Fourth of July/Independence Day/Society of Exchange Counselors

As I sat in my study over the holiday, I pondered what significant similarities there are between the above titled events’/entities’ birth, history, and existence today.

Part One – Fourth of July/Independence Day:

The Fourth of July/Independence Day has been a national holiday since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebration goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783. In 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies, then fighting in the revolutionary struggle, weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

In pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthdays, including bell ringing, bond fires, processions and speeches. By contrast, during the summer of 1776 some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George. By the final decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties –Federalists and Democratic-Republicans – that had arisen began holding separate celebrations in many large cities.

The patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, again with Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made it a federal holiday, as it is today, with a major focus on celebration through honoring our independence with fireworks and leisure activities.

Part Two – Society of Exchange Counselors:

In 1950s San Diego, California was heavily overbuilt and there were few cash buyers. Realtor Richard R. Reno believed that ownership of real estate may over time come to have a diminishing value to individuals who purchased for very definitive reasons such as tax shelters, short and long term improvement values, and/or market changing events. Capital gains tax could also greatly diminish profits on sale.

Therefore, he surmised that the only way to subjectively develop growth in the market was to focus on the needs and desires of the property owner. The property owner was the client and not the property. To properly assist the owner, he would have to thoroughly counsel with that party to learn how and why the investment was purchased originally, where in that process the property was currently situated, and explore options to maximize the investment within the owner’s ability.

From that, he determined a need for education in counseling and education, which would produce a more professional approach to asset management in the marketing arena and a broader arena of trained professionals. He further determined that a national group could meet regularly to address the above client issues and provide a large forum for “solution driven” marketing not previously offered before. In November, 1961 nineteen realtors met with that specific goal in mind for the first Society of Exchange Counselors marketing meeting, which is the prototype for most marketing meetings internationally.

Currently, the S.E.C. maintains a membership that represents most of the North American Continent and has factions throughout the world. Membership is by invitation only, and members are selected from those brokers driven by a focus on people, and who possess proven skills in counseling, exchanging and real creative real estate. The S.E.C. core values are best stated in our credo: Service, Experience and Counsel.

Part Three – Conclusion:

The common denominator is whether personal, business, or even war that the heart and soul of the individual(s) in resolving issues and bringing satisfaction to life and its many challenges.


  1. Leo

    this is the first time in many years that someone has taken the time to go back to the roots of this Society and explain what we are all about. in times like this and many other market conditions the SEC collectively has the solution to most investment problems if given enough time and the attention of the group, to solve 99% of the business investment issues.great article

  2. It’s also interesting among the first SECs who led, RRR Richard R. Reno,Founder CCC, Charle C. Chatham, Founder and developer of Counseling, WWW, Wally W. Walker, Instructor and wrote first Idaho R.E. Manual, RRR
    Royce R. Ringsdorf, Instructor, Author of Book on Exchanging. I knew all well, spent a good deal of time with each. I remember an SEC meeting in
    Denver in 1980?, sharing a table in the restaurant we all attended with only Charlie Chatham. How many of you would like to have had that opportunity? He actually wanted me to teach his course, but I didn’t feel
    I could do it justice, and he asked me to sit in on, and evaluate Dan Murr’s course at the Outlaw Inn in Kallispell, MT about 1976? The rest is
    History, as Dan teamed up with Colby to give seminars all over America.
    Yep, those were the days. Ron Moser

  3. Leo,

    Your quote “ownership of real estate may over time come to have a diminishing value to individuals who purchased for very definitive reasons” is as true today as it ever was.

    I’m grateful to the Society for the relationships, education, and opportunities for commerce that have resulted from my involvement. From my first exposure to the S.E.C. my mindset and the way I conduct business has never been the same.

    Thank you for your leadership in this fine organization.