History of GRAR

The year 1900 marked the beginning of a new era in Rochester. With the expanding economy came increased opportunities for business, a rapid increase in home values and taxes and mounting problems having a negative effect on homeowners. A few serious minded, concerned citizens who owned property, or represented others who had a vested interest in property, set out to control taxes by becoming actively involved in legislative issues that might negatively affect the real estate industry and real property ownership.

Since 95% of tax revenues were derived from real property tax levies, government spending of these monies was of prime importance. These individuals formed a voluntary membership group, "The Real Estate Protective Association." It functioned for more than six years until the 1907 depression.

By 1910, the continued growth of the real estate industry resulted in an influx of individuals entering into the profession. They, in turn, invited others whom they deemed qualified by integrity, good character, and honorable principles to join as members. On October 6, 1910, this newly formed group adopted the name: The Real Estate Board of Rochester, Inc. and elected W. H. Emery as its first president. The Real Estate Board of Rochester was subsequently chartered by the National Association of Realtors on May 4th, 1911.

In October 1960, members of the Real Estate Board of Rochester celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Association. It was at that event that the following phrase was read: “The foundation for a greater and more beautiful city is set firmly. There is no turning back. The REALTORS® of 1960 are young, and they, too, have their visions for the future.”

In 1989, marketing of real property stretched out into several communities outside of Monroe County until it became necessary for the organization to change its name to reflect the expansion. Thus the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®, Inc. (GRAR) was adopted. GRAR's Centennial was celebrated all year in 2010.

Today, the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® provides resources and education, promotes professionalism, and helps to position its members for success. It continues to operate under the same founding principles that are the cornerstone of its outstanding reputation. GRAR continues to actively support the community through advocacy to ensure the preservation of real property rights, as well as supporting the efforts of local charitable programs that encourage home-ownership, create sustainable neighborhoods, and address critical housing needs through the REALTORS® Charitable Foundation.

GRAR Board of Directors

GRAR Past Presidents