GBBR History

Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS®
The Nation's Oldest Real Estate Board, Founded in 1858

Our Mission
The Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS® is an advocate for the business and professional interests of its members, high ethical standards, and private property rights.

Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS® Historical Timeline

1858        Founded as the Baltimore Board of Real Estate Brokers and Property Agents, William Warfield was President and Samuel Snowden was Secretary-Treasurer.  There were eleven members. The purpose of the Board was to insure that brokers were ethical. In addition, it wanted to enhance the value of real estate.


1902        Re-organization took place.


1908        The Baltimore Board of Real Estate Brokers and Property Agents was among the founders of the National Association of Real Estate Exchange (now known as theNational Association of REALTORS®, or NAR).


1909        Pamphlet published by the Real Estate Exchange of Baltimore noted the growth of the Baltimore Board. There were 44 members including two of the original eleven.


1913        NAR adopted a strict Code of Ethics. The Baltimore Board of Real Estate Brokers and Property Agents played a key role as the original concept was included in GBBR by-laws in 1958.


1914        The Board re-organized under the leadership of the late B. Howard Richards and leased office space at 15 E. Fayette Street, in Baltimore City.


1915        Name changed to Real Estate Board of Baltimore.


1916        A multiple list service, sponsored by Real Estate Board of Baltimore, was organized.


WWI        The Board opposed rent control and established a Fair Rent Committee. To honor World War I hero George B. Redwood, the Board proposed and successfully endorsed the change of German Street to the name of Redwood Street in Baltimore City.

1918        The Board began a movement to bring all lines of business related to real estate underone organization.

1925        The Board formed a multiple listing bureau.

1920's through 1950's  The Board supported or advocated construction projects such as:
 • Howard Street extension
 • Franklin Street Viaduct
 • Bay Bridge
 • Memorial Stadium
 • Civic Center

1938        Twenty-five real estate brokers from Baltimore City and several counties met to create an organization to lobby for enactment of real estate license laws. This organization was called Maryland Real Estate Association (now known as theMaryland Association of REALTORS® or MAR).


1942        The Board accepted rent control as a necessary evil during the World War II, and fought a constant battle against unjust laws until the Federal law was repealed.


1951        The Real Estate Board of Baltimore moved from 7 Saint Paul Street to 7 E. Lexington Street in Baltimore City.


1958        The Board supported an ordinance requiring tenants to give adequate notice before moving,clean up the property, and return all keys to the owner of the property.


1958        Encouraged by the Board, the Sunday edition of the Baltimore American and the Baltimore Sun began publishing separate real estate sections.


1965        During the Johnson administration, the Board initiated the procedure to extend non-discriminatory prohibition to all federally funded institutions.


1967        MAR moved to its own offices in Annapolis - until then the Baltimore Board maintained its activities and records.


1972        The Board moved to 1501 W. Mount Royal Avenue in Baltimore City. The Central Maryland Multiple List Service (MARIT) occupied part of the building.


1974        The Board changed its name from the Real Estate Board of Greater Baltimore to the
Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS®
-- this provided better identification with NAR and enforcement of the Code of Ethics.


1976        The Board was the first local organization to sign the "Equal Opportunity in Housing" with HUD.


1982        The Boardallows all REALTORS® to maintain membership -- New salespersons as well as Brokers that meet REALTOR® requirements and can hold Board voting rights and be elected to Board office.


1996        GBBR opens a satellite office in Ellicott City, in Howard County.

1997        The Board moved to its current location in Baltimore County at 1306 Bellona Avenue, Lutherville, Maryland 21093. GBBR launches its first website,

1999        The Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, Inc. is formed to support and engage in charitable, civic, educational and humanitarian activities and programs designed to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods within the Baltimore metropolitan area.

2001        GBBRearns national recognition in receiving the HOPE Award for its media/public awareness campaign "Know Housing Fraud When You See It." The campaign educated first-time homebuyers on how to avoid being victimized in fraudulent real estate transactions by encouraging the use of a REALTOR® Buyer's Agent to represent clients throughout the transaction.


2003        GBBR teams with the Baltimore City government and private foundations to create the innovative SCOPE Project (Selling City Owned Properties Efficiently), a streamlined and industry-friendly approach to marketing city-owned, vacant properties to investors and homeowners alike.


