CR Magazine - Summer 2018


The official publication of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.


Chicago REALTOR ®


Optimize Your

Open House

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 ®

Leverage Your

LinkedIn into

New Business 3


“Where Unique is Commonplace” is a figurative expression that through contradiction

effectively conveys the firm’s unequivocal commitment to exceptional service to the

public and its agents alike. The firm possesses an uncommon collegial environment that

has nurtured and developed some of Chicago’s finest and most productive agents.

With an agent to staff ratio of 8 to 1... the needs of every agent are customized.

If you have the desire to grow and belong — there is no better collaborative environment

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1823 S. Michigan Ave.

Chicago, IL 60616

(312) 326-2121


1161 W. Madison St.

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(312) 455-3122


6600 N. Lincoln Ave.

Lincolnwood, IL 60712

(847) 983-4477


Cover photo by Marcello Rodarte


Optimize Your

Open House

in 2018



Summer 2018




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

Leverage Your

Presence into

New Business

Author: KEVIN ROCIO, @properties



34. 44.

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 3


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.

Words Matter

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.



2017-2018 President

Chicago Association of REALTORS ®

4 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine

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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.


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


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 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


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


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 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

mediation procedures.

Term length: 3 years; Number of members: 15-20


The Professional Standards Committee is responsible for enforcing

the REALTOR ® Code of Ethics through the conduct of ethics and

arbitration hearings.

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



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 7


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.




Volunteer Day

Thursday, May 10, 2018


2954 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, IL 60625

RSVP to volunteer at

On Camera

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.

Protecting Private

Leverage Your

Presence into

New Business

Author: KEVIN ROCIO, @properties

Property Rights

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

or comments!

Jessica Kern

Vice President, Communications

8 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine

Chicago REALTOR ®

CR Magazine



Rebecca Thomson


Tommy Choi


Maurice L. Hampton


Matt Silver


Gaspar Flores, Jr.

Antje Gehrken

Heather Gustafson

Drussy Hernandez

Kris Keller, ccim

Nick Libert

Dave Naso

Christopher Pezza

Nykea Pippion-McGriff

Hugh Rider

Andy Shiparski

Vicky Silvano

Kevin Van Eck

Marty Walsh

Sarah Ware


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


Jessica Kern


Maria Dickman


Jim August

For advertising information please contact

Mary Beth Durkin

at (312) 214-5530 or


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


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.



Photo Galleries

Photo Galleries

• 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.


Photo Galleries

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!

Digital Resources



Look for the icon throughout the magazine for

content with digital bonuses!



Links 9




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.



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.






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 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.

IN 2018

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.




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

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

maximum impact.

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

furniture companies

Wayfair or IKEA

can save the day.

Photo courtesy of

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.




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.

Enter: Boost.

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


Leverage Your

Presence into

New Business

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.

Kevin Rocio

CNE - Commercial Broker

@properties Commercial

Check out the recording of Kevin’s YPN breakfast

presentation on how he attracts global investors.

16 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine

Photo by Marcello Rodarte

Q&A with




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 17

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

they need.

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

philanthropy work?

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

person, too! 19





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

estate professionals.

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. 21

An investor looks to

purchase property where

they can add value, either

by repairing the property

to force appreciation, by

improving underperforming

assets or re-purposing a

property to its best and

highest use.


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

get started.


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

typical homebuyer.


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

they have?

• 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. 23

Use these Apps

for Wellness

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

details online.




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




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

Google Play.





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.




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, 25

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

the appraisal.

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

Be helpful.

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

information instead.

kindness can go a long way.

Be relatable.

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

Be inquisitive.

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

smooth closing.

For tips on all facets of your real estate business, look to to help you learn exactly what you need to create

a thriving real estate career.

Be valuable.

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. 29



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


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.”



There are four business districts in

Berwyn, each offering a different

experience to its residents and visitors.

Roosevelt Road –

The Veltway

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

frozen dessert.

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

Main Street

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 31

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

visitors alike.

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.”

Photos by

Priscilla Lopez for the

Chicago Association


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 —

Ogden Ave.

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.



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

bicycle paths.

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.


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.

Notable Homes

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


Workman’s Cottage

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.

American Foursquare

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.

Tudor Revival

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. 33


Well Read

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

60 Countries

by Terri Morrison & Wayne A. Conaway

Super Connector: Stop

Networking & Start Building

Business Relationships

That Matter

by Scott Gerber & Ryan Paugh

Payoff: The Hidden Logic

That Shapes Our Motivations

by Dan Ariely

34 Chicago REALTOR ® Magazine

Listen Up

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.

Updates: Mondays.

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

own companies.

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. 35

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 ®



Tommy Choi, Keller Williams

Chicago - Lincoln Park

Rebecca Thomson,

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

Albany Park.

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

Association News

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).

Ginger Downs

Michael Golden

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

property rights!

Zeke Morris

Nancy Suvarnamani 37

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

part advocacy.

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 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

much more.

Visit us at

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.”


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.”


2018 President-Elect

“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!”


2018 President

Women's Council of Realtors Chicago 39

Government Affairs

Legislative Update

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:



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.


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

raising rents.

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

buildings sell.

• 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.



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



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

eviction guidance.



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



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



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...

First Tuesday

of the Month


REALTOR Building

430 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 800 | 9 A.M. to 11 A.M. 41

John Kmiecik, Century 21 Affiliated,

is honored for reaching the $ 50,000

investment level in the RPAC Hall of Fame.


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.



Thank you

to the CAR members who made the trip

to Springfield to advocate for our industry! 43

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


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 45

Sabrina Bier, and Victoria Thomas, @properties

Kassie Irwin, and Owen Duffy,

Fulton Grace Realty

Kenya Robinson and Cedrick Hunter,

Hunter’s Realty, Inc.


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,

Redfin Corporation

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,

Americorp, Ltd.

Photos by Jack Lane, LANE Media & Productions 47

Education Hightlight




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

educational offerings

of the biggest financial transactions of their life.

JULY12 & 13 :

Learn more when you take the Accredited Buyer’s Representative

Designation Course.

JULY14 : Roadmap of a Transaction

SRS Designation

JULY28 : PSA Certification

AUGUST24 25 & :

AUGUST 8 9 & : RENE Certification


® 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.


• 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.

educational offerings

This way, you’re constantly ready to play the game of listings.

JULY12 & 13 :

Learn more when you take the Seller Representative Specialist

Designation Course.

JULY14 : Roadmap of a Transaction

JULY28 : PSA Certification

SRS Designation

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



10 th






9:00 AM – 5:00 PM



2 & 3



8:30 AM – 5:00 PM



24 + 25



9:00 AM – 4:00 PM


9:00 AM – 4:30 PM


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.

14 th


8:30 AM – 4:30 PM






9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


This course breaks an agent’s

activities down into three major

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM


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


categories: work, sales skills and

technical knowledge.

Become a more effective

building owner or property manager

and foster better ethical and

legal practices.

Register at


Education 49

Pat Combs, REALTOR ®

2007 NAR President

Grand Rapids, MI

“Fair Housing

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 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%.



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