Chicago REALTOR ®
V o l u m e 2 7 | S umm er 2 0 1 8
Meet Our New CEO:
The Official Publication of the Chicago Association of REALTORS ®
C E L E BR ATING OUR BRA ND N E W LOOK
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1823 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
1161 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60607
6600 N. Lincoln Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
Cover photo by Marcello Rodarte
IN THIS ISSUE
4 President’s Perspective
6 From the CEO
8 Editor’s Note
9 What’s Online
34 Well Read
35 Listen Up
42 Photo Album
48 RRES Lineup
50 The Buzz
Author: KEVIN ROCIO, @properties
10 Optimize Your Open House
14 Leverage Your LinkedIn Presence into New Business
16 Q&A with Michelle Mills Clement
21 Tools to Help Property Managers Reach Full Capacity
22 Six Considerations to Make When Working with Investors
24 Use these Apps for Wellness
28 Six Steps to Avoid a Low Appraisal
30 Welcome to Berwyn
7 Get Involved: Take on a Leadership Role in the Association
36 CAR Bicentennial Garden Volunteer Day
37 Association News
38 Industry Partners
40 Government Affairs Update
48 Education Highlight: Get to the Top of Your Game
In our industry, when temperatures rise, patience often
wanes. Tempers get tested with our clients, consumers,
and our fellow REALTORS ® . At CAR’s Spring Market
Trends event, our illustrious top producer panelists
shared insights into how best to navigate this tricky market.
Treat Others With Kindness
It always comes back to the golden rule: treat others how you
hope to be treated. It is tempting to fixate on what the other party
is (or isn’t) doing, but kindness and patience go a long way. We
often aren’t aware when others are dealing with health scares,
family issues or even other transactions going sideways. In those
moments, kindness is key. Transactions have high stakes, and with
the sheer number of parties involved — agents, clients, attorneys,
inspectors, lenders, family members and so on — there are many
personalities at play. Try to keep your cool and you may be able to
keep a deal together.
We need to own what we say. Before hitting send, it pays off to take a
moment to re-read emails and text messages to assess tone. Feeling
fired up? Save it as a draft and re-read after you’ve cooled down.
There’s nothing wrong with a rewrite. Having issues communicating
or the email exchange is heating up? A phone call can quickly clear
up misconceptions and save a headache, or even the deal.
Check out Top Producers’ tips
to navigate a busy market.
While the phone is great, be sure to confirm everything in writing
(email, too, not just text!). Protect yourself and protect your clients.
It’s A Small Industry
All three panels agreed on this one simple point: to be effective in
this industry, good relationships with other REALTORS ® are essential.
There are two sides to every transaction, and there is no telling
who is going to be on the other side of your next deal. All we have
is our reputation, so let your moral compass be your guide. When
competition heats up, there is no benefit to knocking other brokers or
companies. There is more than enough business to go around!
I wish you the best this summer. Work hard, be good to others, and
represent the best of our industry. When someone’s fuse is short
or when their comments are out of line, take a breath and know,
you’ve got this.
Chicago Association of REALTORS ®
4 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
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FROM THE CEO
Hello, Chicago REALTORS ® ! I’m Michelle
Mills Clement, CAR’s new Chief Executive
Officer. I’m excited to get to know you all a
little better as I settle into my new role.
A little about me — I’m a native Chicagoan but I’ve been in
Washington state the past five years, predominantly working in
commercial real estate. I’m excited for this opportunity to lead
such a nationally renowned, well-run organization. I love what CAR
represents, which is being the Voice for Real Estate in Chicago.
You, our members, represent over 77 neighborhoods in the City
of Chicago alone. Chicago REALTORS ® impact just about every
aspect of life in our city because of the work that you do. People
buy or rent a home. They shop in our stores. They work in our office
buildings. We touch so many, and that’s why I truly love working
in real estate.
I look forward to working closely with you to better understand
the unique challenges you face in your business and your
communities, and the role your association can play in solving
them. I want you to have full access to the services and resources
you need. I plan on spending as much time in the field, getting to
know you, as possible. If you see me around, please come say hi!
Apply to serve on a CAR committee.
Our work is made possible thanks to the volunteerism of the
hundreds of members, just like you, who serve on our board of
directors, committees and work groups. We need your voice at
the table — and we’re accepting applications for our various work
groups and committees. I highly encourage you to take an active
role in your association — it’s just another way you can have an
impact in your community and help shape our association’s future.
I’m excited to be here and to learn from you all, and I look forward
to working together in the years to come.
MICHELLE MILLS CLEMENT, cae
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Association of REALTORS ®
6 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Get Involved -
Make a Difference
Apply for a Committee
or Work Group.
Gain the most from your REALTOR ®
membership by getting involved! There are
many ways to volunteer at CAR. Rewards
include personal and professional growth
opportunities and the ability to contribute
to the future of Chicago real estate.
Here is a summary of Chicago REALTOR ® committees and work
groups that welcome volunteers. To successfully apply for
volunteer positions, you must be willing to attend committee
meetings and actively participate. In most cases, you must also
be a CAR member in good standing, though there are a few
committees that represent a wider range of participants by
including non-CAR members.
Committee members are selected in September for terms that
take effect on Oct. 1, the start of our fiscal year. See a committee
that’s right for you? Click on “Get Involved” on the Membership
page of ChicagoREALTOR.com.
The audit committee oversees the integrity of the Association’s
financial accounting process and systems of internal controls
regarding finance, accounting and use of assets. They take an
active role in the prevention and deterrence of fraud, as well as an
effective ethics and compliance program.
Term length: 2 years; Number of members: 5-7
FORMS & CONTRACTS COMMITTEE
Forms & Contracts Committee reviews and updates all approved
CAR forms and contracts on a regular basis, as well as develops any
forms and contracts that will enhance members’ businesses.
Term length: 1 year; Number of members: 8-12
CommercialForum creates educational and networking opportunities
that build community among Chicagoland commercial real estate
professionals and provide tools for their success.
Term length: 1 year; Number of members: 15-20
Along with senior management, the Finance Committee provides
oversight of CAR financial management and the financial reporting
Term length: 2 years; Number of members: CAR Secretary/Treasurer
plus 12 members
GLOBAL REAL ESTATE COUNCIL
Forum members foster and provide a platform for global real estate
business opportunities. They also seek out and create venues for
networking with other relevant organizations.
Term length: 1 year; Number of members: 10-15
SPECIAL EVENTS ADVISORY GROUPS
Advisory Group members focus on strategy and execution of
generating sponsorship revenues and attendance for our special
events. Special Events Advisory Groups:
INAUGURAL GALA: Term length: 1 year; Number of members: 7-10
CASINO ROYALE: Term length: 1 year; Number of members: 8-12
GOLF OUTING: Term length: 1 year; Number of members: 7-10
SALES AWARDS: Term length: 1 year; Number of members: 7-10
RPAC FUNDRAISING WORK GROUP
RPAC Committee members solicit RPAC investments annually. A
key focus of the committee is securing Major Investors, as well as
broad-based, lower-level investments from CAR members.
Term length: 1 year; Number of members: 10-15
The Grievance Committee investigates complaints received
from the public and members to determine if they have sufficient
substance and merit to warrant an ethics or arbitration hearing, or
Term length: 3 years; Number of members: 15-20
PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE
The Professional Standards Committee is responsible for enforcing
the REALTOR ® Code of Ethics through the conduct of ethics and
Term length: 3 years; Number of members: 50-75
The Advisory Group identifies professional development topics,
classes, events and programs that would be valuable to CAR
members and the greater Chicagoland real estate community. Group
members also help promote the offerings of the REALTORS ® Real
Estate School and CAR Foundation.
Term length: 1 year; Number of members: 6-8
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS NETWORK
The purpose of the CAR YPN is to help young professionals excel in
their careers with networking and education.
Term length: 1 year; Number of members: 10-15
Leverage your LinkedIn Presence
LinkedIn isn’t new. However, it isn’t always the
shiny and new platforms that have the best
ROI. After hearing Kevin Rocio speak at a YPN
breakfast this spring on how nearly all of his
international investment leads come from LinkedIn, we knew we had to get his insights.
Learn how to utilize LinkedIn to become a trusted advisor and garner leads on page 14.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
9:30 AM-12:00 PM • GLOBAL GARDENS
2954 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, IL 60625
RSVP to volunteer at www.ChicagoREALTOR.com
We’ve hosted so many events this spring, the back half of our
magazine could be an Instagram feed. We made new friends and
connections at our Bicentennial Garden Build Out (pg. 36) while
planting our community garden.
Thank you to all who attended Sales Awards and special thanks to
chair Sara O’Connor and vice-chair Nick Libert for helping us host a
new format to celebrate all of you! Enjoy the memories on page 44.
Author: KEVIN ROCIO, @properties
Fighting for private property rights is at the core of what we do.
Thank your Federal Political Coordinators and all of those who
took time away from their families and businesses to advocate for
real estate at our state and national capitols this year. Highlights from
Cap Con and NAR legislative meetings are on pages 42 and 43, and
some of the issues we are fighting are broken down on page 40.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions
Vice President, Communications
8 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Chicago REALTOR ®
2017-2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Maurice L. Hampton
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Gaspar Flores, Jr.
Kris Keller, ccim
Kevin Van Eck
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Michelle Mills Clement, cae
The Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine is published
quarterly by the Chicago Association of REALTORS ®
for its members. Advertising is purchased and
does not necessarily represent the position of the
Chicago Association of REALTORS ® .
Michelle Mills Clement, cae
For advertising information please contact
Mary Beth Durkin
at (312) 214-5530 or firstname.lastname@example.org
C.A.R. Central: 430 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 800
Chicago, IL 60611
Ph: (312) 803-4900
Fax: (312) 803-4905
C.A.R. West Towns: 6017 W. 26 th Street
Cicero, IL 60804
Ph: (312) 803-4900
NOTICE TO MEMBERS
Under long established policy of this Association, the Illinois Association
of REALTORS ® and the National Association of REALTORS ® :
1. The broker’s compensation for services rendered in respect to any
listing is solely a matter of negotiation between the broker and his or
her client, and is not fixed, controlled, recommended or maintained by
any persons not party to the listing agreement.
2. The compensation paid by the listing broker to a cooperating
broker in respect to any listing is established by the listing broker and
is not fixed, controlled, recommended or maintained by any persons
other than the listing broker.
What’s Online @
• Learn Top Producers’ tips to navigate the busy housing market.
• Check out the Agent EDU videos.
• Watch as we transform the CAR Bicentennial Garden at our
Spring Volunteer Day.
• Apply to serve on a CAR committee or work group.
• Download wellness apps to help you with work-life balance, on the go.
• Listen to how Kevin Rocio leverages LinkenIn to grow his business.
• Find out Megan McCallum’s investing tips from the recording of
her YPN presentation.
• Register for summer classes and amp up your skills.
• Mark your calendars and register for upcoming events.
