In 1914, a group of Evansville real estate brokers began meeting each Friday at noon to discuss their concerns. The all-male meetings centered mostly on concerns about selling residential property in Vanderburgh County.
A century later, the Southwest Indiana Association of REALTORS® (SIAR) has grown to include more than 800 REALTORS® — men and women — in 10 counties. But it still dates back to those original meetings.
“I like to think of it as the first multiple listing service,” says 2014 SIAR President Geri Terry. “Our MLS software does that today. But this was a way for them to get started.”
Terry’s role as SIAR president involves setting meeting times and agendas, as well as working to get the latest real estate tools for the association’s members. Monthly meetings are held, with a guest speaker invited to each.
All SIAR members also are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. Some, like Terry — a broker for F.C. Tucker Emge — work for larger companies, while others are independent agents. All must obey a code of ethics and a standard of practice to retain their status as REALTORS®. They also must take continuing education classes each year.
“We’re all professionals, and we all behave in a professional manner,” says Terry. “It makes transactions smoother when you know the people you are dealing with. And if a buyer or seller has a question, the agent is going to know where to get that information.”
Every REALTOR® depends on having a solid reputation. The SIAR makes sure any disagreement is resolved quickly for the benefit of both parties.
“Ours is a unique business because we are competitors, but it is beneficial to us and to the customers that we represent for us to cooperate,” says Terry. “The purpose of the association is to provide cooperation and compensation agreements among members.”
SIAR is involved with local nonprofits like Toys for Tots, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden, Habitat for Humanity, and others. SIAR serves Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Martin, Perry, Pike, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties.
For more information about the Southwest Indiana Association of REALTORS®, visit siar-2014.blogspot.com.