2004        GBBR expanded its efforts to support the Adopt-A-Classroom program by hosting a year long fundraising campaign which raised $13,000, far surpassing the original goal of$10,000. A total of 26 classrooms - 13 in Baltimore City, 13 in BaltimoreCounty - were adopted for the 2004-05 school year, and each classroom received a $500 contribution for supplies and materials to supplement their classroom activities. Since then, the GBBR Charitable Foundaiton in cooperation with GBBR has adopted over 100 classrooms within the Baltimore area.  The Adopt-A-Classroom program is a 501(c)(3) non-profit nationwide organization, working to enrich the local classroom experience and increase both teachers' and students' chances for success.


2005         The GBBR Charitable Foundation made a major pledge of dollars and in-kind support for the construction of Our Playground at Stadium Place, a community designed one-acre playground built between April and July 2005 on a portion of the former Memorial Stadium site in Baltimore City.  The playground was the first of its kind developed in Baltimore City.


2006        In response to continued rapid growth in membership, GBBR moved its headquarters to the second floor at 1306 Bellona Avenue. With membership reaching over 4,950 -- up more than 13 percent over the previous year and 33 percent above its 2004 level -- larger quarters were needed to expand service offerings to members. The move allowed GBBR to double its office space, the number of classrooms and conference rooms, and to provide expanded space for its GBBR Federal Credit Union.  In addition, the office now hosts an updated computer lab and training room for Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc., the nation's largest multiple listing service and a major source of Maryland real estate information. GBBR was named the third largest trade association in the Baltimore metropolitan area by the Baltimore Business Journal in December 2006.

2007   GBBR members raised 36 percent over goal for the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC).  The funds enabled the GBBR RPAC to support a massive communications effort to local elected officials, helping to successfully protect real estate services from additional sales tax legislation.  The REALTORS®’ collective voice was heard at a rally in Annapolis and both current and potential Maryland homeowners received the benefit.

2008   The Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS® marked its 150th anniversary as a leader in the real estate industry.   The year-long theme of the sesquicentennial celebration was “Leading the Way.”  The association sponsored a series of events in honor of the achievement, culminating with a major Gala at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Baltimore on Saturday evening, April 5, 2008.  More than 500 guests attended the event, which raised more than $145,000 for the Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS® Charitable Foundation endowment fund.

2009   The GBBR Board of Directors launched a special scholarship program to benefit members interested in enrolling in the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) Leadership Academy.  GBBR's Political Action Committee "Called Talent" for the summer's REALTOR® Idol Contest, an innovative RPAC fundraiser featuring dinner and karaoke at The River Watch Restaurant & Marina Deck.  The GBBR Charitable Foundation hosted its first "Bags for Baltimore" Designer Handbag Bingo Event (a sell-out!) at the Tall Cedars hall in Parkville, raising $12,000 to support projects and programs throughout the year. 

2010   GBBR's Membership Committee hosted their first Family Fun Day at the ever-popular Oregon Ridge Park, a picnic designed for summer fun with friends and family.  Inconjunction with the Baltimore City Commission on Historic and Architectural Preservation, GBBR worked to provide MRIS® with historical data and tax records needed to modify the roughly 86,000 tax records within their database for Baltimore.  This feat allows the multiple list system to display historic district information, a great benefit to real estate professionals as well as future homeowners.

2011   GBBR hosted both the State of the Maryland Real Estate Market Event and the Baltimore City Real Estate Summit, offering a comprehensive examination of the local commercial and residential real estate markets in relationship to changing legislative and economic landscapes.  GBBR’s Equal Opportunities & Fair Housing Committee, through grants from the National Association of REALTORS® Housing Opportunities Program and Diversity Program, hosted free home buying workshops designed especially for the Russian-speaking and Spanish-speaking public.  To supplement the outreach, GBBR published a resourceful guide that outlines the process of purchasing a home, available in six different languages including English, Chinese, French, Korean, Russian and Spanish.  REALTOR® members were encouraged to share the guide with non-English speaking buyers to assist themin understanding the parts of the process that are unique to our country.  Finally, GBBR hosted the 25th Anniversary REALTOR® Fair at Martin’s West event facility, catering to more than 700 attendees for a one-day extravaganza of trade show excitement!