Links Photo Galleries
• CAR Bicentennial Garden Spring Volunteer Day
• 2018 NAR Legislative Meetings In D.C.
• 2018 Capitol Conference
• 2017 Sales Awards
• Social media content, curated and ready for you!
Look for the icon throughout the magazine for
content with digital bonuses!
Trends show some traditional practices REALTORS ® have relied
on for decades are becoming more popular, such as the open
house. More than half of all 2017 homebuyers visited an open
house as part of their home search, according to a study from
NAR, a seven percent jump from just five years ago. Even a
tried-and-true tactic like an open house can be refreshed to
better engage interested buyers and leverage new technology
available. Here are some tools REALTORS ® can use to upgrade
the open house experience.
ALEXA: YOUR DIGITAL
Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa, is a powerhouse
nestled in light, portable speakers. Several versions are
available at different price points:
• Echo Dot: $ 49.99
• Echo: $ 99.99
• Echo Spot: $ 129.99
• Echo Plus: $ 149.99
Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, app developers have
created over 25,000 skills, or voice prompts, that allow users to
engage with the smart speaker. One of these skills, Talk to The
House, transforms Alexa into a virtual listing agent.
10 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
weighing in at a breezy 2.3 pounds, won’t require detangling a
mess of cords or multiple calls to tech support. All it requires is
Wi-Fi, an outlet and a script prepared for the listing.
HOW TO STAGE YOUR HOME
First things first: augmented reality (AR) is a live view of the
real-world “augmented” with the addition of computer-generated
images — think the Instagram and Snapchat filters that add puppy
ears to whomever stares into a phone’s front camera.
Though the technology has been around since the 1960s, AR
is emerging as more than a novelty thanks to updates by Apple
and Google. As many as 800 million smartphones and tables
could support AR apps by the end of 2018, according to an
analysis by Deloitte. The impact AR could have on real estate
depends on how popular these apps turn out to be, but the
sky’s the limit in terms of what they can do.
One way AR can boost an open house is through staging.
Staging a home can make it easier for a buyer to visualize
the property as their future home. A recent study from NAR
found staged homes spend less time on the market and get
higher offers compared to similar homes. But for listings that
can’t spare the budget to be staged, AR apps from furniture
companies Wayfair or IKEA can save the day. A potential buyer
can point their smartphone’s camera at the master bedroom
and see the space filled with a Wayfair bed and matching
nightstands – all personalized to taste.
360 DEGREE CAMERAS
AND FACEBOOK LIVE:
A 24-HOUR OPEN HOUSE
360-degree cameras debuted at a cost that priced out all but
the most ardent early-adopters. But the price of these orbs on
a stick has dropped considerably, allowing a much larger group
to try them out.
As a potential buyer inspects the master bedroom, Alexa can
highlight the lakefront view — while a different Echo device talks
area schools and access to amenities, or gives a final sales pitch
to a couple about to complete the walkthrough.
Interested buyers can simply tell the speaker their phone
number and email address and be sent a message with an
agent’s contact information. Setting up the Amazon device,
Here’s how they work: the camera records everything except
for what’s directly below it, live. Those watching aren’t limited
to what is directly in front of them. If a bay window in a listing
catches the eye, a viewer can turn the lens to focus intently on
their potential future reading spot.
So, how can a camera elevate the experience for those at an
open house? Truthfully, it doesn’t. Its utility for REALTORS ® is as
a tool to attract buyers right before and right after the showing
— which truly shines with Facebook Live.
Continued on page 12
Continued from page 11
Once an open house is set up and about to begin, a REALTOR ®
can set the stage for the showing with a walkthrough on a
360-degree camera on Facebook Live. Free from the constraints
of editing video and pictures, this is a perfect opportunity to nail
your first pitch of the day with live narration. As more viewers join
the stream, a REALTOR ® can answer questions from the crowd
(useful for predicting future open house or showing questions)
and talk up the excitement of the event about to happen.
Once the video is wrapped up, accessing it after the open
house is a cinch. Facebook removes the technical headache of
uploading a video and saves it in on the user’s page. The best
part of all: REALTORS ® have a 360-degree experience of the
home for interested buyers who weren’t able to attend the open
house. All they have to do is provide a link to the website more
than a billion people use every day.
SNAPCHAT FILTERS AND
MARKETING BY THE INCH
People ages 20-27 made up eight percent of homes purchased
in 2017, according to NAR. As they age into homeownership,
REALTORS ® should adjust some of their social media marketing
dollars to coincide with the shifting habits of young buyers.
a Pew Research Institute survey released in March, but among
those buying age, Snapchat is used by more than three quarters
of U.S. adults aged 18-24, and most use the app every day.
Though the app is famous for being difficult for older adults to
use, marketing on Snapchat is a snap.
One data-driven and cost-effective way to drive traffic to your
open house is through a custom Snapchat Filter. Snapchat
Filters are designs and text that border the camera within the
app, appearing for all users in a designated area for a scheduled
amount of time.
Creating one doesn’t require a professional graphic designer. The
company allows anyone to design their own filter at Snapchat.com
by customizing provided templates with a simple message such
as, “Open House at 123 Elm Street, 2-5 PM!”
Next comes geolocation, which requires some strategy for
Geotargeted ads appear to users who are on their phone within
a designated area for a certain amount of time. Snapchat filters,
like other geotargeted ad providers, charge by square footage
and how long it’s scheduled to appear. If an open house is
planned for an attached single-family home from 3 PM to 5 PM,
scheduling the filter to appear at 1 PM within a 46,000-square
foot radius would provide two benefits.
One growing presence is Snapchat, which is more popular among
teens aged 13-17 than the monolithic Facebook. Facebook is still
the most used network among all adults over 18, according to
Those living in the building who see the filter have enough time
to tip off a friend looking to enter the condo market, or ride the
elevator a few floors to engage with the REALTOR ® to discuss
For listings that can’t
spare the budget to be
staged, AR apps from
Wayfair or IKEA
can save the day.
Photo courtesy of Wayfair.com
12 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
houses. Boost automates advertising through social media
networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Waze by creating
ads, publishing them and tracking their performance. Boost’s
algorithm also does the work of finding your audience. Once the
open house is over, Boost gathers data to make it easy to judge
what worked and what didn’t. Some larger firms have similar
software in-house, but Boost is a great option for REALTORS ®
interested in growing their digital reach.
New technology is emerging all the time. REALTORS ® shouldn’t
be afraid to “disrupt” their methods to try out a digital tool that
can help grow their business — even if they’re successful now.
Ultimately, clients are looking for someone they can trust to
guide them through one of the biggest decisions of their life.
That can’t be replaced by a computer.
listing their condo for sale. How much did this
example Snapchat Filter cost? Just $ 5.00.
Though Snapchat is a growing presence among
younger users, REALTORS ® shouldn’t divest
from Facebook’s marketing. Facebook Business
has a suite of geotargeting tools. Open house
announcements can be sent to everyone who lives
within 5 miles of the listing address, or specifically,
to people who have visited the area recently who
may be looking to move or buy.
BOOST: OPEN HOUSE
The success of an open house is predicated on
it leading to a successful bid or generating a new
lead — the only way to get either is by boosting
attendance. The information we share online allows
for highly-targeted marketing, such as identifying
potential homebuyers who recently Googled
properties nearby and sending them an ad for
your listing. But for REALTORS ® with many open
house showings, it may not be feasible to spend
hours targeting and tracking online marketing.
Talk To The House
transforms Alexa into a
virtual listing agent.
Boost is a tool from Homespotter, a real estate
software developer, designed to help REALTORS ®
juggle multiple listings and promote multiple open
Amazon Echo photo courtesy of Amazon.com
Author: KEVIN ROCIO, @properties
If you aren’t generating clients from LinkedIn, you might be missing
out. Nearly all our international clients have come from LinkedIn.
If you follow me on LinkedIn, you would understand why someone
from another country would be reaching out on a daily basis.
Like many others in the real estate world and beyond, I actively
use social media. But I do it with intention. Though social media
platforms are similar, I use them for different purposes. Outside of
LinkedIn, I also manage a Facebook and Instagram account.
Think of LinkedIn as your professional resume — everything
you do will be reflective of what kind of person you are and how
you operate within your industry. I suggest REALTORS ® create
two pages: a page for their business and a personal page. A
business page adds legitimacy to your business and can help
direct clients to your website and office. A personal page allows
14 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
REALTORS ® to create a profile to share their credentials, post
content and network.
Your profile gives you a chance to promote yourself and make a
case for why you are the ideal real estate broker. If you intend to
generate clients, you should first consider your areas of strength
in real estate. To stand out online and in the market, you need to
play to these strengths. You will never see me sell a condo. You
will never see me sell a single-family home. I don’t know that
market. I don’t want to know that market.
I decided I wanted to be a specialist on LinkedIn for investment
sales. International clients are coming to Chicago in droves, which
is starting to shake things up for local investors. Part of why I’ve
been successful attracting international clients is because
everything on my account and everything I post communicates
my specialization in investment sales.
Grow Your Audience
When a potential client views my posts, they aren’t seeing “selling”
posts. While everyone else is posting, “Just closed. Just closed. Just
closed” — the content on my page isn’t “Just closed.” I’m posting new
listings and information about properties that is useful to local and
international investors. I’m building an audience by simply sharing
my knowledge and advising on Chicago’s investment market.
It’s important to keep your audience in mind when posting on social
media. When writing the content, ask, “Is this information my clients
or colleagues would find interesting and useful?” Likely no one is
going to be very interested to read about who you voted for, where
you dined or who won the playoff. Once your content is focused
on your real estate specialty and useful to clients or colleagues,
consider adding mentions and tags before hitting send.
Use @Mentions and #Tags for Posts
Mentions and tags are very useful for getting your content shared
and growing your audience. Mentions, shown as an “@,” add
people into your content and link to that person’s profile. Those
mentioned also typically get a notification. If you’re sharing a
colleague’s success story or a referral that led to a win, make
sure you’re mentioning that person. Adding analysis on a Chicago
market report? Don’t forget to mention friends, clients and industry
professionals you admire so they’re aware of your content.
Tags, shown as a “#,” add searchable keywords to your posts. You
should also be tagging your posts for the topics you’re covering.
Why is this useful? I’ve tailored my LinkedIn profile to investment
sales, so two of my favorite tags are #internationalinvestors and
#globalinvestors. This lets my content show up more easily when
someone searches for either of those terms, including to people
outside of my network.
On my LinkedIn page, I share:
• New listings and other open house information
• Chicago real estate news
• Market-related and other real estate information
• Colleagues’ success stories
• Articles I’ve written
LinkedIn has a built-in publishing platform called Pulse to share
professional insights. I’ve published 17 Pulse articles on topics
such as the benefits of multi-family investment for renters, what
international investors are looking for in the Chicago market and
condo deconversions. Pulse takes my LinkedIn strategy a step
further, allowing me to become a thought leader.
