If you’re a Realtor, make a living any way related to the housing industry, then you’ll surely know about The National Association of Realtors. But for those who aren’t aware, it’s a trade association for U.S. and North American real estate agents and others working in the real estate industry.
1. The official name is The National Association of REALTORS® but is also informally goes by the National Association of Realtors or just NAR.
2. These days, the National Association of Realtors has nearly 1.2 million members.
3. Those numbers include NAR’s myriad societies, councils, committees, and institutes that work to achieve their organizational Mission in just about every facet of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
4. NAR also regulates real estate brokerages across the United States and all Realtor behavior and business practices with their Code of Ethics (more on that later), among other by-laws and rules.
5. The NAR is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
6. Their membership ranks include 54 state associations (including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands as well as the California Association of Realtors, etc.) and more than 1,300 local associations (including the Sacramento Association of Realtors, Placer Association of Realtors, etc.)
7. The NAR is led into the future of real estate with strong leadership. As of 2017, NAR’s Officers include:
William E. Brown, President
Elizabeth Mendenhall, President-Elect
John Smaby, First Vice President
Thomas Riley, Treasurer
Tom Salomone, Immediate Past President
Dale Stinton, Chief Executive Officer
8. According to NAR, their Mission is: “The core purpose of the National Association of REALTORS® is to help its members become more profitable and successful.”
9. Likewise, the Vision is: “The National Association of REALTORS® strives to be the collective force influencing and shaping the real estate industry. It seeks to be the leading advocate of the right to own, use, and transfer real property; the acknowledged leader in developing standards for efficient, effective, and ethical real estate business practices; and valued by highly skilled real estate professionals and viewed by them as crucial to their success.”
11. Our present day National Association of REALTORS® was founded on May 12, 1908 in Chicago, and known as the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges. It’s started with 120 founding members, 19 Boards, and one state association with the stated objective to “to unite the real estate men of America for the purpose of effectively exerting a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interests.”
12. Those original 19 Boards spanned the entire U.S. located in Baltimore; Bellingham, Wash.; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Detroit; Duluth, Minn.; Gary, Ind.; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; Omaha, Neb.; Philadelphia; St. Louis; St. Paul, Minn.; Seattle; Sioux City, Iowa; and Tacoma, Wash., and California.
13. In 1913, NAR adopted its Code of Ethics, with the Golden Rule (Do to others as you’d want them to do to you) as its platform.
14. Three years later in 1916, the National Association of Real Estate Exchange changed its name to The National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB).
15. It was also in 1916 when past president of the Minneapolis Real Estate Board, Charles N. Chadbourn, coined the term “Realtor” to describe real estate professionals who were members of the National Association and believed in its Code of Ethics.
16. But it wasn’t until Sept. 13, 1949 and Jan. 10, 1950 when the terms REALTORS® and REALTOR®, respectively, were registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
17. In 1972, the National Association of Real Estate Boards officially changed their name to the National Association of REALTORS®, or NAR, with the familiar logo of an “R” inside a block adopted in 1973.
18. By that time, NAR was largest trade association in the U.S. with more than 400,000 members, and certainly one of the most influential.
19. Always looking to adapt to the times, changing markets, and financial climates, NAR releases an updated Strategic Plan each year, which maps out both the challenges and opportunities that Realtors and the industry will see in the next three to five years.
20. Most people – and even many Realtors – don’t realize what a huge lobbyist NAR is in Washington. In fact, The NAR has spent more than $100 million on lobbying efforts, looking to impact laws that affect housing, home buying, and the real estate industry.
21. Last year, the Center for Responsive Politics even ranked the NAR the second largest lobbyist per money spent, behind only the U.S. Chamber of Commerce!
22. NAR promotes agendas on both sides of the aisle, with 46% of their total lobbying funds have gone to Republicans and 30.8% to Democrats.
23. In an effort to empower its REALTOR members, NAR published their monthly REALTOR® Magazine, a fantastic resource for anyone in the business, with trends, news, tips, and data.
24. NAR also produces a radio show called Real Estate Today, distributed by Westwood One and available on Radio.com, FM.com, or as a podcast in iTunes or any other podcast format.
25. So how about this highly regarded REALTOR Code of Ethics? 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the first Code of Ethics, and the most current version includes a Preamble that states, “Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.”
It goes on with 17 articles with 71 supporting Standards of Practice and 131 explanatory case interpretations. Together, they establish the ethical standards for real estate practitioners. This includes Duties to Clients and Customers, Duties to the Public, and Duties to other REALTORS.
Anyone can download it here, even if they’re not a Realtor or in the business.
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