The Oakland Association of REALTORS® (OAR) was established in 1903 as the Oakland Real Estate Board (OREB), in support of local realtors. The OREB formation predates both the California (CAR) and National (NAR) Association of REALTORS®
Incorporated in 1904, the original purpose of the OREB was to coordinate guidelines for transactions between buyers and sellers, and to provide a foundation to promote ethical business practices.
In addition, the OREB served as a forum for information exchange between and among selling agents, listing agents, brokers, and other trade associations
As the OREB matured, it began developing strategies to lobby for legislation to strengthen its organization, and to protect individual property rights.
In 1911, the California Association of Real Estate Agents (CAREA), (later renamed California Association of REALTORS®), was formed to coordinate and facilitate dialogue between and among local boards. Its purpose was to unite them in strengthening their lobbying efforts towards formulating legislation to benefit their members, and those organizations that support members.
In 1914, the National Association of Real Estate Agents (NAREA), (later renamed the National Association of REALTORS®) was formed to serve as the national policy making body for state boards.
As one of the oldest REALTOR® Boards in the nation, the OREB formulated many of the REALTOR® standards, practices, and innovations which prevail to this day:
- In 1906 the OREB developed a Code of Ethics, much of which was later amended and adopted by the National Association of Real Estate Agents.
- This Code of Ethics still exists as the standard for REALTORS®.
- The OREB promoted the first major statewide real estate conference, ultimately resulting in the formation of the California Association of Real Estate Agents.
- The OREB established the first Bay Area chapter of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.
- Former OREB president, Arthur H. Breed, upon becoming a State Senator, introduced the original proposal for a State Real Estate License Law. Legislation was passed in 1919, which became law as The California Real Estate Act.
- Mr. Breed is also credited with the development of basic codes and policies under which the California Association of REALTORS® still operates.
- A Woman’s Council was formed in 1945 to attract membership from female agents and brokers.
- In 1949, the OREB changed it’s name to the Oakland Board of REALTORS®, a name which it retains to this day. Currently, the Board operates as the Oakland Association of REALTORS® (as DBA), to conform to both the state and the national organization.
- During the 1950’s and 1960’s OAR was one of the first Boards to offer full membership to women and people of color. In a history that continues to the present, the OAR remains as one of the most diverse Boards in the nation, providing CAR and NAR leadership opportunities for its members.
- The OAR was instrumental in designing the Multiple Listing Service, and the co-operative real estate sale.
- In 2001, OAR was recognized by NAR as the fastest growing (at 35 %), Association in the nation.