History of CPAR
HISTORY – BAY COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, INC. By Eleanor Burross (2008)
The Panama City Board of REALTORS®, Inc. was Chartered October 1925 through April 1927. Pulled out of the National Association of REALTORS® for 11-years. Rejoined the National Association of REALTORS® November 1938 through January 1944; September 1944 to October 1986 allowed us to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. We grand-opened our 1123 Harrison Avenue office and celebrated our 50th Year.
We have in 2008 15 Committees as follows: Building and Grounds, Communications, Equal Opportunity, Career Development, Grievance, Professional Standards, Leadership, Legal Issues, Legislative, MLS (Multiple Listing Service), RPAC (REALTORS® Political Action), REALTOR® Safety, Foundation, CID (Commercial Investment Division) and Membership/Member Services. We hold Monthly Membership Meetings, after hours called REALTOR® Roundup. There are 17 Board of Directors, 7 of these are Exec’s – President, President Elect, Past President, Admin.Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and 1-appointed Director from the full Board. We produce a magazine called ‘Gulf Winds’ which is printed in limited form with access to the members and the public on several internet sites. Under our Communications Committee we do Community Service such as Habitat for Humanity, Veterans home support, 2-food banks, rescue mission, Girls, Inc., Anchorage Children’s Home, Boy’s & Girl’s Club, Toys for Kids-Salvation Army program, Guardian ad Litem and Salvation Army Domestic Violence.
Name changes documentation:
Panama City Board of REALTORS®, Inc. 1965
Panama City-Bay County Board of REALTORS®, Inc. 1973
Bay County Board of REALTORS, Inc. 1993
Bay County Association of REALTORS®, Inc. later in 1993
Earlier years prior to my taking the position as Secretary of the Multiple Listing Service I worked with REALTOR® Buddy McLemore. He and other early licensees could send license cost and obtain a license without taking any course or exam. Then years later the State of Florida passed a law that ‘all licensees’ must every 2-years do 14-hours to renew (3-Core Law/11 Specialty).Early on they had to attend a specific school, now licensees can take the 14-hours on-line, by correspondence course or make the entire hours in a classroom setting.
1st – there was no official office for the Panama City Board of REALTORS®, Inc. The check book and all paperwork were passed to the newly elected President’s office. In March of 1960 they established a Multiple Listing Service which was located in Eleanor Burross’ residence on 4th Court for 7-years.
Moved to the Howell Building in 1967, corner of 4th Street and Magnolia Avenue. It was an upstairs-small office with one door entry, one window with AC unit.
Located on the City Marina #15-1969. These offices do not exist now.
Located next at 425 N. Oak Avenue (a party wall building)-1975. We owned ½ half and a REALTOR® owned the other half. Office size approximately 1900 sq. ft.
Moved into our present location 1123 Harrison Avenue after extensive renovation of the 30 year Southerland Funeral Home building in 1986. Grand opened October 1986 and celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a membership of 700-the President was Jim Pretlow. The anniversary was delayed until this year due to the fact that the National Association of REALTORS®, our parent association would not allow us to celebrate 50 years because of the 11-year pull-out of NAR. In 1987 the membership dropped to 400 and remained 400 for several years. Membership gradually increased from 400 to 1450 with 2008 numbers 1196 (Primary & Secondary members) with 295 Offices (this number includes branches). The Harrison Avenue office is 9,000 sq. ft. ground level and 3,000 sq.
upstairs 5-room prior apartment. The upstairs is now used as storage. We have 5-offices; 1-large conference room of approximately 1900 sq. ft.; 1-small conference room of approximately 770 sq. ft.; a Board of Directors room; MLS Department; Break room; Resource Center (REALTORS® can come in during office hours or after hours with their lock box key), enter the Resource Center through a lock box, use computers, meet with their customers/clients. Added 2 large restrooms, 1-Women’s handicap & 1-Unisex restroom. The Association started with zero reserves to 1-years worth in reserve.
The 1123 Harrison Avenue building, paved parking at the rear of the building and the unpaved lot on the corner of Grace Avenue & 11th Street are fully paid for. The only expenses are the staff, general building expenses and maintenance of the building & lots.
Multiple Listing Service History:
As stated MLS was formed in March of 1960 and located in the private residence of Eleanor Burross for 7-years. There was 1-Staff and now there are 6 Staff & 1 AE in 2008.
There were approximately 54 REALTORS® and REALTOR®-Associates. And the reason it was established is because the REATORS® and REALTOR®-Associates were bound under the NAR Code of Ethics to cooperate, but not necessarily compensate. By establishing the MLS it gave a vehicle to offer compensation. The members could sit in their offices and wait for sellers and buyers to come to them. They did not have to go out and market themselves. We had a card printed showing all members, the commission they would charge plus 1% that the brokerage had to pay to MLS to fund operations. We had to display an entrance sign reading Multiple Listing Service, Licensed Real Estate Broker because of the collection of the 1% of the total commission earned. It even told the Brokers what the split would be, it was 50/50.
Our Listing Book comprised of single sheet listings, very limited information that was typed with a picture attachment and printed by a local printer on Harrison Avenue named West Florida Printers. It is the building at present occupied by Creative Printing of Bay County. Next door to Comcast Cable. The members placed them in a 3-ring binder.
When the listing inventory got to 250 single sheet listings that were edited by hand for each new member by Eleanor; the Board changed to sending the sheets along with a picture to a computerized printing company in Decatur, Georgia called Multi-List. The first printed books came in by airplane in1975; I picked them up in my car, carried them to the 425 N. Oak Avenue office, unloaded and counted them out for each office. The REALTOR® offices then picked them up from the office. There was no roster in the first books but later added.
We later went to dumb terminals-a company called BORIS, then to smart terminals with an Air conditioned room housing a computer. There was a Tech that stayed in this room at 425 N. Oak Avenue who was paid by PRC Realty Systems. We at one time had 3-data bases at the then named Fort Walton Beach Board of REALTORS®. Bay County, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola. The listing book was pulled from the data system by another printing company named Creative Technology located at Sarasota, Fl. The last printed book stopped in 1998, there were 658 members & 121 Offices.
The next data system we moved to was 1st Team Technology in 1998, located at Fort Walton Beach. The Association for several years furnished an MLS Photographer to take the MLS pictures; now as in prior years, before the AOR Photographer the individual members are furnishing their own pictures of themselves and their listings.
Then changed to Solid Earth Geographics to present. Went on-line with them in 2001. The MLS Committee along with the approval of the Board of Directors is looking into a Merger with Chipola Board of REALTORS® and possibly REALTORS® Association of Franklin & Southern Gulf Counties.
Withdrew from the FAR Statewide Reciprocal Agreement June 6, 2005.