Born in Sandwich East in Windsor, Ontario in 1891, Leonard Reaume started his real estate career in 1911 in Windsor and Detroit. Mr. Reaume was the President of the Detroit Real Estate Board in 1925, National Association of Real Estate Boards in 1930, and the Michigan Real Estate Board in 1935. He was awarded REALTOR® Emeritus in 1978.
Mr. Reaume was elected President of the National Association of Real Estate Boards at the age of 38, making him the youngest president in the Association's history. During his presidency, the Association, in collaboration with the University of Chicago, undertook a detailed assessment of the tax systems in each state to create recommendations for tax relief. Mr. Reaume believed the burden of taxes kept people out of homeownership and worked to relieve those burdens.
Mr. Reaume oversaw the creation of the National Property Owners' Division in the year prior to his presidency and utilized it in his work to understand and change the tax burden on homeowners. The Division was created to allow "real estate owners of the United States and Canada opportunity to co-operate in protecting their interests against legislation of undesirable character, in equalizing the local tax burden on real estate, and removing discriminations against real estate now existing in the laws." Property Owner's Divisions were established at the local level, but the property owners with no local division were allowed to join at the national level.
In additional to his work in the United States, Mr. Reaume encouraged and advocated for REALTORS® to turn their lenses internationally. He advocated for "the worldwide responsibility of the professional real estate man to protect and promote private property rights." His accomplishments in the international arena are as follows:
- In 1947, Mr. Reaume did a survey of the post-WWII rent control in France and created an analysis of the damage to real property. For this work, he was awarded the Order of Commercial Merit by the Republic of France and President Charles de Gaulle in 1949. The award was presented "as a manifestation of the friendship which unites the two counties and for the work he has done."
- In 1951, Mr. Reaume was an integral member of the founding of FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation. He proposed NAR's membership in FIABCI which was subsequently approved by the NAR Board of Directors.
- From 1957 to 1959, Mr. Reaume served as the first American president of FIABCI.
- In 1963, Mr. Reaume was awarded the first FIABCI Medal of Honor.
- In 1972, Mr. Reaume was appointed an honorary president of FIABCI.