Van Holt Garrett

President of the National Association of REALTORS® - 1945

As president of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, Van Holt Garrett* led his industry to a peacetime economy.

A war-bequeathed housing shortage, intensified by homecoming servicemen, was first place among national problems. Knowing that the only way to overcome shortage and head off real estate inflation was to reopen normal home building, President Garrett threw the whole energy of the Association into this task. He won complete revocation of the wartime order which had banned all ordinary construction. He launched the National Real Estate foundation, which was formed to marshal economic resources to preserve the institution of property ownership. His administration defeated a strong new movement for commercial rent control. It encouraged the opening of the first four-year curriculum in real estate in an American university at the University of Wisconsin.

Distinguished for simple friendliness and sincerity, Van Holt Garrett called Georgia his "mother" and Colorado his "sweetheart." A graduate of the Georgia School of Technology, he served in World War I as first lieutenant and as captain in the Cavalry and in the Signal Corps, with 18 months overseas. In 1923, he entered the real estate business, joining the staff of L.F. Eppich, who was at the time NAREB president. In 1930 he resigned to form his own firm, Garrett-Bromfield & Co., Denver. He developed four Denver subdivisions; Country Club Annex, Balcaro Park, Crestmoor Park, and Cherry Hills Park.

A past president of the Denver Real Estate Exchange and of the Colorado Association of Real Estate Boards, he also was chairman of Denver's Zoning Board of Adjustment and a member of the executive committee of the Denver Planning Commission. He headed numerous committees of the Denver Chamber of Commerce and traveled extensively abroad.

Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).