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History of Real Estate: Pioneers Who Changed the Industry

Rhonda Duffy

The real estate industry we know today is quite different from the roots that started many years ago. Looking back over real estate history, it was around 1900 when real estate brokers began offering services to present homes available for sale.

Founding of the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges

In Chicago, on May 12, 1908, the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges was founded. The goal was to “unite the real estate men of America for the purpose of effectively exerting a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interests.” The association had founding boards in a handful of cities across the US: Chicago; Baltimore; Bellingham, Wash.; Los Angeles; Cincinnati; Sioux City, Iowa; Philadelphia; Cleveland; Detroit; Duluth, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; Seattle; Omaha, Neb.; St. Louis; Gary, Ind.; St. Paul, Minn.; and Tacoma, Wash.

A code of real estate ethics was developed in 1913, based on the Golden Rule as the theme of the industry. It wasn’t until 1919 when professional certification and licensing became standard, through the efforts of the association. The association has continued to hold annual conferences over the years, and is now known as the National Association of Realtors after the name was changed in 1972.

The Digital Age of the Real Estate Industry

This industry began to change quickly as digital technology became an integral part of buying and selling a home. As of 2017, 99% of millennial buyers look at online listings to find properties of interests. In the same year, 58% of all buyers indicated that they found their home through mobile apps. Homebuyers, home sellers, and agents have all made the shift to lean on technology as an essential part of the real estate process.

People Changing the Real Estate Industry

Even though the real estate industry was established more than 100 years ago, there are agents today who are continuing to be modern pioneers in promoting new practices in the industry. The most notable changes in real estate are related to the advent of the internet. Online tools help facilitate real estate awareness and transactions, making it easier than ever for buyers and sellers to connect.

A few people leading the current industry include:

  • Rhonda Duffy, founder of Duffy Realty, CEO: A pioneer in adapting flat fee realty services and an 8 step buyer action timeline to help ensure buyers’ rights across the country.
  • Mauricio Umansky, founder of The Agency in Beverly Hills. This brokerage is changing the approach to real estate by offering a modern, start-up look and feel to appeal to the younger generations.
  • Rebekah Bastian, group manager at Zillow. Both homeowners and real estate agents can tap into a variety of tools available, including sales integrations, advertising, and more.

While these industry pioneers have had an impact on the nationwide real estate trends, you can also find local influences as well. Here at DUFFY Realty, we are always looking for ways to improve the opportunities for buying and selling homes in Atlanta. Call to learn more about our services: (678) 318-1700

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