Penning page one of the premier issue of the National Real Estate Journal, W. W. Hannan* of Detroit, first president of the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges (now National Association of REALTORS®), prophesied that the Association "is bound to become one of the greatest trade associations in the United States."
Before any REALTORS® code had been formally adopted he pledged the Association as standing "for a code of ethics that should eliminate any and all questionable practices." Always in the vanguard of professional thought, he advocated in his presidential addresses subdivision restrictions for neighborhoods "such as we and those who went before us have hesitated to impose" -- restrictions "that will preserve the district along lines of homelike beauty."
A graduate of the University of Michigan and holding both a B.A. degree and a degree from its Law School, Will Hannan in 1883 (the very year of his graduation in law) organized the Hannan Real Estate Exchange. A man of initiative and of confidence in progress, he began, shortly after the turn of the century, the building of Detroit's first apartment houses, three structures of fireproof construction which for many years were the largest in the city. He engaged widely in subdividing, and his enthusiastic energy became a large factor in Detroit's period of expansion just prior to World War I.
Principal accomplishment as president of the National Association as he himself stated: establishment of the first monthly magazine of real estate as an official organ of the Association.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).