The Monroe County Association of REALTORS (MCAR) was first chartered in 1926, as the Monroe County Board of REALTORS, with a mere handful of licensed REALTORS. Unfortunately, records have been lost or destroyed and the oldest records available begin about 1953, at which time twelve members paid annual dues of $50.00. By 1959, membership rose to 14 active members, one of which was a Life Member. All but one member lived within the City of Monroe.
The MCAR during the early years held meetings in downtown Monroe in the basement meeting room of the Saving and Loan Building on Washington Street and at People's Savings Bank on Sixth Street, now called Standard Federal Bank of Monroe. In 1979, the current Monroe County Association of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service was formed.
In 1984, MCAR opened its first Board office on Vandercook Road in Monroe. At that time there was one full-time employee and a second Co-op student employee.
1985 was a 'Banner Year' for the MCAR, when membership doubled. Through years of negotiation and planning between the MCAR and the South Monroe County brokers, who were already members of the Toledo Board of REALTORS, several meetings were held between the two areas, and a joint venture became the Association covering the entire Monroe County Area. Many REALTORS now have dual Association membership, with one being the MCAR and the other the Toledo Board of REALTORS located in the State of Ohio. This arrangement has allowed access to a common computer terminal servicing both Multiple Listing Service's in two separate states. This interstate exchange between Associations is believed to be the first arrangement in the United States of this kind.
The first woman to be allowed to be a member of the MCAR was Mrs. Edna Smith. Mrs. Smith had been a licensed real estate agent prior to 1926 with her pocket card number being 000021. Mrs. Smith was approached to become a member of MCAR early in her career. She agreed it would be advantageous to become a member, however, the gentlemen REALTORS voted her down. Soon after Mrs. Smith became the first woman member of the MCAR.
In 1985, the MCAR moved to 15175 S. Dixie Hwy. where it rented office space from Dr. Rod Hathaway until moving to 14988 S. Dixie Hwy. The office moved in 2000 to 14930 LaPlaisance Rd. Suite 109, where it remains today.
ABOUT OUR MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the Association has fluctuated over the past 68 years. From the initial 14 members, we have seen a rise and fall of membership during the progress of the changing times. Everyone who was a member in the early 1980s can remember when membership plummeted to all time record low over the years past when the Real Estate Market took a nose-dive. Since the mid 1980s the membership of the MCAR has steadily increased each year. In 1987 membership was at a total of 265-275 REALTORS, and around 20 Affiliate Members. Current Membershipt is 320 REALTOR members and 25 Affiliate Members currently active with the Association.
The Affiliate members with the Association range from Appraisers, to Banks, Title Company, Mortgage Companies, and Home Inspection Companies. Our Affiliate Members are very active with the Association and its membership and have sponsored a great deal of projects and events over the past several years. Several of the Affiliates currently are serving on Association committees.
The MCAR has 14 active committees and a very active Board of Directors. Some of the accomplishments that have been achieved by the Committees are in the following areas: Awards and Recognition annually holds its successful Million Dollar Club awards Banquet and just last year started recognizing members for other areas of service in and outside of the REALTOR organization. Education has brought informative and innovative programs to the membership and has offered scholarships and a loan program to members to complete their GRI's through Association sponsored courses and continues to offer the State Mandated Continuing Education Courses on a local level.
Grievance and Professional Standards has continued to enforce the National Association of REALTORS Code of Ethics, and has held several hearings over the past several years. The Legislative Committee has actively interviewed and endorsed candidates for the State legislature and is an active voice with local governments and with the State Legislative Committee working diligently with the MAR and State Legislators such as Lynn Owen, Jim Berryman and Bev Hammerstrom to be sure that the voice of Real Estate issues is heard.
The Program Committee has provided the Association members a wide variety of Programs and events. The Public Relations Committee has proven itself to be a great value to the local community. Over the past several years, the Shelter Fund has raised and distributed to local non-profit housing shelters over $20,000 and is continuing to grow yearly with more and more agents contributing to this worthwhile program annually.
Finally the RPAC Committee, which consistently since 1986 has met or exceeded the fundraising goal for the Association and has the highest per capita of Life Members in one Association in the entire state of Michigan. Monroe REALTORS are fully aware of the Legislative impact that these dollars can be used for the aid and assistance of the state legislative process so that REALTOR issues are voiced and followed by the elected leaders of the state and country.
Our Multiple Listing Service, which was started in 1979 is a wholly owned subsidiary corporation of the MCAR. It is the only REALTOR owned MLS in the County of Monroe and is a strong and viable tool for the REALTORS to use in the buying and selling of Real Estate not only in Monroe County, but in the surrounding counties of Lenawee, Wastenaw & Wayne County. With the current MLS ratio of Participants, to the current ratio of Association Membership, you can see that each organization is a great benefit to the other. There are currently 450 REALTORS actively engaged in the MLS.
Today the MCAR is a viable organization, and is recognized widely among not only the Michigan Association of REALTORS but widely in the local community. The leadership of the Association is involved heavily in the local community on behalf of the Association. As you can clearly see, there is a great deal of History and Strength behind the Monroe County Association of REALTORS and the dedication and commitment of its membership to be the Professional voice for the Real Estate industry in Monroe County, is being heard loudly.