A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE HEARTLAND ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, INC.
The Heartland Association of REALTORS®, Inc. orginally known as the Sebring Board of REALTORS®, was chartered by the National Association of REALTORS® on November 8, 1955, when Henry G. Bailey was president of the Board.  That same year, work began on the Sunshine State Parkway, Florida’s first high speed road. The five charter members were Henry Bailey, Grayce McCoy, Virginia Rebman, Henry Norris and Jeannie Perminger. There is scant historical information prior to 1981, but that year, the Board was housed in two adjoining offices in downtown Sebring, and the Board hired its first Executive Officer that year. The decision was made to move out on U.S. 27, into the Schuchman Building, which we did on June 1, 1983. After four years there, the Board moved to the Home Savings Building on June 1, 1987 and then to it’s present office on U.S. 27  in 2001. The Heartland Association of REALTORS® forms a 3-way membership for its members with two parent groups, the National Association of REALTORS® in Chicago, with over 1,300,000 members, and the Florida Association of REALTORS® in Orlando. 
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of the Heartland Association of REALTORS® is to serve all segments of its membership by providing programs, products and services to enhance the member’s freedom and ability to conduct their individual businesses successfully, with integrity and competency, and through collective action to promote the extension and preservation of the right to own, transfer and use real property.

The general objectives of the Association are as follows:

1. To unite those engaged in the recognized branches of the real estate profession in this community for the purpose of exerting a beneficial influence upon the profession and related interests.

2. To promote and maintain high standards of conduct in the real estate profession as expressed in the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS® and to enforce that Code among its members.

3. To provide a unified medium for real estate owners and those engaged in the real estate profession whereby their interests may be safeguarded and advanced.

4. To further the interest of home and other real property ownership and use.

5. To unite those engaged in the real estate profession in this community with the Florida Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®, thereby furthering their own objectives throughout the state and nation, and obtaining the benefits and privileges of membership therein.

6. To designate, for the benefit of the public, those individuals within its jurisdiction authorized to use the term REALTOR®  as licensed, prescribed and controlled by the National Association of REALTORS®.

7. To provide and promote educational opportunities for our membership so as to offer the public a continuing source of competent real estate services.

8. To improve public awareness of, and confidence in, our members and the benefits provided by their service.

9. To cooperate with governmental agencies and to encourage strict compliance with all lawful, rules and regulations which affect the real estate business.

We exist to be of direct benefit to our members, as a whole. With the dramatic changes occurring in the real estate industry our members have ever widening choices as solutions to their business needs. We must help fill those needs.  We must focus on results. 

Downtown Sebring in the 1970's
 The Association was established to exert a beneficial influence upon the real estate profession, to promote and maintain high standards of conduct as set forth in the REALTORS®  Code of Ethics, to provide a unified medium for the profession, to further the interest of home and other real property ownership, as well as to provide a multitude of services to the membership. Many programs and activities result from the hard work and dedication of staff, committee members and Association leadership.

According to past records, the Multiple Listing Service was started about 1916 with 18 REALTORS® . A “used home” had an average resale price of $35,000. In April 1982, the Association’s MLS was incorporated, wholly—owned by the Association. In January 1981, the first bound MLS book was produced through contract with Swift Publications of Sarasota. Prior to this, the Association staff copied, collated, punched and distributed the pages of a manual MLS book which was maintained by each agent each week.

The face of real estate is changing for our Association as technology makes competition stronger and economic factors influence home ownership and investments. Our Association keeps up to date on such issues and we plan our activities accordingly. REALTOR® education is a key as well as REALTOR® involvement in local, state and national issues and planning. We will be serving future generations!

Past Predients: 
Standing are left to right,  Jeanne Campbell, Faye Pack, Steve Marabel,Teresa Bock, Chip Boring, Linda Boring, JoAnn Walz and Bob Hesselink. In front F Elgin Bayless and Ruth K Davis
FAR was founded in 1916 with 68 members and is now nearly 150,000. Woodrow Wilson was United States President in 1916 when the National Association of Real Estate Boards (now NAR) coined and adopted the term REALTOR®. In 1978 the Heartland Association  Directors adopted the Voluntary Affirmative Marketing Agreement and continues to work today for equal opportunity in housing. From the beginning, Florida’s REALTORS® have worked, and often struggled, for regulations and laws which would protect real estate ownership rights. Our REALTORS® are professionals and live by the REALTORS® Code of Ethics and the Golden Rule.
© 2007 - 2009 Heartland Association of Realtors, All Rights Reserved
Past Presidents:
Seated, Bob Hesselink, Ruth K. Davis 
and Faye Pack