Starting an Exchange Group

Editor’s Note from the 1972 issue: Each month in Special Report, The Real Estate News Observer features an active real estate organization in an effort to inform our readers of new ideas. Many fine organizations are doing exciting things in research and development of new formulas, techniques, and concepts. We want our readers to learn how these ideas are developing through trial, error, and experimentation.

In the beginning the 1950s, a man named Richard R. Reno was preaching a new creative approach to the real estate business.

He emphasized that real estate was as much a people business as a property business and that more real estate problems could be solved by exchanging property than through outright sales. In 1961, he formed the National Society of Exchange Counselors, a national organization of creative brokers who are adept at exchanging real estate on a geographical basis.

Also in 1961, a young Realtor named Bill Broadbent of San Luis Obispo heard Mr. Reno speak at a Farm Brokers Conference at California State Polytechnic College. Several months later, he completed the Reno course in Modern Real Estate Exchanging and Counseling in Sacra¬mento, California.

Shortly thereafter, Broadbent’s partner, Ed Arnett, took the Reno course in Hollywood, California. The closest “Renovated Exchangor” to their San Luis Obispo office was more than 300 miles away.

Broadbent and Arnett felt that the successful implementation of the exchange concept required two elements:

  1. Other brokers to be trained in exchanging who thought creatively and could talk the language
  2. A local organization structure whereby these brokers could meet on a regular basis to brainstorm problems and market property for their clients

They recruited Ruth Murdock Mulkins of Atascadero and Gene Norman of Ventura to take Mr. Reno’s exchange course in Palm Springs. Then these four brokers founded the Central Coast Exchangors (C.C.E.) — the first local exchange group anywhere. Next year, C.C.E. will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Under charter president Broadbent’s leadership, the group encouraged other brokers to become edu¬cated and then participate in C.C.E. Although the group never had more than 20 members from the Tri-County area — Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties — they always encouraged visiting by other area Ex¬changors. This welcome is still actively extended.

During C.C.E.’s formative years, Chuck Chatham, George Hoover, and Bob Steele were frequently in attendance. Perhaps C.C.E. had an influence on outsiders because brokers from other areas began to inquire about the organizational structure of the group. Within a few short years, the idea of C.C.E. had caught on. Today, there are over 35 similar groups on the West Coast. Ventura, California, and Santa Barbara, California, now have their own local exchange groups.

Continuing education of members and a cooperative spirit of sharing new ideas always have been basic philoso¬phies at C.C.E.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the August 1972 issue of the Real Estate News Observer. If you would like your group to be considered for a future article in the S.E.C. Real Estate Observer, please submit information about your marketing group to

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