The history of real estate in Saskatchewan, before the board was put into place, would start with Dominions Lands Act, which was passed in 1872. This act was to encourage settlers to settle in the west and preserve the natural resources of the Prairie Provinces. Dominion Lands Offices were set up and would essentially give 160 acres to any male farmer that agreed to cultivate 40 acres and build a permanent dwelling in the first three years. All the farmer had to do was pay a ten dollar administration fee. This would be the first form of real estate office opened. Soon, more real estate offices opened up to aid in the selling or buying of the province’s land. The commencement of North Battleford Real Estate Board, as it was previously called, dates back to 1957 with a man named Bill Taylor. He joined his agencies, Bill Taylor Real Estate (1185 King St.), with four others, being North Battleford Agencies (Co-op bldg. 72 2nd Ave. E.), A.A. Stewart and Son (91087 King St.), Maher Agencies (1121 King St.), and Greise Land Co (28 1st Ave.). The start of the Multiple Listing Service was in 1958 to coincide with these uniting agencies, and their first meetings were held in only the house of its secretary Joan Wheeldon. This board was following the early lead of many other real estate associations in Saskatchewan including the Association of Regina Real Estate in 1912. However, North Battleford Real Estate Baord came to exist when the real estate business was growing. It was only two years earlier, in 1955 that the Canadian Institute of Realtors was established. This was the three year course at the University of Toronto where realtors could be educated. There were eight students from Saskatchewan attending this institute in this year. Times were way different though in the beginning years of real estate, especially considering that banks did not give out mortgages. All purchases were done as payment agreements between the two parties and the real estate agency if one was involved.
Through the years, many agencies joined this board and the Multiple Listing Service. It was very advantageous for the agencies so they could have access to the listings that all the other agencies on the board had in their files. With this cooperation, the realtor had to give part of its commission to the Multiple Listing Service for the service it provided in the deal. Aware that cooperation involving money could cause problems, in 1958, terms were written that the agencies had to agree to before joining the board such as the code of ethics, stressing the importance of the clients, and that everyone must submit to these by-laws. Later on, an arbitration committee was put into place, so they could give judgement on certain cases where there were grievances to be dealt with. Examples of grievance would be a realtor not giving the proper amount of commission to where it is due or having their agency open to clients on Saturday as they were only permitted to be open 5:00- 9:00 Monday to Friday. Being on the Board had many advantages, but it also came with costs. For an agency to join the board, they were normally charged $300.00. They then had to pay monthly to continue to be on the board, for each individual broker or salesman they had on staff to use the MLS, and their share when expenses such as advertising and donations were split between them. The hierarchy of boards continued this, as North Battleford Real Estate Board had to pay into the Saskatchewan Real Estate Board (SREB) and the Canadian Association of Real Estate Boards (CAREB) for each broker and salesman they had on staff.
The primary function of the North Battleford Real Estate Board is to serve the community of potential property buys with the utmost efficiency and courtesy.They are to know what is on the market all over the city and to be able to narrow it down the possibilities to only the ones that the buyer would be interested in according to their needs. A person with this much knowledge about the field allows a property to be chosen in the least possible time. Considering this, it is no wonder why the North Battleford Real Estate Board grew so rapidly. As agencies joined in, they had to make more structure. They made an executive, consisting of only a president and secretary to start with, and then adding vice president as well as four directors. Many committees were formed in order to specialize in certain decisions or planning events. Some include grievances and arbitration, as mentioned before, legislation and standard forms, membership and ethics, constitutional and educational, publicity and advertising, Multiple Listing Service and financial, correspondence or planning events, constitution to do revisions, and election of officers. The meetings moved from having them in various offices of North Battleford Agencies, Maher Agencies, and A.A. Stewart, to having many at the Beaver dining room (11 Ave. and 100th St.) or the Credit Union board offices (1201 102 St.). They hosted many informational meetings for agencies outside the board to try to expand. They also would volunteer at schools to show how to follow through with making a realtor their career choice. Once all the agencies in town were a part of the board, the name change took place. The North Battleford Real Estate Board dissolved from the beginning of year 1967 until it was officially The Battleford’s Real Estate Board on October 1st 1967, being announced to the public over the radio on October 13th 1967.
The board also increased in power as they took on big projects in order to increase their popularity and advertising. They donated money to causes or activities in order to get their name out there, but this paled in comparison to other projects. In 1967, they started what they called the Centennial Project to commemorate the one hundred years since Canada came into existence and to celebrate the part that the business of real estate had in it. For this project, they rallied funds in order to have a real estate office on the grounds of the pioneer village that is now on the Western Development Museum property. They also challenged themselves with hosting large events. They hosted the Saskatchewan Real Estate Convention in 1960, 1965, 1971, and 1978. This was both a huge honour and ordeal to host such a large event, especially in 1971 when it was the 20th annual Saskatchewan Real Estate Board convention. They would also regularly arrange to have guest speakers; anything to learn and get a leg up in their business. Through the many documents available, it is clear that it took a lot of cooperation and hard work to get the Battleford’s Real Estate board to the successful place it is now.