LinkedIn Content I Avoid:
• LinkedIn Groups — If ten agents are in a group discussing
the market, how does this help grow your business?
• Asking for referrals — If you are actively sharing valuable
content and information, you will be viewed as a trusted
advisor and the referrals will come to you.
• Closing stories that aren’t compelling.
Vet Your Responses
Vetting a potential client is important both from a liability standpoint
and to make sure you’re making the best use of your time. When
international clients first started reaching out a few years ago, I would
think it was spam or someone was trying to hack into my account.
One of the first questions to ask someone reaching out via LinkedIn is
if they have an attorney or lender they’re working with. If not, I would
make that introduction. Once vetted by the attorney or lender, I
then step back into the buying process with a potential investor.
Don’t Sell and Be Patient
I start my day at 3 AM to work with international clients within their
time zones. On a recent morning, I was trading emails with a client
from Austria regarding insurance information needed for his five
upcoming property closings (81 units). My Austrian client is a great
example of what can happen when you have patience. We just
traded emails back and forth for the first nine months. But since
then, he has purchased more than 100 units. And to my surprise,
he even flew into Chicago recently to attend the
grand opening of my other business.
CNE - Commercial Broker
Check out the recording of Kevin’s YPN breakfast
presentation on how he attracts global investors.
16 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Photo by Marcello Rodarte
Being born and raised
here, I have a different
appreciation for what
Chicago’s been and what
it is – to have a hand in
shaping our city’s future
through our work at
CAR is incredible.
In mid-April, the Chicago Association of REALTORS ®
welcomed our new Chief Executive Officer Michelle
Mills Clement, CAE. Michelle joins us after five
years in Seattle, first as the executive director of
NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate & Development
Association, and then as president and CEO of the
Commercial Brokers Association. As an association
executive, she’s won numerous awards, including
being named as a 2014 Forty Under 40 by Association
Forum of Chicagoland and a Woman of Excellence
in Male-Dominated Careers by the Women of
Color Empowered and Northwest Asian Weekly. A
native Chicagoan, Michelle shares how her diverse
professional experiences will help shape our
association moving forward.
CR: How do members describe you, and what do they
like about working with you?
MMC: Members feel like they are part of my team. My
goal is to help increase productivity and make things
easier for them to do their work. I’ve been told I’m a big
picture thinker, very collaborative, organized, driven
and efficient. If I don’t know the answer to something,
I’ll do the research and get myself up to speed.
Continued on page 18
Continued from page 17
They also think I’m funny! I’m pretty laid back and I joke around a
lot. I connected well with members in Seattle because they could
stop by and see me. I’m not formal and I’m not untouchable.
CR: What has been most instrumental to your professional success?
MMC: I’m a listener. I like to listen to the needs of staff and members
— you learn more from listening than you do from talking.
I also have good instincts. I’m good at elevating strengths as well
as complementing weaknesses. I like to create an equal playing
field — working with everyone from the board of directors and
executive team, to the front-line staff. I see great value in what
different people and viewpoints can bring to the table.
CR: How did you know association management was what you
wanted to do?
MMC: I was working at a TV station as an associate producer in
college at Bradley University in Peoria. I remember walking out of
the station and another producer’s car was smoking in the parking
lot. As he slammed the hood of the car down, he said, “If you stay
in tv, this is what you’re looking forward to!” I was like, “I definitely
don’t want that. I need to find another job!”
I enjoyed event planning and working for nonprofit organizations
in college, so I looked for a job that had that. I ended up at the
Boy Scouts of America doing fundraising, volunteer management,
training and working with the board. It was all encompassing,
which I loved. From there, I took on another fundraising and
volunteer management position with the Muscular Dystrophy
Association. My commitment to association management
came when I went to work with the world’s largest association
management company, SmithBucklin. SmithBucklin manages
more than 200 different associations, and they train you to be as
effective and valuable as possible for those association clients.
It’s basically a crash-course in board governance, volunteer
management, member relations and leadership training at a
fast pace — and I loved it. To have my career focus on helping
people be the best they can be, and have the best resources and
experience they can have in their professions, means a lot to me,
so I made a strategic decision to stay in that realm.
I am not the person that likes to sit behind a computer all day —
I’m a people person, and associations give you that opportunity
to meet with members and engage one-on-one. My mom still
doesn’t entirely understand what I do [laughs] but she recognizes
the REALTOR ® brand.
CR: What drew you to real estate?
MMC: When I moved to Seattle, association management wasn’t
viewed as a career the way it is here in Chicago and in Washington,
D.C. So, I got a certificate in commercial real estate from the
University of Washington, which solidified my interest in the industry.
I started at NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate & Development
Association, working with developers. I’d walk around my Seattle
neighborhood and identify new projects that were going up.
Seattle is booming in commercial real estate, and we watched
the Amazon campus grow up around us. It underscored the
importance of the real estate industry to everyone’s lives.
Then, when I switched over to working with brokers and was
introduced to the MLS system, that was intriguing. I had been on
the consumer end, in going through the homebuying process,
and I’ve seen real estate from the developer perspective and
the commercial broker perspective. Real estate touches so
many people, and I love being able to continue to educate
people on the industry and its importance. It came out the blue,
but it’s been such a good fit.
This role at CAR — I wasn’t looking for it. I was content in Seattle.
But, CAR is an organization that is so well respected — not just
in real estate but throughout the association world. I love what
CAR represents in being the Voice for Real Estate in Chicago —
and Chicago’s such a major market. It’s a real honor.
CR: What opportunities do you see for CAR to expand our influence
and better provide resources and services for our members?
MMC: I’m excited to be back in my hometown and learn more
about what’s coming down the pipeline in real estate. It’s exciting
to see how the city is poised to transform and how the market
could react to that, good and bad. Being born and raised here, I
have a different appreciation for what Chicago’s been and what it
is — to have a hand in shaping our city’s future through our work at
CAR is incredible.
The REALTOR ® organization is the largest trade organization with
an outsized lobbying influence. In Chicago, the political machine,
tying the REALTOR ® brand to that is very impactful — we can have
a positive influence on the issues that can negatively impact the
Our government affairs directors are good at looking at, “What’s
the impact of this ordinance on REALTORS ® as well as the
community?” I want CAR to be at the forefront of working to
educate the community on these issues and how it can affect
them. Homeownership in general is a win-win for everyone. So,
how can we put our resources and membership to work for the
community? I want the community to know that if they work with
a REALTOR ® , they’ll be taken care of and have all the information
As I learn more about our members and their involvement in
our 77 different communities, I’m very interested in ensuring our
services and resources are accessible to our entire member base.
I have a strong interest in ensuring all areas of our membership
are represented and provided for, regardless of their geographic
location — including education. CE and education is at the core of
keeping your license — we must ensure our education offerings
are accessible to all.
I’m interested in continuing to build our commercial presence and
involvement. That’s where a lot of my background is, so I can be
a huge asset to our CommercialForum members. Commercialspecific
CE and education is important to me; I’d like to continue
to grow that, too.
18 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Michelle, her husband Brace and their son Broyce.
I also want to make sure I’m visible. I want to be out in the field and visit
offices of all sizes — that’s how I can better understand our members’
day to day and provide for their needs.
We have an incredibly diverse leadership team and staff — I’d like
to further grow our volunteer base and leadership development
opportunities so that members can climb the ranks, not only in
the REALTOR ® organization, but also in their own companies.
And then helping our Board of Directors push forth their agenda
and mission. I’ve worked with many boards, and this is one of the
most diverse and innovative groups I’ve had the opportunity to
work with and that speaks to the caliber of the organization.
CR: What have you learned in the past couple years that will
influence you moving forward?
MMC: Not to move too fast. Stop and listen. Appreciate what’s
established. Appreciate the history of the organization and what
works, what doesn’t. I’ve learned to take my time and understand
the whole puzzle and the pieces that make it up, before you start
to build your own. Taking the time to make informed decisions
and not reactive ones.
Listening is vital. You can hear one message from one segment of
the membership, then another from another segment — they’re all
right. When you listen, you can find the commonalities. My job is
to pull it all together so that it meets the greatest need.
CR: What do you see as one of our greatest challenges going forward?
MMC: The issue of segregation in some of our communities here
in Chicago previously established via political and/or lending
policies still haunts us today, and keeps me up at night, honestly.
Ensuring equal access to housing and fair lending practices
in all 77 neighborhoods we serve will always be a priority. As
we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, it’s
important for us to keep a pulse on how far we’ve come, and what
more we still have to do. I’m proud that our association is a leader
in supporting Fair Housing.
CR: What about in your free time — are you involved in any
MMC: I get a lot of satisfaction out of volunteer work and I do
most of my philanthropy through two organizations. The first
is my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a non-profit
public service organization. We do a lot of work around our
five-point programmatic thrust, including education, economic
development, physical and mental health, political awareness and
involvement, and international awareness and involvement.
I push a lot of volunteerism around that.
I’m also active in the Junior League, first in Seattle and now as a
new member of Chicago’s. I enjoy volunteering with children and
child advocacy work. Back in Seattle I was a regular volunteer
with the Boys and Girls Clubs and the local K-8 school in my
neighborhood. I love helping kids channel energy through activity
and the outdoors.
CR: What other hobbies and interests do you have?
MMC: Brunch. I love to brunch, and I’m excited to be back in Chicago
and the vibrant food scene here.
I have a strong interest in wine, having spent the last few years in
Washington, which is the second largest wine country in the US
next to Napa. I have a pretty good collection started. When I was
pregnant and didn’t drink, I would still go and smell wines. After I had
my son, it was fun to then taste them and expand my notes. It helped
me develop my palette even further.
I also really enjoy politics and political campaigning. I do a lot of
volunteer work on federal campaigns and just love election season.
And I love traveling with my family, my husband Brace and our son,
Broyce. Broyce has flown to more places in his first year of life than I
think I have the last five years! He travels well and he’s a really happy,
social baby. We hope we can keep that spirit in him. He’s a people
APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
Chicago Association of REALTORS ® Foundation was founded to help assist students in funding
their educational needs.
• Designation Scholarships
• REALTORS ® Real Estate School Scholarships
• Young Professionals Network Scholarships
• NEW - The Xavier O. Joy Scholarship
• Higher Education Scholarships
• Veterans Real Estate Scholarships
• Zeke Morris Scholarships
The Xavier O. Joy Scholarship provides for Illinois students wishing to pursue higher education at Morehouse College
in Atlanta, GA. The recipient(s) will be a current young leader who seeks to make a difference in their community.
Xavier O. Joy was a graduate of Chicago’s esteemed Whitney Young High School and an accomplished studentathlete
who attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he played football. Xavier returned to Chicago on a
mission to give back to his community by teaching and tutoring disadvantaged youths. Tragically, in 2017, his life
was cut short by senseless gun violence. His untimely death was a loss to our Chicago communities, which need
determined young men seeking to make a positive difference. A higher education scholarship has been established
in honor of his life. Preference will be given to children of REALTORS ® .
