The travel couldn’t have been easy in 1920, but they came to Dallas from across the state because they believed in their mission. Real estate professionals traveled from Fort Worth, Denison, Abilene, Houston, San Antonio, and even El Paso to join their Dallas colleagues. Their goal? Bring higher standards to the industry. These pioneers were tired of dishonest operators and con artists preying on Texans who bought and sold real estate. And so they gathered on October 11, 1920, to form the Texas Association of Real Estate Boards.
It was not the first attempt to organize real estate professionals in Texas. However, the association that was formed in 1911 dissolved when Americans’ attentions turned to World War I.
At that 1920 Dallas meeting, attendees elected officers for the new organization, endorsed a plan to require licensing of real estate professionals, and set a date for a convention in San Antonio in December.
The early going was difficult. Financial concerns popped up frequently, and the licensing requirement they thought would come easily did not gain traction in the Legislature. Still, association leaders were not dissuaded. After 19 years of hard work, a real estate licensing requirement was signed into law.
It would take another 10 years of persistence to pass a bill to create the six-member Texas Real Estate Commission. Even then—with a license act and a real estate commission in place—the association had to continually fight forces that wanted to weaken the standards they had set for the real estate profession.
In those early decades, members tackled many issues that the association still grapples with today: the creation of standardized forms to help consumers and real estate brokers reduce risk in transactions and avoid unnecessary delays; fairness and transparency of property taxes; a robust economy and healthy business environment; home-equity and homestead protections; educational opportunities and requirements to ensure proficiency among practitioners—always with a focus on doing what best served the people of Texas.
Along with the association’s successes came growth—growth in membership, new programs and services, the formation and evolution of the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee (TREPAC), and expanding influence in legislative, political, and regulatory matters. Through efforts by association leaders, institutions like the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M and the TREC Broker-Lawyer Committee were formed to continue the mission of advancing the real estate industry and putting consumers’ interests first.
Time and again, Texas REALTORS® made a difference in the quality of life Texans enjoy. Through the insight and dedication of association leaders and members, real estate transfer taxes and taxes on services were defeated, standards for minimum service to real estate clients were created, eminent domain laws were strengthened—the list goes on.
As Texas REALTORS® marks its 100th year, the association celebrates a history of shaping Texas while looking to continued success in the future. Though times have changed since that 1920 gathering in Dallas, the visionaries who gathered there would no doubt be proud that, 100 years later, the association they formed continues to shape Texas.
A Year-Long Celebration of Texas REALTORS® Shaping Texas
You can play a part!
Here are a few of the ways Texas REALTORS® is celebrating its 100th anniversary … and how you
can get involved.
View the 3D Art Piece In Person
A 5’ x 5’ piece adorned with milestones and mementos will be on display at the Texas REALTORS® Winter Meeting in Austin in February and at the Texas REALTORS® Conference in San Antonio in September … or stop by the Texas REALTORS® office in Austin to view it in the lobby.
An interactive version of this art piece with captions and videos will be available at texasrealestate.com/100.
Check Your Feed for #shapingtexas
Weekly posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will celebrate the association’s rich history. Be sure to use #shapingtexas to add your own memories.
Look in Texas REALTOR® Magazine
More information about the association’s history will appear in future editions of Texas REALTOR® magazine, including a special feature
in the March issue.
Nominate a Texas REALTOR® for “100 Acts of Kindness” Recognition
This recognition shows the many ways REALTORS® help their communities. Any member, brokerage, or local association can submit entries. Find more information and the nomination form at texasrealestate.com/100.
Get Your Centennial Merch
Limited edition centennial merchandise will be available for purchase—get yours to show your Texas REALTORS® pride!
Come to San Antonio for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Celebration
The 2020 Texas REALTORS® Conference returns to the city that hosted the association’s first convention 100 years ago: San Antonio.