“Come On In, Fellows, The Water’s Fine!”

Thismonth0711_smNOVEMBER 2007 – November 13, 2007 marks the beginning of the National Association of REALTORS®’ 100th annual Convention & Expo in Las Vegas. When the National Association first convened in Chicago in May 1908, the real estate world was jubilant. 120 representatives from 20 real estate associations gathered at the YMCA Hall in Chicago’s South Loop to organize a national organization for the real estate profession. Their objective was “to unite the real estate men of America for the purpose of exerting effectively a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interests.”

Media covering the first NAR Convention were impressed. The Chicago Tribune reported, “Under the auspices of the men who are behind the present movement the national association of real estate dealers may easily become one of the most aggressive factors in maintaining the prosperity of the country.”

Edward S. Judd of Chicago saw the new association as a positive force in the country. “There are many matters on national legislation” he said, “in which real estate men of the entire country are interested.” Judd predicted they would “influence action on matters before Congress affecting real estate interests. Public opinion can be effectively organized through this association, for real estate men, from the nature of their business, are in close touch with matters of taxation and, as a body, are better informed on such subjects than any other class of men in the community.”

Nathaniel J. Upham of Duluth, like Judd a future NAR President, agreed. “A national organization when it concentrates its effort is an immense force. Laws that affect the community in which we live, in taxation, in titles, in fire provisions, in mortgage laws…our legislatures are considering and passing continually. If we have the basis of a national organization we can help through the good laws and destroy the poor ones.”

Other discussions at the first convention concerned conservation of natural resources, municipal bond issues, and appraisals.