Applications are accepted and awarded on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
Tools to Help
Property Managers Reach Full Capacity
REALTORS ® aren’t just in the business of buying and selling homes; some are also in the business
of managing properties. Like a REALTOR ® , a property manager’s job never ends, and time is money.
Luckily, there are simple tools available online to make your life easier, so you can run your
residential or commercial property to its full capacity.
A website recommended for landlords,
teams or brokers who manage
units. Users have complimented the
marketing and operational capabilities,
praising the ability to track issues
and unit vacancies. You can receive
payments online, track expenses, get
maintenance alerts, access various
forms, screen tenants and get live
support. There are different pricing
plans, but the basic account is free.
The cloud-based platform claims to
offer end-to-end solutions for both
single-unit landlords and larger-scale
property managers. What separates
TenantCloud from other similar
platforms is its additional features like
comprehensive accounting, a marketing
site, photo-based maintenance
requests, investment property analysis
and access to a pool of local contractor
bids. User reviews also mention it offers
seamless navigation. You can sign up for
a free basic plan or upgrade to standard
or advanced plans for more features.
The software is best suitable for
landlords managing 10 or less
properties. It features strong data
security, no minimum commitments
or term contracts required. Landlords
can track property income, expenses
and essential accounting reports. The
tab-based navigation allows managers
to switch between property or tenant
profiles. Plus, you can run tenant due
diligence and rental payment history.
You can start a free trial of its monthly
Pro or PM plan.
A free tool available on any device that
is useful for independent landlords
and property managers. The flexible
platform facilitates a variety of online
transactions, including rent payments,
move-in charges and other one-time
fees, with the ability to send reminders
to tenants. Users can share documents,
manage listings, screen tenants and
even require renters to purchase
insurance. Rent estimate and property
analyses are available for an extra fee.
Cozy makes it easy to monitor rentals
and market vacancies early.
Simple and affordable property
management software targeting
property managers, management
companies and landlords. It focuses
on the essentials: online payments and
basic accounting. It offers free trials for
its plans geared toward landlords or
property managers. The system offers
a payment portal, tenant and lease
management tool, and limited monthly
owner reports. Users also get access to
a rental property tax deduction walkthrough
and there’s special help for real
Serves primarily as a rental listings site
but offers several free resources for
property managers. Its resources page
features useful news like “How to Price
Your Rental,” has guides on local laws,
and features a landlord FAQ. Easily
communicate with tenants, collect
rent payments, receive maintenance
requests and access a library of
lawyer-approved legal forms. For an
additional fee, you can screen potential
tenants and accept applications.
An investor looks to
purchase property where
they can add value, either
by repairing the property
to force appreciation, by
assets or re-purposing a
property to its best and
As a fulltime real estate investor, I’m always
looking to buy. I also have a vast network of
other investors who are constantly looking.
So, what makes an investor happy? This is
the million-dollar question.
VP Operations and Acquisitions
McCallum Real Estate
Lean in. I’m about to tell you a secret…
If an investor just says they want “a deal,”
then they don’t know what they want.
Welcome to an investor’s number one
problem — common if the investor is new,
expanding their business or entering a new
market. But, this is the opportunity, because
the investor and the REALTOR ® need each
other to survive and thrive.
Triage is the process of sorting, prioritizing
and determining the treatment of those
in need who outnumber the resources
currently available. It emphasizes
prioritization, the determination of
appropriate actions and the sheer avoidance
of failure. Triage is the fast and furious way
to determine specific objectives to the
highest and best care quickly. The triage
process must be re-examined regularly
to determine over time if the objective is
successful. This was first used in the 1930’s
in wartime medical response and is a system
our emergency responders still use today.
Triage also works in business when
resources are inundated above and beyond
the need for response. For REALTORS ® , you
can to use triage to provide investors what
they need. What does this mean?
I use my Real Estate Investing (REI) TRIAGE
tool to help new and underperforming
investors find their place in our industry.
Listen to Megan’s other investing tips from
her YPN breakfast presentation.
These are six distinct topics every investor
fits into in some way, whether they’re
aware of it or not.
Investors work like any other client in that
you need to really understand what’s
important to them. Getting the most
amount of money for their property may
not be it; instead, they may value simplicity,
speed and a lack of public exposure.
Use my super simple system to qualify and
add value to your investor relationships.
The acronym TRIAGE stands for six areas
you need to learn about your investor. Let’s
Your investor client has a tolerance for
risk that differs slightly from your average
If an investor is low risk, they may want
to consider traditional forms of investing,
such as the buy and hold methodology.
Their tolerance may also be expressed
as a pain tolerance, where pain is a loss.
Other investors will buy properties that
don’t cash flow due to a preference for the
opportunity for appreciation.
It’s important to note that investors also
have a tolerance for outdated finishes
that could turn off other potential buyers,
making them an ideal outlet for a seller who
doesn’t want to make certain upgrades, like
removing ’70s wallpaper, prior to selling.
The REALTOR ® can also be more direct
in an investor transaction, since the
investor isn’t looking for the perfect home.
Instead, a REALTOR ® and investor client
can crystallize what the deal looks like
so you both know when you find it. In any
transaction, the investor should be able
to provide more specifics than your
This is one of the key measures of your
investor’s capabilities. Here, you should
inquire into their financial capabilities and
creditworthiness, and find out if they are
prequalified. Ask if they plan on buying with
cash — and if so, is it their own or do they
have a hard money lender already in place?
Time is another resource. Are they a
fulltime investor or someone who would
like to put their investments under
professional management because
they have a great W2 job? If someone
doesn’t have much time to devote to their
investment, that person may expect you
to find their deals for them.
Other important resource questions
• Who is in their network?
• What professional connections do
• Will they be working with a partner?
• What is their education or
It’s important to find out how your client
wants to be involved with a property. Do
they want to see something they can
walk into and own, or do they want to
roll up their sleeves, get dirty and swing
a hammer? Some investors walk their
own properties and perform their own
inspections. Others partner with someone
else who will be the hands-on owner.
Perhaps what your clients really need is an
experienced partner where they can place
their money — these can be the trickiest
of clients to deal with. You know they
want to buy an investment but they don’t
have the time, know-how or real, genuine
interest in the process. Here’s a tip: refer
this person to an active investor you know!
Good investors make money and believe
that a rising tide lifts all ships. We know
there’s enough money to go around and
are happy to show you our gratitude.
Appearance is an important consideration
when judging the importance of pride of
ownership. What class of properties and
tenants does the investor tolerate and
want to work with? This will quickly help
you choose properties or areas under
consideration, based on their preferences.
The goal is the investor’s why. Why are
they investing — is this part of their
retirement plan? Is this mostly for fun,
say, to justify a vacation home? Are they
wanting to place their money in a safer
position? Are these short-term goals or
long-term? Perhaps they are looking to
provide their kids with multigenerational
wealth. Are they planning on living off
the cash flow? Are they looking for a
place to provide tax protection to their
portfolio? Would they like to use their
401K to invest and may need to switch
it to a self-directed plan to do so? Goals
and resources are where you can find so
much of what you need to know to find the
investor happy place.
Every investor should have an exit
strategy based on their plans for the
investment property. These plans may
differ depending on their goals. Are they
thinking about flipping, or do they want
to buy and hold for a specific number
of years? Some investors may not even
realize they have an exit plan — it is up to
you to help them realize their resources
and goals, so then they can create one.
The real estate industry is a loyal one, and
investors are no different. Because real
estate investing success looks different to
so many people, no two investors are alike.
Just like your residential homebuyers,
investing is highly personal.
And, keep in mind: it’s not always just
about the dollar (I’ve been screaming this
from the rooftops for years).
Real estate investing is no longer just an
elitist practice — thanks to free education
via the Internet. Give a man a fish and he
eats for a day; teach a man to fish, and he’ll
buy property from you every 18 months
on average, as opposed to every five-toseven
years. See what I did there?
Give working with investors a chance,
because doing so will increase your
resiliency, networking opportunities and
maybe, just maybe, get you investing like
you know you should.
Use these Apps
It’s easy to forget a meal or stay up later than intended during a stressful week. Thanks to
wellness apps, you can de-stress quickly and on the go. Wellness apps are more than a
trend. Most new Android and iPhone devices come standard with health monitoring tools.
Wearables, such as the FitBit and Apple Watch have tracked trillions of heartbeats and
steps walked. These numbers that make up our health can tell us more about ourselves
than has ever been possible. We’ve highlighted some wellness apps that can help you
interpret what these numbers mean and get better sleep, exercise and relaxation on the go!
PILLOW: Smart Sleep Tracking
Getting a good night’s sleep is complicated.
For one, how long it takes to be well-rested
isn’t the same for everyone. The other issue is how hard it can
be to track.
Pillow: Smart Sleep Tracking is an app that removes the
guesswork from getting better rest. Simply set a time to wake
up and hit start right before falling asleep. Pillow tracks where
you are in a sleep cycle and wakes you up a few minutes
before your alarm is set, based on when it will be easiest
for your body. The more nights you use Pillow, the more
data you’ll have to gauge the quality of your rest. Pillow is a
top-rated app for iOS but currently isn’t available for Android
devices. See below for sleep apps available on the Google
Play Store. Sweet dreams!
Price: Free to download. The premium version is $ 4.99, which
unlocks access to more in-depth statistics and some cosmetic
features, and is available for purchase in-app.
See Also: Sleep Cycle, Sleep Better, Sleep Time
Link: Download Pillow on the App Store or find more
Meditation’s benefits, including lowering
blood pressure and lessening the symptoms
of anxiety, are backed by research. But, it can be hard to know
where to start. Guided meditation can be easier and more
impactful than going it alone.
Calm is an app that takes the stress out of de-stressing.
Through a simple, yet elegant interface, you can choose a
relaxation program that works around your schedule. The
app’s daily, 10-minute guided meditation can help set the
tone for you day, while inhaling in rhythm with the “Breathe
Bubble” can take the edge off when there’s only a minute to
spare. Calm also acts as a life coach, sending affirmations
rewarding you for making time for yourself — and gently
nudging you when you haven’t.
Price: Free to download. A subscription to premium can be
purchased in the app. Prices vary.
See Also: Headspace, Giant Mind, Stop, Breath & Think
Link: Download Calm on the App Store or on Google Play.
24 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
YOGA FOR A
ASANA REBEL: YOGA AND FITNESS
The on-the-go yogis of 2018, tasked with
(somehow) finding a few hours every week to fit in time at a
yoga studio, are stretched too thin. But thanks to the meteoric
rise of virtual instruction, it’s now easier than ever to maintain
your practice — or start a new habit!
One of the easiest virtual programs is Asana Rebel: Yoga
and Fitness, which contorts to whatever your individual
fitness goals are. Looking to specifically strengthen your
back? There’s a program for it. Looking for a month-long,
guided program to gain flexibility? There’s a program for
that, too. Many of the instructors run classes offline, and the
video programs project the same soothing tones and light
fitness or spiritual insights that would sound at home in any
conventional studio. The app lets you customize your own
program, schedule as many times as are convenient and
sends encouragement when you follow through.
