Under the direction of Arthur P. Wilcox*, the National Association of Real Estate Boards made significant political gains in 1962 and introduced its first national advertising campaign.
President Wilcox and NAREB were strongly opposed to the Kennedy Administration's proposal to create a cabinet Department of Urban Affairs and Housing. The Association had fought similar plans since 1956. It argued that such a plan would impair the constitutional system of federal-state-local relations and that it would fail in its professional aim of coordinating federal housing programs.
Although it was a pet project and determined objective of President Kennedy, the attempt to set up the cabinet-level department was soundly defeated in a large measure to REALTOR® efforts.
Wilcox, following through on the philosophy of his predecessor O. G. (Bill) Powell concerning less government intervention in the private section, called for a "complete restudy of the whole field of public housing to find answers to the recognized problems of adequate housing needy families within the framework of private property ownership."
Mr. Wilcox had a big hand in a historic NAREB program. For many years members had proposed a nationwide advertising program for NAREB. But not until 1962 was a cohesive national advertising and public relations program designed and implemented to improve the national image of the REALTOR®.
President Wilcox, a man who knew actions speak louder that words, announced to the NAREB Board of Directors that "making a success of the national advertising program is a cardinal objective of mine." The first full-page ad in the program appeared in U.S. News & World Report October, 1962. The ad, which promoted the professional service of REALTORS®, was followed the next spring with another full-page ad in Look magazine.
One fun highlight of Mr. Wilcox's term in office was his presiding over "REALTOR® Day" at the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle.
Mr. Wilcox, of Boston, Mass., became a director in NAREB in 1951 and was active in a number of executive offices. He was a member of the REALTORS®' Washington Committee, chairman of the Political Participation and Board Services Committees and an Association vice president.
Mr. Wilcox served as a chairman and president of the Rockland Trust Company and president of the Rockland Savings Bank, both in Boston.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).