It’s almost hard to believe that what is now a proud and strong 8,000-member institution started a little over 140 years with only 25 REALTORS® …

… but that’s exactly what happened in 1877 when the St. Louis Real Estate Exchange was founded with the mission to “advance the interests of the City of St. Louis and its people by promoting public improvements and to maintain structure for the sale, purchase, renting and leasing of real estate.” As the 20th century commenced, the St. Louis Real Estate Exchange was shepherding the charge of the appreciation for the American Dream and their ambitious goals would eventually land them to into both the state and national level.

By the time of the World’s Fair in 1904, nearly 100 delegates from all across the country arrived to St. Louis and decided to organize together … leading to the formation of the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, now known as the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), in 1908. Three of the St. Louis Real Estate Exchange’s presidents in Clarence Turley, Cyrus Crane Willmore and Daniel Sheelhan would also later serve as presidents for NAR. These forerunners also played just as much of a crucial role into the development of the Missouri Association of REALTORS® in 1936.

As years followed and both the St. Louis Real Estate Exchange and NAR grew, it was crucial to all involved to develop structures for public real state educational material as well as to act as the voice of the membership regarding real estate issues dealing with public, executive and legislative branches of government. Through this, the association continued to campaign for nationwide leadership programs and recommended ways for all levels of industry, business and government to expand resources available for homeownership.

Today, St. Louis REALTORS®, formerly known as the St. Louis Association of REALTORS®, remains one of the largest real estate associations in the United States and the fifth oldest still in existence. St. Louis REALTORS®’ goals still reflect the visions and goals of our past leadership and continuously strive to strengthen the importance of both togetherness and unity throughout the real estate industry. It was their vision and hope nearly 140 years that continues to lay the groundwork that helps all within the city of St. Louis to enjoy the American Dream of homeownership.


Check out our 140th year celebration video below to learn more about
where we’ve been, where we areand where we’re going!