Practicing with a phone isn’t perfect: a phone’s small screen
and the lack of a physical instructor to correct your posture
are two big drawbacks. But until full-size holograms can
beam in on-demand, this 2018 form of yoga is convenient and
Price: Free to download. Subscription options for premium
features can be purchased in the app. Prices vary.
See Also: Daily Yoga, Lucid Mental Training, Smiling Mind
Link: Download Asana Rebel on the App Store or on
LUCID MENTAL TRAINING
confidence, focus and drive. Betchart, who coached the top
NBA draft pick for 2014, 2015 and 2016, uses simple tools to
help affirm and lock users into the moment — useful for the
treadmill or to prepare for a client meeting.
Price: Free to download. Subscription options for premium
features can be purchased in the app. Prices vary.
See Also: Stack Personal Coach, Nike Training Club,
Headspace for Sports
Link: Download Lucid Mental Training on the App Store or
on Google Play.
ACE YOUR NEXT
WOD DECK OF CARDS
Exercising regularly is a good habit. One
of the struggles in starting a healthy habit — say, exercising
every morning before work — is getting through the routine to
get to the reward.
WOD Deck of Cards is an app for people who want to begin a
workout habit or those looking to mix up their usual program.
Here’s how it works: you first assign an exercise for each suit
of cards. Pushups can be diamonds and burpees are clubs.
Once you tap start, the app sends out one of 52 possible
sets for you to do. The number of reps corresponds with the
number on the card, though a pair of jokers are thrown into
the mix for an extra-challenging set. The customization WOD
Deck of Cards offers makes it easy to adapt to all fitness
levels. The app even records your time and allows you to save
particularly satisfying sets of cards for use later.
Price: Free to download.
See Also: ShredDeck, RipDeck, SweatDeck
Link: Download WOD Deck of Cards on the App Store or
on Google Play.
Coaches are an important aspect of every
part of our lives, and mental training’s effectiveness is backed
up by research.
Lucid is an app that grants you access to world-class coaches
— access that used to be exclusive to clients like Kobe Bryant
and Michael Jordan. Lucid’s head coach, Graham Betchart,
has designed a daily five-minute audio course focusing
on four pillars to help break down mental blocks: wisdom,
Six Steps to Avoid
a Low Appraisal
Getting a low appraisal for a property is one of the most
frustrating components brokers face in a transaction, especially
when both parties have already agreed on a price for the home.
When a homebuyer and seller are moving through the purchase
process, a low appraisal could potentially derail the deal.
There are several reasons why an appraisal could come in lower
than expected. The appraiser might not have done a thorough
job or might not know the area well enough to provide an
accurate assessment of home values. Or, the home itself
legitimately could be worth less than the parties would expect.
After receiving a low appraisal, there are steps that brokers can
take, including getting the appraisal adjusted, having the buyer
apply for a loan with a different lender, asking the buyer and
seller to agree to a new price or requesting that the buyer put
down a higher down payment.
But the best solution is to avoid a low appraisal all together.
At AgentEDU, we study the techniques used by the top brokers
in the industry and share their best practices. We found most
brokers can avoid the problem of a low appraisal if they follow
these six steps.
Prepare the home
for the appraisal.
This first step seems like the most
obvious, but the details on how
a home looks — both inside and
out — can make a significant impact
on the final appraisal. Leave the home
staged, make sure it looks clean and keep up
the curb appeal. Even though appraisers will look at much more
beyond the cosmetic details, it doesn’t hurt to put a home’s best
side forward. Appealing to the natural human tendencies of an
appraiser will help show that a home is desirable and valuable.
Be present at
Brokers may be tempted to have
someone let an appraiser in the door
and wait around until they finish, but
having the selling broker be present at the
appraisal can make a difference in the final
value. It lets the appraiser know you’re a serious
agent and want to be helpful in the process. But, don’t be too overbearing
or make the appraiser think you don’t trust their work. Let
them do their job, but support them in the process.
28 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
When the selling agent arrives for
the appraisal, they should also be
prepared with information about the
property and anything the appraiser
might need. Keep a detailed binder
with any and all relevant information,
including comps with the address, square
footage, number of rooms, a selection of photos
and more. If the appraiser is pulling information from a database,
their findings may be inaccurate. Provide them with up-to-date
kindness can go a long way.
By connecting with the appraiser,
you remind them that you aren’t just
a commissioned salesperson who’s
just looking to get the most from a
sale. Dress casually — not like you are
entering a high-powered negotiation.
Engage in conversation with the appraiser,
know their name and show respect. A little
Ask the appraiser questions about
where they are from and what parts
of Chicagoland they typically work
in. If your appraiser is someone who
normally works in your area, then
they will have a good understanding
of the local market and provide a fair
appraisal. If the appraiser is new to the area or doesn’t
typically work in the neighborhood, take this opportunity to
provide the appraiser with details they may not be aware of.
Remember: always be respectful and share knowledge in the
spirit of collaboration.
As a broker on the buyer side, you have less control when it
comes to the final appraisal. But one of the best ways to avoid
any problems is to include an appraisal contingency clause in
the contract. This will allow you to either renegotiate or withdraw
from the contract if necessary.
Low appraisals happen even when very experienced brokers are
involved. Use these tips to help avoid appraisal issues. If you do
get a low appraisal, do your best to keep the deal together, keep
your clients from getting too stressed out and bring the sale to a
For tips on all facets of your real estate business, look to
AgentEDU.com to help you learn exactly what you need to create
a thriving real estate career.
Appraisers are generally happy to have
someone to talk to about their findings
and confirm the information they’ve
gathered so far. Once the appraisal is
finished, be sure to thank them for their
time and effort, and present them with
the binder of information.
Visit AgentEDU for informative
videos to boost your career.
Within reach of prime real estate locations,
including downtown Chicago and the
neighboring suburbs of Oak Park, Forest
Park, Riverside, La Grange and Brookfield,
Berwyn combines affordability and unique
community benefits. Makes sense, then,
that development is booming.
Established in 1908, Berwyn has a rich
history. What was once land of Native
American trails and an anticipated home
for the elite and wealthy, became a haven
for middle-class communities. In the
early 1920s, Czechs migrated to Berwyn
and Cicero from the Pilsen area, then
eventually came other groups, including
Italians and Hispanics, adding to the
neighborhood’s unique blend of cultures.
Today, Berwyn looks less like a suburb and
more like a trendy Chicago neighborhood.
A wave of artists, young professionals,
families and entrepreneurs are moving
in to this western community that prides
itself on being the “city of homes,” called
BY PRISCILLA LOPEZ FOR THE CHICAGO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ®
such due to the thousands of homes built
with distinct architectural styles. And with
a location just eight miles west of the
Loop, Berwyn is using its proximity to offer
a vibrant and affordable alternative to city
living without losing the “city feeling.”
A MIX OF
There are four business districts in
Berwyn, each offering a different
experience to its residents and visitors.
Roosevelt Road –
A few blocks from the I-290 expressway,
this is where Berwyn is the closest to
Chicago. Berwyn, Cicero and Oak Park
joined forces many years ago on Roosevelt
Road to create what is now known as The
Veltway, a growing destination for nightlife
and dining. You’ll find nationally-known
live music venues, such as the longrunning
FitzGerald’s Nightclub and stateof-the-art
Wire bar and recording studio,
playing everything from country to blues.
FitzGerald’s has been called “One of The
Top Ten Concert Venues in Chicago,” by
WXRT-FM Chicago, and The New York
Times called it “A Musical Gem.” It also
makes a great sports bar. During big
games in the warmer months it sets up
stadium seating on its front patio with a
giant projector screen to hold viewing
parties. Throughout the year, it also hosts
several cook-offs attracting visitors from
all over the country.
Foodies will also be happy to choose from
a diverse array of eateries on the strip,
like the Michelin-rated Mediterranean
restaurant Autre Monde Cafe, praised for
its patio and spirits, “Chicago’s Best of
30 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Roosevelt Road.” Big Guys Sausage Stand,
and popular seasonal spot Gina’s Italian
Ice, featured on “Chicago’s Best” for its
If you’re in the market for goods, The
Craft & Vintage Market is open every third
Saturday of the month between 10 AM and
4 PM at the Friendly Coffee Lounge, one of
Berwyn’s top coffee shops.
Cermak Road – Berwyn’s
While an eclectic mix of retail and
restaurants dominate Berwyn’s Main
Street, it was once known as the center of
Czech life and culture in the Chicago area.
Some traces of its Bohemian roots are
still apparent, such as The Chicagoland
Czech American Cultural Center and
Vesecky’s Bakery on Cermak Rd. Going
down Main Street during any themed
holiday, one store will catch your eye due
to its heavy door traffic: Old Fashioned
Candies, popular for offering “Chicago’s
Best Sweet Treats” and chocolate covered
The strip is also home to the unusual
tourist destination: the 13,500-square foot
World’s Largest Laundromat, honored by
the Guinness Book of World Records. The
father-and-sons’ business is also famous
for its award-winning green initiatives, like
a 36-panel solar thermal system—one of
the largest installations in the state.
And, Berwyn’s Cermak Plaza, off the
Harlem Ave. and Cermak Road intersection,
was a filming location for the iconic
Wayne’s World comedy.
With Berwyn’s award-winning corporation
and business incentives, there’s been rapid
development in Berwyn near the North
Riverside border. Popular national chains
and emerging chains want a piece of Main
Street. Starbucks, Chipotle Mexican Grill
and Five Guys Burgers and Fries moved
in recently, with others, including Panera
Bread, opening soon.
But the main attraction on Main Street
is in line with the heart of the town:
small businesses. La Lupita Restaurant
competes with some of the best tacos in
town, but its Pozole is considered the best
Continued on page 32
Continued from page 31
in the city. WGN-TV’s “Chicago’s Best”
named La Lupita “Chicago’s Best Mexican
Restaurant.” And, did we mention it offers
authentic tortillas made in-house?
Historic Depot District
Situated along the Metra-BNSF Railway
corridor, this area is one of Berwyn’s most
quaint and walkable business districts.
That’s why Berwyn’s Oktoberfest is one of
the western suburbs’ biggest parties of the
year in September. Its family-friendly “cruise
nights” also attract many residents and
The Depot District offers a fun mix of
independent shops operated by artists and
collectors, such as Reel Art Collectibles,
a shop for comic books, vintage movie
posters and toys. Dine at Oliver’s Prime Cuts
& Fresh Seafood for the perfect date night
and then grab drinks at the Olive or Twist
Martini Bar next door. Lavergne’s Tavern is the
place to visit for “Berwyn’s Best” cucumber
mojito and “Chicago’s Best Italian Beef.”
