Membership in the Association required the approval of the board of directors and the general membership. Members were divided into two general classes. The first was for owners or officers of a corporation engaged in the sale of real estate. The second class was for salesmen of those firms that were members of the Association.
In addition to these two classes of membership, the constitution also required all members to sign a personal pledge. Fines and expulsion from the Association would result if members did not comply with the bylaws or code of ethics, or for: "any conduct which [tended] to cause discredit to fall upon the Association or upon the real estate business as a whole."
The privileges and obligations of individual members included reporting to the board of directors in writing any breaches made by members. Such reports were "deemed a privileged communication and [did] not subject the member making such a report to liability." Upon the receipt of a complaint the board of directors was required to advise the member of the complaint, provide the member with a copy of the letter, and start an investigation.
Membership fees and dues were arranged according to the membership structure. The first member representing an office was required to pay $10. Each additional member of that firm including salesmen paid $5 each.
The owners or employees of companies that were members of the Association were responsible for the actions of that company unless they could show: "to the satisfaction of the Board of Directors that such violation was without his or their knowledge or consent."
The Association was governed by an eight-member board of directors. A nominating committee (appointed at least two weeks before the annual meeting) arranged elections of officers and directors. The officers were authorized to hire an executive secretary and any: "such other persons as may be necessary to properly conduct the activities of the Association."
The Association was not large or active enough to justify the hiring of a full-time executive secretary until the late 1950s.
At certain times the office of secretary and treasurer were combined. Secretarial duties were, therefore, handled by Association members who were paid a small honorarium for performing these tasks.
This article is extracted from John Gilpin, Responsible Enterprise: A History of Edmonton Real Estate & the Edmonton Real Estate Board. (Edmonton: Edmonton Real Estate Board, 1997). The Heritage Community Foundation and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation would like to thank John Gilpin and the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton for permission to reproduce this material.