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What is ARA?

The Arkansas REALTORS® Association, with twenty-eight independent local REALTOR® boards and associations statewide, is the state arm of the Chicago- and Washington, D.C.-based National Association of REALTORS®. Members of the National Association, the State Associations and the local boards and associations are identified by the registered membership term, “Realtor®” and pledge adherence to the REALTORS® Code of Ethics.

Our REALTOR® brand, our services, our organizational strength, our commitment to the REALTORS® Code of Ethics and the endless number of programs we provide to our members are reasons 1-6 of why, if you aren’t already, you should become a member of the Arkansas REALTORS® today. The dues you pay to become a REALTOR® aren’t an expense, they are an investment in one of the strongest and most recognized organizations in the world.


Mission Statement

As the voice for real estate, the Arkansas REALTORS® serves its members by promoting professionalism through education, communications, technology, legal information and services, by advocating the use and transfer of real property, and by positioning the REALTOR® as the primary source for real estate services.


Association History

The Arkansas Real Estate Association was formed on March 30, 1925 at a meeting of real estate practitioners in Little Rock, Arkansas; the purpose was to form an Arkansas arm of the National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB). William F. Herrin from NAREB attended the meeting to establish the charter. A motion was made the Arkansas Real Estate Association (AREA) be formed, and the motion carried. The first Board of Directors meeting was held July 23, 1925.


In a hard-won battle that was waged in two sessions of the legislature, the AREA prevailed in 1929 with the passage of Act 148 of 1929 that required licensure to practice real estate in Arkansas. The state agency that was created to regulate real estate license was the Arkansas Real Estate Commission (AREC). The AREA and the AREC shared offices and staff until November 1, 1970 when, under the directives of then Governor, the two began functioning as separate entities. Meantime, in 1960 the Three-Way Agreement was adopted; in 1963 Act 541 was passed requiring a basic principles of real estate course as a requisite for licensure. In 1970, the Real Estate Political Education Committee (REPEC) was formed as a forerunner of ARPAC. In 1973, mirroring the name change by the national association to the National Association of REALTORS®, the name of the AREA was changed to Arkansas REALTORS® Association (ARA).

During the forty years the ARA and the AREC shared quarters, they were located in the Pyramid Building in Little Rock. After the separation, the ARA moved to the ground-floor suite vacated by the Little Rock REALTORS® Association in the building at 3rd & Spring; from there ARA moved to temporary quarters on the top floor of the “L&L Building” on Markham Street. The ARA then finally moved into its own building – the Georgian-style REALTOR® Building at 204 Executive Court. It remained there until moving into the current new REALTOR® Building at 11224 Executive Center Drive.


During the time ARA and the AREC shared quarters they also shared executive officers. When they separated, O.D. Hadfield, Jr., relinquished his AREC position and served as Executive Vice President of the ARA until 1975. When he retired, Ken Graves then moved into the EVP spot, serving from 1975 until 1986 when he left the position due to health issues. Bob Balhorn was then hired as EVP and served in the post from 1986 to 2008. Andy Schaus followed as EVP – a position that was renamed Chief Executive Officer in 2009 – and was in the position until the fall of 2010. Mark G. Marchand joined the Association as CEO in January 2011 until January 2013.  Miki Bass is the current Chief Executive Officer of Arkansas REALTORS® Association and has been with the Association for over 20 years.

From a membership of 43 in 1930, the March 2017 membership count is 7,498.

Benefits of Membership

Here’s a taste of the return you can expect from becoming a member of the Arkansas REALTORS® Association:


REPRESENTATION: Every day of the year our legislative teams here in Arkansas and in Washington are busy making sure that your voice and the voice of the consumer is heard and your industry is protected. As the NAR says, “Political battles won today significantly affect your tomorrow.”


EDUCATION: Tap into new opportunities in your market—and increase your value by gaining the specialized expertise needed to work with clients with specific needs. The ARA, NAR and its affiliated Institutes, Societies, and Councils offer professional designation programs acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors.

CONSUMER AWARENESS: Now in its second decade, the National Association of REALTORS® ongoing Public Awareness Campaign has resulted in a significant increase in consumer perception of the value of REALTORS® bring to the home buying process, which increases your value in the marketplace. Of course, members enjoy the full benefit of this effort only when they identify themselves as REALTORS®. Leverage the power of our national advertising by putting our logo on your business card and wearing your REALTOR® pin.

RESEARCH: Each month the Arkansas REALTORS®Association tracks and distributes housing statistics for more than 43 counties in Arkansas. On a national level, the NAR does this thorough continuous research allowing REALTORS® to have access to top quality knowledge and expertise.


TECHNOLOGY: Year after year the Arkansas REALTORS®Association has provided its members with the cutting-edge of forms technology.


CODE OF ETHICS: The Code of Ethics is the road map to being an honest, forthright, professional. If a Realtor doesn’t use the map or worse yet, deliberately strays from the path, the Association stands ready to hold them to the commitment of being a Realtor. If we want to be seen as being of higher ethical standards, then we need to all participate in the policing of the policy. It’s every Realtor’s job to hold ALL other REALTORS® to these standards.

Copyright © 2019 Arkansas Real Estate Commission. All Rights Reserved.

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