Priscilla Lopez for the
of REALTORS ®
The Depot District also offers great daytime
attractions. If you like to start your days with
caffeine and work up a sweat, then Lunges ’n
Lattes is the place for you. Its highly-trained
baristas also craft healthy juices, smoothies
and “mom-approved” snacks for the whole
family. If you’re looking for more of a momand-pop
spot, Mission House Café is known
for its cozy feel and comfort food.
Historic Route 66 —
Yes, a piece of the 300-mile U.S. Route
66 runs through Berwyn. Ogden Ave.,
designed to highlight the nobility of the
country’s automotive industry at the time,
still celebrates car culture today with
the Berwyn Route 66 Gift Shop, scenic
exhibits and the annual Berwyn Route
66 Car Show, which attracts more than
30,000 visitors. You can get a free Route
66 passport at the gift shop, stop by the
informational kiosk for Route 66 Berwyn
information, or check out the four exhibits
to learn more about Berwyn’s history on
“The Mother Road.”
Another must-see is Berwyn’s Toys &
Trains, a family-owned specialty toy and
hobby shop. The building’s vibrant, classic
32 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
aluminum storefront is on theme with Route
66’s architectural heritage, but its stock of
20,000 vintage toy brands and model trains
make it one of a kind.
Another site worth visiting is the WWI
Memorial, built in 1919 by the Berwyn
Women’s Club to honor the Berwyn
residents lost in WWI. The site was
designated as a historic landmark in 2011.
HOW TO GET
Berwyn offers easy access to both
downtown and the far west suburbs,
due to its location between the I-290
and I-55 expressways.
Berwyn is very walkable, with an average
Walk Score of 75. Most errands can
be accomplished on foot or via their
Looking to ditch the car altogether? The
downtown Depot District includes the
LaVergne, Berwyn and Harlem Metra
stations, ideal for traveling to counties
throughout the Chicagoland area. CTA’s Blue
Line is four blocks north of The Veltway’s
Roosevelt Rd., and the Pink Line is less than
a mile east of Berwyn’s city limits on Cermak
Rd. There are also several PACE bus routes
available throughout the area.
CITY OF HOMES
Berwyn is renowned for housing the
most significant stock of Chicago-style
bungalows in the nation. The city of
homes was an inspiration for Bungalow
Appreciation Week in Illinois and has
been mentioned in the National Register
of Historic Places for its Central Berwyn
Bungalow Historic District.
Even after being recognized for its rich
history of residential homes, Berwyn
manages to maintain some of the most
affordable housing available in the
Chicagoland area. In 2017, the median
home sales price was around $ 200,000.
It’s tree-lined residential streets are as
unique as its neighborhoods. With more
than 26,000 single-family homes in a 3.9
square mile, the diverse community has
housing stock for most budgets, with
many larger homes on the south side and
many smaller, bungalow-type homes on
the north side. Buyers can also find stately
Victorian, American Foursquare, English
Tudor and Prairie School housing styles.
There are also several multi-unit apartment
complexes full of 1900s character.
The National Register of Historic Places
lists two Berwyn homes for being perfect
models of the styles they embody: the
Silhan House, an Art Moderne home
designed and built by Robert Silhan,
inspired by the buildings he saw at the
Century of Progress World’s Fair held
1933–34, and Arthur Dunham House,
a Prairie School-style home owned by
Arthur Dunham, designed in 1907 by
architectural firm Tallmadge & Watson,
notable for its horizontal lines, lack of
ornamental details and bands of windows.
Berwyn’s bungalows are like Chicagostyle
bungalows, just on a bigger lot. Built
generally between the 1920s and 1930s,
builders gravitated towards this style
because of its affordability, durability and
The workman’s cottage can be bigger than
typical cottages; most, however, are oneand-a-half
stories with a pointed roof. Some
are frame houses and others are brick, but
most were built around the 1890s with a
floor plan like the Berwyn bungalow.
The foursquare uniquely maximizes its space
and is known for simplicity. Built around
the 1910s, this “square” style typically has a
bigger lot with an ample front lawn, large
first floor and same-size full second story.
Popular due to its opulence and common
materials, the Queen Anne’s in Berwyn
are full of detail. Built through the 1890s
and 1910s, they commonly feature wood
siding, wrap-around porches, turrets,
towers and other ornamental details,
showcasing the era’s extravagance.
Seen as an ideal home for soldiers to
raise a family in after returning from
WWII, the Tudor Revival tends to be on
a smaller lot. Despite its size, the homes
have detailed trademarks, like steep
pitched roofs intersecting gabbled roofs
Berwyn, with its mixed of housing and
vibrant community life, has a lot to offer
Chicagoland residents and visitors alike.
The business and leadership books we just
can’t seem to put down (or stop quoting!)
The Fire Starter Sessions:
A Soulful & Practical Guide
to Creating Success on
Your Own Terms
by Danielle LaPorte
Great at Work: How Top
Performers Do Less, Work
Better and Achieve More
by Scott Gerber & Ryan Paugh
Give and Take: Why Helping
Others Drives Our Success
by Adam Grant
Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands:
The Bestselling Guide to
Doing Business in More Than
by Terri Morrison & Wayne A. Conaway
Super Connector: Stop
Networking & Start Building
by Scott Gerber & Ryan Paugh
Payoff: The Hidden Logic
That Shapes Our Motivations
by Dan Ariely
34 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Plug In and Grow
We put together this list of podcasts you can listen to in
the car and on the go. They’ll help you sharpen your skills
and grow personally and professionally.
Chicago’s (former) resident spiritual advisor has distilled her daily talk show into a free
podcast featuring deep conversations with business leaders, celebrities and writers.
What separates REALTORS ® is empathy. Clients trust REALTORS ® to interpret the data
they don’t understand and to protect their interests. A listing is more than a number for
clients; it’s their investment and their livelihood. As someone who has interviewed many
thousands of people, Oprah is a master of changing her approach based on who she’s
talking to. Listening to her conversations can help illustrate how subtle differences can
get people to bring down walls and build rapport.
Key Episode: Sheryl Sandberg: How to Build Resilience and Find Joy After Loss.
After her husband died suddenly, Sheryl Sandberg, the author of Lean In and Facebook
Chief Operating Officer, had to quickly reorient herself as a corporate executive, public
figure and single mother. Sandberg’s refreshing candor about her treatment by friends
and her Facebook colleagues should serve as a guide for those in grieving.
Updates: Every Monday.
The Harvard Business Review stands
apart with relevant, smart ideas for
businesses presented in a way that
anybody can understand. The HBR
IdeaCast is a seamless translation of the magazine with an immense back catalog (626
episodes and counting), rife for binging.
Key Episode: Episode 400: Best of the IdeaCast. Why not start with the best? This episode
is a sort-of highlight reel for the 399 prior, making it a great resource for new listeners to
find full episodes of the short clips they found interesting.
Everyone starts somewhere. Large corporate behemoths such
as Amazon or Disney are no exception. How I Built This tells
these stories every week in the classic NPR “just the facts,
ma’am” format. It becomes quickly apparent after a few episodes
how many corporate success stories start with failure and benefit
from blind luck.
Key Episode: Real Estate Mogul: Barbara Corcoran
It turns out the Shark Tank star has always been somewhat of a
shark. Established brokers and new REALTORS ® alike can apply
Corcoran’s tenacity and networking— hard-earned skills that
built her real estate empire from scratch to success — to their
English is a notoriously difficult language to master, even for native speakers. It’s a language
full of grammar rules that seeming follow no pattern. In fact, a missing comma in a 14-page
contract cost a Maine company $ 10 million, according to a 2017 article from The New York
Times. As a REALTOR ® , communication may be the most important part of the job. That’s
where Grammar Girl comes in. Mignon Fogarty provides quick, easy lessons every week
explaining the difference between “lay” and “lie” or “based in or “based on” that make an
easy listen for your commute. What sets Grammar Girl apart is that she never stigmatizes
the listeners. She presents a concept and never asserts that her way is the only way.
Key Episode: 610: Top 10 Grammar Myths. How 13 Dog Breeds Got Their Names
This is a fun introduction into Fogarty’s style, suitable for a listen with children. And dog
lovers will enjoy the cocktail chatter the lesson of the episode offers.
There are many podcasts explaining the modern internet. Few
can explain Instagram marketing scams or ancient message
boards in a way that everyone can understand. Just one of
them, Reply All, tries to explain how the internet can make us
better (or worse).
Key Episode: #109 Is Facebook Spying on You?
Months before the company weathered intense scrutiny
following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, hosts PJ Vogt and
Alex Goldman dig into a widespread theory that Facebook is
listening to its users via phone microphone. What they learn
is eye-opening, especially for those who do business on
Updates: Biweekly, on Wednesdays.
Lindsay Zappala and David Zappala, Stewart Title
Aaron Gill, Epoch Chicago and
Kris Keller, Keller Williams Chicago – O’Hare
Michelle Mills Clement,
Chicago Association of REALTORS ®
GARDEN VOLUNTEER DAY
Tommy Choi, Keller Williams
Chicago - Lincoln Park
Thomson Real Estate Group
Andy Shiparski, Coldwell Banker Residential
Brokerage, Jeannette Pawula, @properties, and
Amanda Chvatal, Spaces Real Estate
Thank you to the Chicago REALTORS ® who took a
day this May to construct the Chicago Association of
REALTORS ® Bicentennial Garden at Global Gardens in
Last fall, we had a blast preparing the garden for winter
— and it was snowing! This time, we constructed raised
garden beds, filled them with soil, planted, mulched,
watered, moved debris and weeded, weeded, weeded.
Thank you to the Peterson Garden Project for facilitating
our build-out, and thank you to our volunteers who
helped create this community garden in honor of Illinois’
200 th birthday. The food from the garden will go to feed
the hungry and food insecure in the community.
Watch a video of our fun-filled day!
36 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Bicentennial Community Garden Sign
Chicago REALTORS ®
for their Industry Investments
At the National Association of REALTORS ® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.
this May, four Chicago REALTORS ® were honored for their lifetime aggregate investments to the
REALTORS ® Political Action Committee (RPAC).
CAR past presidents Mike Golden, @properties, and Zeke Morris, EMA Realty & Management
were honored for reaching the $ 25,000 investment level and inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame.
CAR CEO Emeritus Ginger Downs and past president Nancy Suvarnamani, Century 21 S.G.R. Inc.,
were honored for reaching the $ 50,000 investment level.
Thank you Ginger, Mike, Zeke and Nancy for your commitment to our industry and private
Special Advertising Section
REAL Estate to the Rescue (RTTR)
RTTR continues its efforts to engage the
real estate community in Chicago pet
rescue initiatives. We are in the process
of building an information resource center
around animal care, including a database
of pet-friendly apartments and condo
buildings, information on things like food
pantries for animals and other assistance
programs to help owners and animals stay
together. We are also looking for people to
foster animals when the need arises.
Thank you all for attending and supporting
our largest fundraiser of the year: our
annual Cubs vs. White Sox game at Wrigley
Field! We raised thousands of dollars, which
will help benefit all of our initiatives. Make
sure you keep up with us on Facebook
@Real Estate to the Rescue Chicago!
