Our History

In 1893, our Association began with 100 members, which served a city of 85,000 people. The foundation from which we built our Association was solid, and as a result, we are over 2,300 members strong today, serving more than half a million people in metropolitan Grand Rapids.

For over a century, the Association has addressed questions of millage, public housing, zoning, planning, and bond issues. In every case, the basic consideration was the protection of property rights and values. These considerations were evident during the years around 1965 when property rights and human rights seemed to come into conflict. It was 1965 when the Association adopted a position that established the right of a free housing market without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, age, and sex. Later, in 1988, the Association further adopted handicap and familial status as protected classes. This landmark position of the Association was considered a forerunner in establishing equal rights policies, and Boards all across the country adopted these policies.

Over 100 years have passed, and our city and membership have grown. As times change, the foundation of our Association remains the same: its members. Association members are committed to enriching the livelihood of our city by promoting the free enterprise system and private ownership of property. Association members also adhere to the Code of Ethics and practice the professional standards. These people are the foundation of the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS®.