NAR Centennial

The Centennial

In 2016, we are proud to celebrate 100 years of the distinction of REALTORS®, and the power they hold in protecting the American dream, advocating for property ownership and healthy communities, and making tomorrow a better place to live.


Over one hundred years ago, the real estate landscape was vastly different: chaotic, unregulated, and without even the most basic consumer protections, “buyer beware” was the law of the land and purchasing real property was a risk many were unwilling to take.


The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® was founded in 1908 by a revolutionary group of individuals and real estate boards committed to integrity, to their communities, and to protecting the American dream of property ownership.



Early ads advertising the REALTOR® name.

Recognizing the distinction of these members in shaping the future of real estate, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (known as the National Association of Real Estate Boards at the time) unanimously approved a final resolution in 1916 to adopt the term REALTOR® to identify members of the association:

“WHEREAS, the National Association of Real Estate Boards, in Convention assembled in New Orleans, La., in the month of March, 1916, passed Resolution creating the word ‘Realtor’ to be used and adopted as a term to designate a member of its organization, in good standing, and entrusted and empowered the  Executive Committee to take any and all necessary steps to protect the use of the word herewith copyrighted, or arrange for its use as a  trademark or otherwise, and to adopt regulations for its use all without referring its action back to the National Association;
NOW THEREFORE, be it Resolved, that the Executive Committee of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, designates this newly created word ‘Realtor’ to be a word descriptive of and a term to be used only by members of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, while they are in good standing, upholding its Code of Ethics, having written authority for its use from the National Association, by its officers, who reserve the right to cancel such authority at any time; and
RESOLVED FURTHER for the purpose of copyrighting the word "Realtor" shall have a literary meaning as above set forth; and
BE IT RESOLVED FURTHER, that the President and Secretary and Executive Secretary, are hereby authorized and instructed to take any and all necessary steps to copyright said word and arrange for its use as a trademark or otherwise."
REALTOR® remains a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies only real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.


Charles N. Chadbourn
Originator of the word “REALTOR®”

Time and technologies may have changed the industry and how business is conducted, but our members’ strong ideals, commitment to go the extra mile, and their REALTOR® pride haven’t. Join us this year in celebrating our history, our future, and our REALTORS®.