2013 marked the 100th year members of the National Association of REALTORS® have subscribed to a strict Code of Ethics. But—did you know that the GMAR is older than NAR and the GMAR was of the first 10 founding real estate boards which created NAR? The Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® was adopted in 1913, in a time before there were consumer protection laws and state regulation. Today, many states’ license laws, when created, were based on the principles in Realtors® Code of Ethics.
The National Association of REALTORS® created the Code in response to the unscrupulous real estate practitioners involved in unimpeded land speculation, exploitation, and unregulated business practices. Real estate Fraud and abuse were rampant in the United States and the public suffered.
The National Association of REALTORS® was the first business group to voluntarily commit itself to high standards of practice in the public interest, differentiating the profession of REALTORS® from mere engagement in real estate transactions. This visionary, living concept of professionalism guides REALTORS® to the present as the individual Articles of the Code continue to evolve in response to changes in society, technology, and business practice.
The GMAR (formally called the Milwaukee Real Estate Board) was established in 1891. The Milwaukee Board of Realtors® and the Waukesha Board of Realtors® merged in 1994, creating the current Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors®. The GMAR is currently in the process of donating its founding documents from Milwaukee/Waukesha to the historic societies for safe and proper archiving.
Enjoy a glimpse of history! Here’s the first page from the creation of the Milwaukee Real Estate Board:
Proceedings of the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Real Estate Board
Milwaukee, June 30, 1891
The first meeting of the board of Directors of the Milwaukee Real Estate Board was called to order at room 43, Loan and Trust Building at 10:00 O’clock AM by the President Julius Mechelberg. The Directors present were: President Julius Mechelberg, Vice President F.T. Stoner, Treasurer Thomas Otjen, and Directors F.H. Malone, Herman Hafimeister, John Harry Meyers and Mirno Stamm.
Upon motion of Mr. Otjen, the following resolution was adopted; resolved that the Secretary is directed to call a meeting to be held at the Plankinton House club Room Thursday afternoon, July 2nd of the Gentlemen who were admitted to membership in the Real Estate board on or before June 22. The purpose of such meeting is to induce harmonious action among the members of the board and in the interest of harmony the officers and directors at that time present their resignations to the Board. The resolution was seconded by Mr. Malone and was unanimously carried. Upon motion of Mr. Hafimeister, the Board adjourned to meet July 2 at 4:00 p.m.
J. Mechelberg, Secretary