The mission of CAR is “To be the collective voice for real estate and consumer property rights, and to advance Colorado Realtors as industry leaders in knowledge, ethics and professionalism.” (Photo: Anthony Shkraba/Pexels).

Duane Duggan, Realtor and Author RE/MAX of Boulder

The Colorado Division of Real Estate has over 53,000 real estate licensees, of which, 28,000 are members of the trade association known as the National Association of Realtors®. Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors has 1.5 million members.

2021 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR). The mission of CAR is “To be the collective voice for real estate and consumer property rights, and to advance Colorado Realtors as industry leaders in knowledge, ethics and professionalism.”

“CAR’s purpose is to protect ALL issues and fields of Colorado’s real estate industry which includes all property owners, land owners, home owners, commercial brokers, residential brokers, resort brokers, rural brokers and property managers, to name a few.”

Before the Colorado Association of Real Estate Boards was formed, the National Association had already adopted the Realtor® Code of Ethics in 1913. The Code continues to be the guideline for professional Realtor behavior. The Code is reviewed every year to give guidance to the Realtors as the business continues to evolve.

1921 marked the first year of the Colorado Association of Real Estate Boards, led by L.F. Eppich. The first annual meeting was held in October of 1922 at the Boulderado Hotel with 100 members in attendance.  An Annual Meeting of Realtors has been held every year since then. These meetings include opportunities for education, networking, reviewing upcoming legislation, and seeing the latest ideas in real estate. The first exhibit hall of real estate products for Realtors happened in 1931.

The State of Colorado Legislature passed a bill in 1925 to require the licensing of real estate brokers creating the beginning of license law. Over time, license law has developed and is currently administered by the Colorado Division of Real Estate.

The Colorado Association of Realtors has been watching out for the rights of property owners for years. In fact, in 1929, the first assessment of $1 per member was to be used specifically for legislative efforts. Legislative efforts continued to grow with the Realtors Washington Committee, which was formed in 1941 to monitor legislation with any influence on real estate matters. The Realtors effort is still ongoing today and is known as the Realtor Political Action Committee (RPAC).

Today, most real estate transactions have a Realtor involved, protecting the best interests of their clients. In 1947, the Realtors put a special emphasis on educating the public why it is important to be represented by a Realtor in a transaction.

The 1950s brought about two major developments that shaped the real estate industry today. The first was the establishment of a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is a system for home sellers to list their property and for home buyers to find a property. The early system amounted to an in-person meeting of Realtors, each with a notebook of property listings that were for sale. Things moved a bit slower than our instantaneous world today!

The second development was the famous Conway-Bogue lawsuit. The end result of the lawsuit was the creation of standard real estate contract forms for Realtors to use. Before then, there were no defined standard and approved forms. In 1966 the Colorado Association of Realtors worked with the Colorado Real Estate Commission to finalize standard contracts. Those contracts started as one-page documents. Over time, the standard Contract to Buy and Sell (Residential) has grown to about 17 pages plus other addendums. Our Colorado real estate contracts are some of the best in the nation.

In 1976 the Colorado Association of Real Estate Boards (CAREB) became what it is known as today, the Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR).

The 1980s saw some of the largest “in person” Realtor events. Back then, Realtors had to attend the Annual Meeting to learn the latest information. Over 3,000 Realtors attended the Annual Convention at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs in 1982. The lines at the pay phones during breaks were huge! Today, meetings are still held in person, but the delivery of information is much faster online.

In the 1990s, the internet arrived and changed the entire real estate business. The Colorado Association of Realtors stepped up to the plate, developing education to help Realtors learn about cutting edge technology and how it would benefit their clients.

The 2000s brought huge strides in technology, new business models, and even adaptations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, in the last one hundred years, one of the biggest challenges of the Colorado Association of Realtors has been the pandemic. Through CAR’s efforts and their advocacy with the Governor of Colorado, the real estate business was deemed essential and Realtors were able to continue to help home buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.

Realtors in Colorado have been helping the public for 100 years – and our Realtors are excited to serve for the next 100!

By Duane Duggan. Duane has been a Realtor for RE/MAX of Boulder in Colorado since 1982 and has facilitated over 2,500 transactions over his career, the vast majority from repeat and referred clients. He has been awarded two of the highest honors bestowed by RE/MAX International: The Lifetime Achievement Award and the Circle of Legends Award. Living the life of a Realtor and being immersed in real estate led to the inception of his book, Realtor for Life. For questions, email [email protected], call 303.441.5611 or visit