Minneapolis REALTORS® Made Their Mark

archivesoct2007-smlOCTOBER 2007 – With roots back to 1887 it isn’t surprising that the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® has produced so many outstanding real estate professionals. That year 18 local men organized the Minneapolis Real Estate Exchange, committed to “maintaining principles of honesty and fair dealing” and to put “real estate upon a foundation of influence and permanence.”

Members met every weekday morning around a black slate “call board” to exchange information on properties for rent or sale. A Call Committee was formed to help bolster the local market. Other committees included Executive, Public Affairs, Membership, Valuation, and Arbitration.

Under President Elwood Corser the Association peaked at near 100 members before succumbing to the Recession of 1892 and the Depression of 1893, when banks and businesses were ruined and real estate was reduced to minimal levels.

The first real estate company in the city is believed to have been Snyder & McFarlane, formed in 1855. Famous Minneapolis residents like Samuel C. Gale and David Cooper Bell would later open offices. In 1885 Thorpe Bros. opened its doors at 258 Hennepin Avenue. Co-founder Samuel S. Thorpe advocated professional ethics and community planning. He would have a great influence in forming the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, serving as its president from 1911 to 1912. Another Minneapolis REALTOR®, Philip Smaby, would serve as NAR president in 1976.

The word REALTOR® itself is the creation of a Minneapolis broker. Charles N. Chadbourn, president of the Minneapolis Board in 1912, coined the term that was adopted by the National Association in 1916.

  1. As a net savvy Minneapolis real estate agent who has an appreciation for real estate history, a finger on the pulse of the real estate industry today, and a vision for the future of real estate marketing tomorrow, I can honesty say that Minneapolis continues to be the birthplace of some of the best new ideas in real estate.
    Today’s “call board” is the MLS, and the internet. As agents, we owe it to our clients and to the public to deliver information the way that people want to find it. We need to evolve with the business, and seek new ways to reach the buyers.
    Stay tuned for more new history changing innovations, from little ole Minneapolis and beyond.