Spotlight Series features 4 entrepreneurs at REALTOR Conference & Expo

REALTORS® who attend the presentations of Erin Meyer, Desirée Rogers, Steven Levitt and Kelly McDonald at the REALTOR® Conference & Expo will discover entrepreneurial ideas they can use in building their own businesses.

The four comprise the Spotlight Series at the conference, and they will speak on four consecutive days from Nov. 3-6. Register now to see them.

Meyer, an American author and international business expert, will kick off the series on Nov. 3. She is a senior affiliate professor in the Organizational Behavior Department at INSEAD, a private business school based in Paris. She directs two programs there: Management Sills for International Business and Leading Across Borders and Cultures. She also wrote the book, “The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business,” and is a contributor for the Harvard Business Review.

Rogers appears on Nov. 4. She is a business leader, Chairman of the Chicago Tourism Bureau and former Special Assistant and White House Social Secretary for President Barack Obama. Her work résumé includes: Illinois State Lottery Director; chief marketing officer for Peoples Energy; president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas; president of social networking for Allstate; CEO for Johnson Publishing Company; and CEO for Fashion Fair Cosmetics.

Levitt speaks on Nov. 5. The economist and University of Chicago professor is author of the books Freakonomics (2005) and SuperFreakonomics (2009) as well as co-author of the Freakonomics Blog. His books and many of the articles he’s written for media publications apply his knowledge of economics to real-life issues such as gangs, abortion, prostitution, guns, global warming, seat belts and car seats, according to his website.

McDonald is a marketing and advertising expert and appears on Nov. 6. She makes frequent appearances on CNBC,, Sirius XM Radio and contributes articles to Forbes Magazine, BusinessWeek and Fast Company. She’s also written two best-selling books, “How to Market to People Not like You,” (2011) and “Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You” (2013). She is the founder of McDonald Marketing, twice named one of the top ad agencies in the United States and one of the fastest-growing independently owned companies in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine.

REALTORS® can register for one day at the conference or all of it.


Morris speaks about anniversary of Fair Housing Act

Leigh Brown talks to Zeke Morris at the Leadership Summit in Chicago this week (Matt Difanis Photo).

This week at the NAR Leadership Summit in Chicago, Zeke Morris spoke about the upcoming 50 year anniversary of the Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 or the Federal Fair Housing Act.

The chair of the NAR Event to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act reviewed some of the history behind the legislation and gave summit attendees a preview of events that will commemorate the anniversary.

Through Nov. 30, Morris is serving on several NAR committees, including:

  • vice chair of the Large State Forum;
  • immediate past vice chair of the Multicultural Real Estate Leadership Advisory Group; and
  • the forum vice chair of the State Leadership Idea Exchange Council.

He is a former president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and he serves on numerous Illinois REALTOR® committees, including vice chair of the Housing Opportunity Working Group.


5 ways REALTORS® can avoid danger on the job

The National Association of REALTORS® and the Illinois REALTORS® want members to work safely as they strive to provide the best possible service to real estate buyers and sellers. Consider five tips from the NAR Safety Program that could help prevent real estate professionals from physical harm:

  • Don’t be too nice for your own good. Follow your instincts and keep your guard up to potential predators. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in any situation, leave.
  • Keep your eyes up, ears open and hands free. It is important to be alert to who and what is around you. Talking on a cell phone or listening to headphones can make you an easy target for a predator.
  • Be cautious of showing too many pictures of expensive items, such as artwork and other home décor on your property listings as this could attract thieves.
  • If meeting a client alone, use a safety app or safety solution that lets trusted contacts know where you are going and how long you plan to be gone.
  • If you are being attacked, run in the direction of other people. An assailant usually will not engage in a pursuit which could increase the possibility of detection or apprehension.

Watch for more safety tips on this blog in the coming weeks. The NAR provides many safety resources for REALTORS® to use.


Watch NAR Leadership Summit on Facebook Live

(l to r) Moderator John Smaby, Brad Inman, Bob Goldberg, Stefan Swanepoel and Elizabeth Mendenhall participated in a lively panel discussion Tuesday morning.

This morning in Chicago, local presidents-elect and local chief staff executives are participating in the second day of the NAR Leadership Summit.

It is available for viewing on Facebook Live. Following presentations by President Elizabeth Mendenhall and CEO Bob Goldberg, the two joined industry experts Brad Inman and Stefan Swanepoel for a panel discussion that includes questions from the audience and Facebook Live viewers.

Following that is a keynote address by Eric Thomas, a former NFL player, motivational speaker, author and minister.

Watch the replay at your convenience here.

Egyptian Board of REALTORS® to help area communities celebrate rare total solar eclipse on Aug. 21

During the early morning hours on Monday, Aug. 21, volunteers from the Egyptian Board of REALTORS® (EBOR) will help visitors find comfortable viewing positions for the first total solar eclipse to hit southern Illinois in almost a century.

The location is Bald Knob Mountain, nearly 1,000 feet above sea level, just south of Carbondale, near the small town of Alto Pass. The mountain is known for a cross built at the top called the Bald Knob Cross of Peace. The area is the place where the eclipse will have the greatest duration and will be “the destination for many serious eclipse chasers,” according to the Cross of Peace website.

EBOR became involved with the project many months ago after EBOR CEO Charay Palmer attended an area economic development meeting. The organizers of the meeting explained that scientists, photographers and people interested in the rare phenomena would be flocking to areas like Carbondale to witness and document the eclipse. Thousands of people are expected to visit in the days leading up to the eclipse, Palmer said, and the area is hoping to get an economic boost from the activity. The non-profit organization that operates the Bald Knob Cross of Peace planned to raise money by renting defined viewing areas to visiting eclipse enthusiasts. But they sought partners to help defray some promotional costs.

The EBOR logo is one of three on the back of the eclipse T-shirt.

The Egyptian Board of REALTORS® soon decided to pitch in, providing seed money for T-shirts and special sunglasses to be created. An affiliate member bought 1,500 bottles of water. An EBOR staff member surprised Palmer by taking a photography class so she could document the day with eclipse photos. Volunteers signed up to help direct car and foot traffic on the day of the eclipse.

“Bald Knob Mountain is the highest spot in the county,” said Palmer. “You can see parts of four states from there. Plus, it’s just a very pretty place.”

Among the side benefits for participating in the event, says Palmer, is the fact that EBOR was permitted to print its name on the promotional glasses and T-shirts. In addition to local news coverage by newspapers and radio stations, the Associated Press and three regional television stations will be on hand. Schools will be closed in three counties and local families are expected to take interest in the eclipse as a result.

Just a few miles away at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, representatives from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Adler Planetarium in Chicago and the Louisiana Space Corsortium will be part of a special program at Saluki Stadium. While some members of the community may have initially wondered about the significance of the eclipse, the mounting interest in the educational value of the upcoming event has certainly caught the attention of many.

Charay Palmer

“We got involved because it’s another way to show members of the community that we’re not just interested in buying and selling real estate,” said Palmer. “We care about what’s going on in our communities.”