In 1915 several local real estate brokers who maintained offices in the Village of Oak Park would meet to discuss problems affecting their business and plan for necessary improvements to maintain the high standards of the Village, its homes, schools, and public improvements.
In 1916, these same brokers decided to form a board and applied for a charter from the National Association of Real Estate Boards. A Charter was received in 1917, establishing the Oak Park Real Estate Board. The name was later changed to the Oak Park Board of REALTORS®.
The rapid growth of homes and population induced many other brokers from surrounding towns who did not have a Board to join the Oak Park Real Estate Board throughout the ensuing years. With their high standards of ethics and public spirit, these brokers soon made the Oak Park Board one of the more outstanding boards in Illinois.
The Oak Park Real Estate Board even had its own orchestra that consisted only of Board members. From 1924 to 1941, the orchestra accompanied the Oak Park Board delegation to the Illinois Association of Real Estate Boards’ State Convention to furnish the music for the meetings, dances, and banquets.
During the 1940s and the war years that followed, the demand for homes increased because of the scarcity of apartments. As a result, Board membership flourished with new firms and their members, who played a leading role in removing rent controls in the Village. Members also took an active part in the Village Planning Commission and participated in the affairs of the Parking and Traffic Commission.
In the 1950s, the Board developed its own Multiple Listing Service and then in the 1990s became a shareholder in the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois (now called MRED, Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC). At that time, MRED was servicing more than 34,000 Realtors® in a five-county area.
To welcome and accommodate the ever-growing number of the neighboring area real estate offices and Realtor® members joining our Association, we petitioned to change our name to the Oak Park Area Association of REALTORS® in 2007.
Our Association contributes significantly to area homeowners, the Villages we serve, and the real estate industry. Since its conception, the Association is proud to include many second, third, and fourth-generation firms and members.
A feeling of pride and heritage in growing with the Villages is one of the Oak Park Area Association of REALTORS® greatest strengths.