Culture Scan

At the intersection of real estate, media, and pop culture.

What’s Happening In Real Estate Culture? We’re on It

It’s 1950. The median cost of a single-family home is $7,354, and you have a question about appraising homes in the expanding suburbs. With no social media, email, or Internet, where do you turn?

Many REALTORS® in 1950 turned to the National Association of REALTORS® library (see “Blast from the Past” below). And the library is still answering members’ questions—to the tune of 100 per month. Questions range from the typical personality traits of real estate sales professionals to characteristics of the Bulgarian real estate market.

Yes, there’s a vast amount of digital information online to support your real estate business, but for trustworthy sourcing on a wide range of current and historical topics—and access to information that’s not available with a Google search—turn to the NAR Library & Archives.

Recent questions:

  • Do you have statistics on cultural diversity among REALTORS®?
  • How do new schools in the neighborhood affect property value?
  • On average, how much does a REALTOR® spend on marketing annually?
  • Do you have data on Canadian home buyers and sellers in Florida?

The librarians and archivists are continuously updating reference guides and business letter templates, as well as fact-checking and providing research services.

Through the NAR library, you have free access to the largest real estate collection in the world—more than 12,000 print publications and 6,000 downloadable digital books and audiobooks, as well as thousands of scholarly journals accessible via subscription databases. The archives hold the institutional history of NAR, including historic reports, meeting minutes, and founding documents like the Code of Ethics.

Library services are available to you at no additional cost beyond your national dues. We look forward to hearing from you!

Blast from the Past

In a now-defunct NAR publication called Headlines, a feature called “Question Box,” ran for 30 years—from 1945 to 1975. In the car-crazed 1950s, topics like the value of drive-in theaters and the size of a standard garage were on the minds of REALTORS®.

An example of the old NAR Library question box column

NAR published REALTORS®’ question and encouraged readers to send answers to be published in future issues—an early example of crowdsourcing.

Reach the NAR Library & Archives


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The Culture Scan blog explores the intersection of real estate, media, and popular culture. If you have an example of how culture plays a role in your real estate business, feel free to send story ideas to the REALTOR® Magazine team.

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