The National Association of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing one million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. NAR celebrated its centennial in 2008.

One of the strategic initiatives in the National Association of REALTORS® strategic plan is to “improve the competency and professionalism of REALTORS®.” Under this strategic initiative is a business practice that “NAR promote the creation of advanced real estate degree programs, as well as other types of educational training for members.”

The idea for transforming REALTOR® University into a degree granting institution emanated from a 2008 National Association of REALTORS® Advisory Group on Professionalism in the industry.  The group was charged with recommending ways to improve real estate practice and to ensure the REALTOR® mark is perceived as an assurance of experience and professional service. Out of this group was formed a blue ribbon advisory group, whose goal was to address higher education in real estate. This group developed the initial plan for the offering of academic degrees. The goals of the university, in service to the profession are:

  • Create the leading resource for advanced education, continuing education and professional development in real estate, addressing the needs of REALTORS® and the real estate industry today and tomorrow.
  • Create the highest standard of competency in the real estate industry.
  • Raise the bar for, image of, and professionalism of REALTORS®.
  • Create an accredited curriculum, body of knowledge and core competencies that lead to applied degrees in real estate.
  • Foster ethical behavior according to the NAR code of ethics.