Who We Are
As part of the Chicago community since 1883, The Chicago Association of REALTORS® represents a diverse group of individuals who work together with their neighbors, community groups, schools and elected officials to make Chicago a place you want to live, work and play. The Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR), the “Voice for Real Estate” in Chicago since 1883, represents 11,500 members from all real estate specialties including commercial sales, development, property management, appraisal, auctions, and residential sales.
History of Chicago Association of REALTORS®
The historic fire in Chicago created as many opportunities as miseries. Against this backdrop of business needing to succeed, and stories of Horatio Alger "rags to riches, individuals from the new real estate community met on January 11, 1883, to form the Chicago Real Estate Board (CREB). Representatives of Chicago's most influential brokerage houses met to put some sense of order into the burgeoning real estate and property management industry.
The organization was formed "to secure more system and uniformity in the renting, care, and management of real estate in the city of Chicago; to better protect and promote the interests of those entrusting property to their care; to protect themselves and their clients against dishonest and immoral tenants; and to generally correct existing abuses and to prevent their future occurrence."
Within the first decade of its existence, CREB was in the forefront of legislation creating the Title and Policy work, recording of deeds, supporting the Torrens System of transferring land title and creating the first message and business center titled The Call Board Bulletin.
With the close of the century, a new landscape and skyline was beginning to merge. Throughout the early part of the new century, CREB members were actively involved in the planning, development, construction and leasing of every major new project within the city. In 1925, the city Zoning Commission reported that twice as many residents lived in apartments as in more traditional forms of housing.
In 1937, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) was created to build and manage low-rent housing. The first units to open to the public in 1938 were the Jane Addams Housing Project totaling 304 units. As the Great Depression ebbed, a series of reports between 1937 and 1939 identified a system of subways and super highways radiating from the downtown area.
During the early 1930s, as residents moved to the "outer edges" of the central business districts, neighborhood real estate boards were established to service brokers and agents working in those areas. For a period of time in Chicago, nine different real estate boards existed in the city but only one, the Chicago Board of Real Estate (CBOR), was a part of the REALTOR® family.
The next major turning point within the real estate industry was the creation of the MLS concept. For the first time, beginning in early 1950s, there existed a formal vehicle for the exchange of listing information between competitors.
Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990, CBOR embarked upon a campaign to merge with two of the principal non-REALTOR® entities operating within the city. During a series of long and protracted meetings between representatives of CBOR, NAR, and the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR), a merger was agreed upon between C.A.R. and the North Side Real Estate Board.
The CBOR and North Side were approved in the fall of 1991 with the merger-taking place in FY 1992. The merged entity officially changed its name to the Chicago Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.).
C.A.R.'s headquarters office is located Chicago's world-famous Michigan Avenue. The Association operates one branch office located in Cicero. It also owns and operates the REALTORS® Real Estate School, Real Estate Education Company.
Today, C.A.R. services 11,500 members through its two offices and is one of the largest local real estate association boards in the country! C.A.R.'s array of member programs, products and services are unmatched.