  • Start a federally chartered credit union to give you financial services at terms more attractive than you can get through a bank.
  • Fund new technology ventures that hold promise for real estate practitioners.
  • Launch a consumer initiative that will help build trust between REALTORS® and consumers and make the most of our shared interest in a healthy real estate market.

For many organizations, goals this big would seem impossible. Yet, I’m confident that REALTORS® will achieve them all — no matter what happens in the market — because for 100 years, we have proven what we can do when we work “All Together.

Since NAR was founded in 1908, our members have influenced nearly every aspect of the real estate industry and our profession.

It is REALTORS® who have made ethical conduct a staple of our business by adopting and enforcing a strict Code of Ethics. In doing so, we have helped protect millions of consumers from unfair business practices.

It is REALTORS® who have promoted the sharing of property information among practitioners, creating a multiple listing service that both protects consumer privacy and makes the transaction more efficient.

It is REALTORS® who have helped raise the homeownership rate to nearly 70 percent by advocating for laws and policies that protect private property rights and make housing more affordable and accessible.

It is REALTORS® who have expanded our knowledge and innovated, decade after decade, to ensure we always provide the best information and service to every consumer we serve.

And, yes, it is REALTORS® who have promoted competition in the market by encouraging new business models and by keeping large banks out of real estate.

Together, REALTORS® are an uncommon team of America’s best and brightest entrepreneurs, serving as stewards of our communities and, at the same time, driving one of the most powerful industries in the world.

Please take some time to enjoy this commemorative issue of REALTOR® magazine. It contains excerpts from the new book NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®: 100 Years in Celebration of the American Dream, which documents the many challenges REALTORS® have faced and overcome on the road to this historic milestone.

I wish you all a happy 100th anniversary. May our journey together continue on a long and prosperous path.

Richard F. Gaylord

Richard F. Gaylord was 2008 president of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.