About the Association
The Tulare County Association of REALTORS® (TCAOR) is a professional trade organization of more than 1,500 licensed real estate agents in the Tulare County area. The Tulare County Association of REALTORS® and affiliates are committed to the community. REALTORS® abide by a strict code of ethics and have access to a wide variety of business services that are not available to non-REALTORS®. This gives them a competitive edge in the marketplace. The organization enables REALTORS® to provide superior services to buyers and sellers. It is the mission of the TCAOR to assist its members in a way that will help them fulfill their roles as Real Estate Professionals in the community. REALTORS® believe that home ownership matters. They are supported in that claim by both the National and California Associations’ of REALTORS®.
The mission of the Tulare County Association of REALTORS® is to assist its members in fulfilling their role as real estate professionals by providing them with services and products that will enable them to operate efficiently, professionally, ethically and profitably.
To unite those engaged in real estate practice for a beneficial influence upon the profession.
To promote the maintenance of high standards of conduct in the real estate profession as expressed in and by the REALTORS® Code of Ethics.
To further the interests of real property ownership.
To serve as an effective liaison for our members to the California Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®.
To provide appropriate real estate information, technology, services, products and educational programs to our members.
To provide an organized medium for the transaction of the real estate business via a Multiple Listing Service.
The history of Tulare County goes back to the very beginning of California. It is located in the heart of California’s farming belt in the great San Joaquin Valley. Visalia, the county’s largest city, was established in 1852 and has the distinction of being the first community between Stockton and Los Angeles. At that time, Tulare County included all of the area between Mariposa and Los Angeles Counties, and stretched from the Coastal Mountain Range to the State of Nevada. Through the years – the Counties of Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Kern, and Inyo have been formed out of what was once that original territory.
There are not any known written records of the first organizational efforts made by real estate agents in the area, however, it is believed to have occurred about 1917. The National Association of REALTORS fully recognized the Visalia Realty Board in July of 1921. It became the 28th Board of REALTORS in California.
There weren’t many real estate agents back then, but there is a history of agents establishing professional standards and working together since that time. R. F. Cross helped organize what was then known as the Visalia Realty Board and became its first president. Its jurisdiction was both Tulare and Kings Counties. Mr. Cross was quoted as saying, “R.E. Hyde purchased the land that is now the Visalia Country Club and Green Acres from L.M. Howell for about $300 per acre.”
In the February 1941 issue of the California Real Estate Magazine, it was noted that the Visalia Board had 11 members. During the 1940s the association assisted in forming what became the Kings County Association, Orangebelt Association and the Tulare Association. The idea of the Multiple Listing Service came about when several members attended a California Real Estate Association convention. The benefits of this type of cooperative service were discussed at the convention and the group decided that it sounded like a good idea.
Early in 1950, after discussing the matter at several Realty Board meetings, a committee was formed to formulate bylaws and a constitution. Serving on the committee were Adoph Sweet, Lloyd Griffin and Faber George. After adopting a constitution and bylaws the first listing was published in May of 1950. Faber George served as the first president of the organization. The application fee was $25 and dues were $1 per month. Mr. George submitted the first listing. The property was 718 S. Church Street in Visalia. Mr. J. L. Philippe made the first MLS sale, which was Mr. George’s listing on Church Street. There were five members of this newly founded service. Mae Hover became the association’s Executive Officer in 1951 and published a semi-weekly bulletin of new listings/sales. Membership grew to 7 offices with 20 members by 1952 and 60 members by 1957.
On August 15, 1957 the Visalia Realty Board was incorporated. Weekly meetings were held at McDonalds Café on West Main Street and also at other times the Hotel Johnson, El Rancho Café, Old Drive Inn and the Wagon Wheel. At these meetings, “MLS Tear Sheets” were distributed and then place in Binders (MLS Books). After the meeting, members went on “Tour” or “Caravan” and viewed all newly listed properties. No more than 8 listings were allowed on Tour and each member toured in a caravan going from listing to listing. The Association’s office location became 118 N. Willis.
On April 10th, 1969 the name was officially changed to The Visalia Board of REALTORS in order to conform to the National Association of REALTORS requirements. Shortly thereafter, in 1971, the Association celebrated its 50th anniversary. At this time, there were 39 REALTOR Offices and 92 members.
In August of 1977, the association acquired the property at 301 W. Noble in Visalia. In 1991, the name was changed to the Visalia Association of REALTORS. The change reflected the association’s new policy of being an all REALTOR Asso¬ciation. Prior to this there were two cat¬egories of membership – REALTOR and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE.
During the 80’s, the Board also entered the computer age. At first there was little more than a word processor and a simple bookkeeping system, but that soon changed.
In 1991 the Board moved to its newly acquired larger office building at 2424 East Valley Oaks and by then it was publishing an “MLS Book,” not sheets of paper to place in a Binder. The MLS became accessible via computer.
In July of 2000, the Association became one of the first Multiple Listing Services in the nation to have an Internet based MLS. It was in fact the “Beta” site for the Rapattoni Internet MLS System. The association, soon thereafter, entered the “Cyber Age” with its very own web site.
In 2003, the Visalia Association and the Tulare Association joined forces to create the Tulare County Association of REALTORS and MLS.
In April 2016 the Tulare County Association of REALTORS® and Orange Belt Board of REALTORS® voted to merge. The official merger was approved by the National Association of REALTORS® on September 7th 2016. The new service area is now the entire geographical location of Tulare County. In October 2016 we reached a membership milestone by having our 1,000 active REALTORS® member. As part of our ongoing service to the community and in order to better provide for our Non-Profit good works, the formation of the Tulare County Association of REALTORS® Charitable Foundation was created on August 2nd 2016.
In May 2019, the Tulare County MLS reached a membership milestone of 1,500 MLS Subscribers.
History compiled by Lyman Treaster (former President 1958), Betty Treaster (former Executive Officer), Janet Carr (former Executive Officer) , Karl Hampton (former Executive Officer) and Brett Taylor (Executive Officer).