FIABCI-Midwest, the International
Real Estate Federation
Having just returned from Mexico, Dubai
and France, many of our local members
shared their experiences first hand at our
Rooftop Rendezvous in May. All networked
with our new board of directors and other
international practitioners as we heard the
latest from FIABCI’s movers and shakers.
Additionally, our member-exclusive event,
in partnership with Leading Real Estate
Companies of the World CEO and FIABCI
board member Paul Boomsma, will take
place in late June. Stay tuned for more
On Friday, July 13 th , meet the Trade
Commissioner from the Greek Consulate
in Chicago and enjoy a Greek dinner with
other globally minded colleagues. Watch
for upcoming registration information.
Not a member yet? There is still time to take
advantage of our 2018 special pricing. For
more info contact President Marsha Collins
38 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Veterans Association of Real
Estate Professionals (VAREP)
We are gearing up for a busy 2018! We
started the year off with two dynamic Lunch
& Learns designed to help you grow your
business and dispel the myths of the VA
home loan process. We also, in conjunction
with Bank of America, donated a house to a
veteran family in need!
To continue our important work of assisting
our honorable veterans, we’re actively
seeking individuals to serve on our executive
board, as well as our committees. If working
with veterans and giving back to your
Chicagoland veteran & military community
is something that interests you, please reach
out to board member Rachel Frangos for
more details on how to get involved:
For updates on all of our events, volunteering
opportunities and more, follow us on
Facebook and Instagram @VarepChicago.
National Association of Gay &
Lesbian Real Estate Professionals
Established in 2007, The National Association
of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals
(NAGLREP) is a mission driven 501(c)(3) non
profit organization that is part business and
In March, we kicked off our first Lunch-n-
Learn event of the year. We discussed luxury
trends and tax reform with two different, yet
dynamic speakers. Our next event will be our
annual summer networking event, which is
always an exciting treat! Join us and gain our
exclusive benefits by becoming a NAGLREP
member at www.naglrep.com today!
You can also keep up with us here in
Chicago by liking our Facebook page:
Dearborn REALTIST ® Board
As we continue to work towards NAREB’s
mission of adding two million new black
homeowners within the next five years,
DRB is rocking and rolling! We hosted
our 76 th Annual Installation program in
March. Hundreds came out to witness this
We also hosted our Community Wealth
Building Day at Malcolm X College on
Saturday, May 26 th . This family-friendly event
offered free credit reports, financial literacy
sessions, on-site mortgage pre-approvals,
food trucks, raffles, DJ’s and more! The event
was very successful as we continue our work
to educate and service the Chicagoland
community. Additionally, in conjunction with
the City of Chicago, we brought back our
complimentary six day training session on
how to become a Court Appointed Receiver
in the City of Chicago.
This and much more are reasons to join the
DRB community. You can keep up with us on
Facebook @ChicagoRealtist and visit us at
The National Association
of Hispanic Real Estate
Professionals ® (NAHREP) Chicago
Thanks to all for attending our 7 th Annual
Success in Real Estate event in April! We had
over 700 attendees who enjoyed several
educational panels throughout the day. And,
the fun is just getting started: we have more
fun and fruitful events planned for the year!
Want to attend our events at a discounted
rate? join NAHREP CHICAGO for only $ 49 a
year and become part of one of the largest
Hispanic real estate trade organizations.
We offer education events, networking and
Visit us at www.nahrepchicago.org.
Special Advertising Section
Thank you all who attended AREAA’s
Installation Gala in February.
It was a fantastic time to connect with old colleagues and
make new relationships. We had over 170 attendees enjoy
cocktails, bites and our James Bond theme.
With our new board, we have several exciting events lined
up. AREAA-Greater Chicago has great up to date content
and useful information happening in the Chicagoland area.
And, stay tuned for more events, including our infamous
Sip, Schmooze and Study.
Like us on Facebook to keep up with us @AREAAChicago!
There are countless benefits to becoming a member
of WCR Chicago! Here’s why YOU should join!
“WCR has provided a network of
members that I can refer business, ask
advice and network with in any market.
As a small brokerage, this has proven to
be invaluable because I get the benefit of
the knowledge of those in other markets.”
- SARAH WARE
2016 Past President
“Being a member allows me to learn
from trailblazers and trendsetters in the
real estate industry. They encourage me
to perfect my craft, and to contribute
and to continue growing my talents and
improving my skills for my clients.”
- TRACEY WILLIAMS
“Being part of such a dynamic group
of successful REALTORS ® and Affiliates
has changed my business. The ability to
find successful REALTORS ® throughout
the country to refer my clients to is a game
changer! Join this movement!”
- JUDY GIBBONS
Women's Council of Realtors Chicago
It’s been a busy 2018, and it’s only going to get more interesting
from here as we gear up for election season.
Some quick briefs:
ILLINOIS RENT CONTROL ON HOLD
Hearings were held in the executive committee in the Illinois
Senate on rent control this past month. CAR senior director of
government affairs Brian Bernardoni testified in opposition. We
presented a lengthy list of alternatives to rent control.
Statewide hearings may be held this summer. The Chicago
Association of REALTORS ® has coordinated efforts with Illinois
REALTORS ® to secure funding for a research proposal on the
impact of rent control.
LESSONS FROM SEATTLE: RENT CONTROL
In April, CommercialForum teamed up with our Government
Affairs Directors for a special Breakfast with the GADs, focusing
on rent control. We welcomed Roger Valdez, director of Seattle
for Growth, a nonprofit group that advocates for more housing of
all types in every neighborhood in Seattle, for people of all levels
of income. Valdez has opposed efforts to charge fees on every
square foot of new development in Seattle and resisted proposals
to impose statewide rent control.
Here’s what we learned from Roger’s presentation:
Seattle isn’t dissimilar to Chicago — an influx of jobs and people
means the demand for housing goes up — and as anyone familiar
with the economics of supply and demand knows, that means
prices are going up, too. Development is starting to catch up, just
in time for the government to turn on regulation. The regulations
are now slowing production and squeezing opportunity, and thus
Allow the market to react to the forces at play — Valdez is a
strict advocate for this, and he points out that that idea that
Amazon is raising rent is a fallacy; it’s the city council that’s at fault.
For example, Seattle has implemented a fee on every square foot
of new construction, causing projects not to pencil and rents to
increase to pay off the fees.
Rent control is a price control, and often discussed as a means
of controlling inflation, caused by a lack of supply in the face
of increased demand. The underlying assumption behind price
control is that prices are set by individuals acting out of greed
and self-interest. But as history has proven (everywhere from
Diocletian rent controls and North Korean grasshopper markets),
rent control doesn’t work, and in fact creates the very inflation
it seeks to contain, in addition to black markets and perverse
Instead, Valdez offered several solutions to combat the urge to
implement rent control:
• Ensure adequate housing supply and diversity of housing,
in all neighborhoods. Landlords, investors and developers
are (by a vast majority) good people doing good work and
providing a critical service for the communities. By
inventorying older housing that has deferred maintenance,
we can identify down-market housing and, in the case of
a sale, figure out a plan to transition tenants before negative
headlines happen. No one wants buildings falling down
around tenants, nor do we want to exacerbate displacement.
A positive solution could also be low interest loans to stop
deferred maintenance, so less capital is needed when
• Avoid subsidized capital construction. The market does just
about everything better than the government, so if you’re
looking to produce more housing, be efficient in how you do
that. And, keep in mind that downzoning doesn’t solve a
problem — it exacerbates the issue by restricting supply.
• Create a risk pool for tenants who are hard to rent to. Ask
the community to help you mitigate your risk. If it’s that
important to them that you rent to a higher risk individual,
how can they help you mitigate that?
• Stay engaged and support each other. There is a narrative
problem when you come out in opposition of rent control
— after all, data doesn’t win elections. It’s critical to
support each other and to offer positive alternatives. Valdez
suggested looking into various tax credit and incentive
programs, including direct cash subsidies for rent.
HOW WE’RE COMBATTING THE CALL
FOR RENT CONTROL
Anti-development forces are taking on private property rights
in wards across the city, and rent control proposals that will
fundamentally change property management and land values
have been debated for months in Springfield and in Chicago, with
no end in sight. We will continue to challenge the notion with
research and practical economic arguments. We ask you to follow
the Association’s social media as updates are frequent.
40 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
JUST CAUSE EVICTION PROPOSAL
While we were in Washington, DC, for the NAR Legislative
Meetings, we were notified that a proposal from the Lawyers
For Better Housing and Alderman Joe Moreno sought to create
Just Cause Evictions. We coordinated with CORE and other
groups to oppose the proposal at an introductory meeting at the
Alderman’s Office. He heard our concerns and instead, he will
be assembling a task force of property owners to discuss the
issue that led to the drafting of his proposal. We will continue
to vehemently oppose any efforts towards changing current
PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEALS
The Chicago region faces three elections through next April,
with offices at the ward, city, county, state and federal levels
all up for grabs. We will be leveraging local RPAC funds to
champion pro-private property rights candidates who recognize
the importance of our industry and the critical role REALTORS ®
play in building neighborhoods through commercial and
residential transactions. For more information on how you can
invest and support our efforts this election season, please visit
WITH THE GADS
Encourage your clients to appeal their Cook County property tax
assessments prior to township deadlines. For more information
on understanding the appeals process, visit our Property Tax
Appeals Guide on ChicagoREALTOR.com.
PARKING PERMIT PROGRAM ENDS DUE TO
THE LACK OF PURCHASES
The REALTORS ® Parking Permit Program has ended with the City
of Chicago due to lack of interest. This was the second time the
proposal was passed and the second time the proposal failed to
generate sufficient interest to continue past the pilot stage.
Phillip Dixon, Coldwell Banker,
Roger Valdez, Seattle For Growth, and
Maurice Hampton, Centered RCG
Join us for...
of the Month
430 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 800 | 9 A.M. to 11 A.M.
John Kmiecik, Century 21 Affiliated,
is honored for reaching the $ 50,000
investment level in the RPAC Hall of Fame.
2018 NAR LEGISLATIVE MEETINGS
Over 70 Chicago REALTORS ® traveled to Washington D.C.
for the NAR Legislative meetings. We met with our members
of Congress to discuss tax policy, flood insurance, equal access
to housing opportunities and net neutrality.
Chicago REALTORS ® meet with Representative
Bobby Rush led by FPC Nykea Pippion-McGriff.
Chicago REALTORS ® meet with Representative
Brad Schneider led by FPC Matt Silver.
Sheena Baker, RE/MAX Action, Sarah Ware, Ware Realty Group, LLC,
Nykea Pippion-McGriff, Dream Town Realty, Antonia Mills,
Antonia L. Mills, Attorney, and Tracey Williams, A.R.E. Partners, Inc.
42 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Chicago and Illinois REALTORS ® meet with
Representative Mike Quigley led by FPC Dave Hanna.
