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(Updated September 2012)

Just as the National Association of REALTORS® celebrated its centennial in 2008, many state and local associations are preparing for significant birthdays and events. The resources on this page offer ideas for recognizing and celebrating an anniversary and writing an organization's history. State and local associations can also tap into the tap into the extensive resources of the NAR Archives for further assistance. (F. Heller, Managing Director, Information Services)

Members of the Washington (DC) Real Estate Board gathered outside Union Station before traveling to the National Association's annual convention in San Francisco, May 1922.

Celebrating Your Association's Anniversary

Anniversary celebrations: Programs for states & boards (PDF excerpt), (National Association of REALTORS®, 1991).

Making commemorations meaningful: Marketing campaigns surrounding anniversaries, product launches, legislative victories and the like can lead to membership growth, increased revenue, and greater public awareness if executed properly, (Association Management, Dec. 2004).

12 tips for a memorable anniversary, (Association Management, July 2004).

Projects to consider for your anniversary celebration, (Association Management, July 2004).

Celebration of the century: Association milestones are a great time to remember where you've been, examine where you are, and look forward to where you're going for the staff, membership, and the industry. Learn how to incorporate all of these elements into your next association anniversary celebration 12 tips for a memorable anniversary. (Association Management, July 2004).

Blueprinting your birthday, (Association Management, July 2004).

The historical future: planning for a company's anniversary, (Communication World, Apr. 1993). Q

Writing an Association History

Suggested outline for writing an association history , (National Association of REALTORS®, Aug. 2012).

There are five sides to every story: which are you missing?, (Communication World, Jan./Feb. 2007).  Q

Oral histories: the most overlooked PR tool, (Communication World, June/July 1995).  Q

Sample Association Histories

Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS®

Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS®

Little Rock REALTORS® Association

Illinois Association of REALTORS®

Birmingham Association of REALTORS®

Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS®

Sacramento Association of REALTORS®

Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS®

Rockford Area Association of REALTORS®

Long Island Board of REALTORS®

Berkshire County Board of REALTORS®

Kerrville Board of REALTORS®

Des Moines Association of REALTORS® Centennial Video:

Other Useful Resources

NAR’s Library Catalog includes summaries of records in the NAR Archives for most state and local associations in the United States. In the Search box, enter part of the name of the association and the word “history” (for example, enter “jasper history” to find information on the Jasper County Board of REALTORS®, “phoenix history” for the Phoenix Association of REALTORS®, etc.).  Contact the NAR Archives for information on accessing a document or other questions.

In addition to the NAR Archives, also visit your local public library, historical societies, and other archival institutions for resources that can help uncover your association’s past. These organizations may have newspaper articles discussing your association’s activities and members, photographs, archival records, and other local historical material. The NAR Archives can help locate historical collections in your area.

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Real Estate in American History (Adobe eReader)—History of the real estate industry and the founding of the National Association of REALTORS®, written by historian Pearl Janet Davies in 1958.

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Early History of the Real Estate Business in Idaho Falls, Idaho, (Idaho Falls Real Estate Board, 1932).

Dreams, Money and Ambition: A History of Real Estate in Chicago, (Chicago, IL: Chicago Real Estate Board, 1983).

The REALTOR® Tradition in Minneapolis: 1887-1987, (Minneapolis, MN: Greater Minneapolis Area Board of REALTORS®, 1985).

The Progress of Women in Real Estate: 50th Anniversary, (Chicago, IL: Women's Council of REALTORS®, 1985).

Celebrating the Century: 100 Years of California Real Estate (Los Angeles, CA: California Association of REALTORS®, 1999).

Progress Towards Professionalism: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Board of REALTORS®, (Waterloo, IA: G&R Publishing, 2006).

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Communications for Associations

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.