Advocating for real estate at the local level makes a difference

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(Left to right) Kyle Anderson, Conor Brown, Neil Malone and Gideon Blustein

Combine Illinois Association of REALTORS®’ Local Governmental Affairs Directors (GADs) with involved REALTORS® from around the state and you have a force that c can make a real difference in protecting private property rights at the local level.

In a panel discussion during the association’s Conference & Expo in Collinsville on Thursday, four GADs — Neil Malone, Kyle Anderson, Conor Brown and Gideon Blustein — shared why advocating for real estate issues at the local level is so important.

When REALTORS® make their voices heard, they can help stop exorbitant transfer tax proposals, costly mandates such as fire sprinkler proposals, unnecessary over-regulation and more.

Blustein, who represents REALTORS® in the Joliet and Livingston County areas, said the actions taken at all levels of government can greatly impact not just the real estate industry, but also property owners and it helps to have more people watching what governments are doing.

In some cases, elected officials might not realize the unnecessary cost, burden and administrative hassles that could result from some local ordinance changes they might be proposing, said Kyle Anderson, who represents much of southern Illinois.

Brown, who represents Rockford, McHenry County and a large portion of northwestern Illinois, said the unified and cohesive message of REALTORS® is one of its greatest strengths. Unlike some associations or trade groups, the REALTOR® organization and its seamless connection — and communication — at the local, state and federal levels benefits REALTOR® members.

Malone, the panel moderator who serves REALTORS® through central Illinois, said an important way for IAR members to get the REALTOR® message to elected officials in Springfield and beyond is to participate in legislative Calls for Action. When legislators get calls and emails from REALTOR® constituents, they take notice, he said.

Learn more about IAR’s GAD program at and the RVOICE program in general at



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