ILLINOIS REALTORS ®
2018 CAPITOL CONFERENCE
to the CAR members who made the trip
to Springfield to advocate for our industry!
Jessica Sundby, Chris Pezza, Moses Hall, and Andrea Miller, Miller Chicago
Richard Camacho, Aaron Jaime, Reynaldo Moreno, Erica Garcia, Eduardo Garcia,
Janette Coss, Sergio Hernandez, Josue Duarte, Realty of Chicago.
Ronald Sears, Yee Ng, Nathan Cowan, Quinn Guan,
Mircea Campean, Steven Powers, Brian Murphy,
and Vicky Silvano, Century 21 SGR
Matt Silver, Urban Real Estate, and
Jeff Lowe, Compass Real Estate
Theresa Campos & Antonio Campos,
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
2017 SALES AWARDS
Gaspar Flores Jr., Su Familia Real Estate,
Leticia Andrade, Coldwell Banker, and
Jessica Barrera, West Towns Realty
Aaron Galvin, Luxury Living Chicago Realty,
and Greg Perkarsky, Vesta Preferred LLC
Dennis Downes, Downes Studio,
Gail Spreen, Patrick Ryan, Shelia Dantzler and
Essence Wakefield, Related Realty
Tony Ameti, Neighborhood Loans, and
Erika Villegas, RE/MAX Mi Casa
44 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Photos by Marcello Rodarte
Jack Krueger, David Hilger, Julisa Sanchez
and George Kaiser, Wintrust
Mario DiLorenzo and Joe DiLorenzo,
Keller Williams Chicago – O’Hare
Greg Kosin, Greater Illinois Title Company
Kelly Price, Wintrust, Matt Silver,
Urban Real Estate, and Ginger Downs,
Chicago Association of REALTORS ®
Marion Valle, Valle Realty, Sarah Ware, Ware Realty
Group, LLC, Rebecca Thomson, Thomson Real Estate Group
and John Vraras, Vranas Ventures, Inc.
Lindsey Schendel, Main Street Real Estate
Group, and Michael Mandile, @properties
Natalie Renna and Ajda Beganovic,
RE/MAX Vision 212
Cristino Martinez, Dino Sarancic, Brad Robbins,
Madison Termini, Brock Potter, Elizabeth Moreno, Matthew
Williams, and Greg Pekarsky, Vesta Preferred LLC
Greg Cirone, Interdome Realty, Inc.,
Vicki Silvano, Century 21 SGR, and
Peter Shimp, Chicago Title
Matt Silver, Urban Real Estate.
and Kason Wallace, Premier
Midwest Realty, Inc.
Melanie Giglio, Compass Real Estate, Michelle Kubala,
and Julie Harron, Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty
Sabrina Bier, and Victoria Thomas, @properties
Kassie Irwin, and Owen Duffy,
Fulton Grace Realty
Kenya Robinson and Cedrick Hunter,
Hunter’s Realty, Inc.
2017 SALES AWARDS
Jayme Slate, Eudice Fogel,
and Julie Chenne, Compass Real Estate
Laura Soukup and Laura Schlageter,
Keller Williams Chicago-O’Hare
Nykea Pippion-McGriff, Dream Town Realty,
Sarah Ware, Ware Realty Group LLC,
Dave Naso, Keller Williams Chicago – Lincoln Park,
and Erika Villegas, RE/MAX Mi Casa
Pamela Raia, Lisa Kon, Steve Heilis, Jan Kupiec, Tripti Kasal,
Nicole Flores, Gina Purdy and Kristi Rogue, Baird & Warner
Garcia Marcelo, Natalia Martinez, Erika Villegas, Ubaldo Garcia, Salvador Gonzalez,
Joe Castillo, Paloma Martinez, Claudia Hernandez, Rosie Garcia, Manuel Godinez Jr.,
Miguel Bermudez, Felipe Garcia, Adriana De La Torre, Oscar Campos, RE/MAX Mi Casa,
Roberto Almazan, Su Familia Real Estate, and Eddie Martinez, Zima Realty LLC
46 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
Nikki Tran, Kassis Realty Group, Beatriz Ruiz,
and Sandra Ceja, TRP Realty LLC
Daniel Close, Redfin Corporation,
and Krystal Long
George Kaiser, Linda Scott, Wintrust Mortgage,
and Darlene Kosin, Greater Illinois Title Company
Joanna Weiss, Matt Weisseg, Matt Horney,
and Andy Tisler, JPMorgan CHASE
Anjali Ganju and Alex Staff,
Keller Williams Chicago - Lincoln Park
Justin Klaing, guest, Nadine Ferrata,
Coldwell Banker Residential, and
Akos Straub, Berkshire Hathaway HomeService
Nick Libert, EXIT Strategy Realty and
Ginger Downs, Chicago Association of REALTORS ®
Paul Mancini, @properties, and
Austin Pearson, Pearson Realty Group
Britney Sopher, Danielle Tencza, and
Bridget Lawler, Greater Illinois Title Company
Cindy Weinreb, Carrie Georgitsis,
Nancy Huetteman, and Nycholle Brown,
Chezi Rafaeli, Coldwell Banker Residential,
Debra Dobbs, @properties, and Mario Greco,
Berkshire Hathaway HomeService
Angela Ginex, Greater Illinois Title Company,
and Aaron Giorgi, @properties
Brittany Shapiro and Brad Lippitz,
Compass Real Estate
Matt Laricy and Nicole Laricy,
Photos by Jack Lane, LANE Media & Productions
GET TO THE TOP
OF YOUR GAME
NAR research shows that on average, homebuyers spend roughly
three weeks browsing online properties before they contact
an agent. So, what do you bring to the real estate game? What
makes you the right resource to turn to? It starts with forming a
relationship with the buyer.
Building a strong relationship takes a keen awareness of the
buyer’s goals, your goals and the end game you have in common:
working together to find them a home.
• Build rapport.
• Showcase your services.
• Help the buyer form realistic expectations.
• Decide if you want to work together.
• Learn what an agent can do for them.
• Describe the ideal home.
• Obtain answers to questions and concerns.
• Decide if you want to work together.
According to the NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the top
three skills buyers want most from agents are: help finding the
right home to purchase, help negotiating terms of the sale and
help with price negotiations.
As early as possible in the relationship, break down the search
process, the contracts and what price negotiations will look like.
Be prepared; paperwork intimidates everyone. You’ll earn the
buyer’s trust and reinforce why you are the best steward for one
of the biggest financial transactions of their life.
JULY12 & 13 :
Learn more when you take the Accredited Buyer’s Representative
JULY14 : Roadmap of a Transaction
JULY28 : PSA Certification
AUGUST24 25 & :
AUGUST 8 9 & : RENE Certification
ACCREDITED ABR BUYER’S
REPRESENTATIVE AUGUST28 DESIGNATION
: CIPS Designation
July 19 th – July 20 th
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Advance your career with a
Member certification Tuition: or designation! $ 280
The primary reason sellers choose FSBO is because they don’t
want to pay a broker’s commission or fee. Your goal? Neutralize
this concern, and ensure that your value proposition is clear and
in-touch with market needs.
WHAT’S YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION?
• You offer connections to listing services they do not.
• Your knowledge of the paperwork and negotiation
process is unparalleled.
• You do this, literally, for a living.
The numbers back you up. According to the NAR Profile of Home
Buyers and Sellers, on average, agent-assisted sellers netted $ 250k
in profits compared to FSBO sellers who netted $ 190k in profits.
There are two ways you can be the trusted advisor your clients
rely on: maintain a solid relationship with an appraiser and
become well-versed in CMAs and absorption rate calculations.
Appraisers are almost always unfamiliar with the area around
your client’s home. This is where you come in; instead of taking
the hands-off approach to the inspection, go an extra mile to
provide your appraiser with appropriate properties to compare
with. Several hundred CAR members are licensed appraisers.
Take advantage of those connections.
Absorption rates are critical to pricing calculations, but how do
you explain them to your seller client? An absorption rate is the
number of months of inventory on the market and the length
of time it could take to sell the current inventory. Practice these
calculations by taking classes on pricing and seller representation.
This way, you’re constantly ready to play the game of listings.
JULY12 & 13 :
Learn more when you take the Seller Representative Specialist
JULY14 : Roadmap of a Transaction
JULY28 : PSA Certification
AUGUST 8 9 & : RENE Certification
24 25 & : ABR ® Designation
AUGUST28 : CIPS Designation
August 23 rd – August 24 th
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Advance your career with a
certification or designation!
Member Tuition: $ 299
48 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine
E-PRO ® CERTIFICATION
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
MEMBER TUITION $ 119
2 & 3
REAL ESTATE NEGOTIATION
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
MEMBER TUITION $ 175
24 + 25
REAL ESTATE DIGITAL
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
MEMBER TUITION $ 297
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
MEMBER TUITION $ 275
Get the tips and tools you need to be a
Learn how to implement sustainable
digital marketing strategies to grow
your real estate business.
19 + 20
skillful advocate for your clients.
SALES SKILLS WORKSHOP
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
MEMBER TUITION $ 99
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
MEMBER TUITION $ 280
This course breaks an agent’s
activities down into three major
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
MEMBER TUITION $ 119
Attain the most sought-after
designation that will put you one step
ahead of your clients. Determine their
needs and attract new buyers through
our two-day course.
23 - 24
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
MEMBER TUITION $ 299
categories: work, sales skills and
Become a more effective
building owner or property manager
and foster better ethical and
Pat Combs, REALTOR ®
2007 NAR President
Grand Rapids, MI
still needs attention. ”
It’s not just a black and white issue. Pat Combs entered the real estate business
a few years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. She recalled it being a
“contentious time” for both REALTORS ® and the public. Armed with fair housing training from
the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS ® , Pat faced off against discriminatory neighbors
and homeowners. Ignoring verbal harassment and physical threats, she devoted her time in
the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS ® to help in creating better training programs
in partnership with her local Fair Housing Center to ensure that fair housing truly was for all. Now,
Pat says, “We need to ask ourselves “what we can do as REALTORS ® , as United States citizens.”
April 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. We salute REALTORS ® like Pat
Combs who have driven NAR’s contributions to the fair housing movement, and we understand
there’s progress yet to be made.
Visit www.FairHousing.realtor to read more about Pat and to join the commemoration.
Ready to get out of your comfort zone?
Dream Town Growth Groups are a holistic approach to real estate career development.
Our unique proprietary system to professional and personal growth integrates group
think tanks with individual coaching to help our brokers be their best.
In 2017, 67% of growth group graduates
increased their business by 20%–54%.
FIND OUT HOW: DREAMTOWN.COM/GROWTH
4 Chicago LINCOLN REALTOR PARK: 1950 ® N Magazine SEDGWICK | LINCOLN SQUARE: 4553 N LINCOLN | WEST LOOP: 849 W MONROE | EDISON PARK: 7280 W DEVON | EVANSTON: 1567 MAPLE