About Jon Broadbooks

Jon Broadbooks is Vice President/Communications for Illinois REALTORS®. He serves as editor of online and print content for the association's communications including the Illinois REALTOR® magazine and e-newsletters. He conducts spokesperson training seminars and oversees website development for the Association.

Illinois REALTORS® gets funding approval for Bicentennial Plaza


The Bicentennial Plaza would be located on the north side of the Illinois REALTORS® headquarters in Springfield. (Rendering by Massie Massie & Associates.

Springfield aldermen unanimously approved a measure Tuesday which provides $1 million in funding for a plaza to be built on property owned by Illinois REALTORS®.

The REALTORS® Bicentennial Plaza would be built on the north side of the association’s headquarters at 522 S. Fifth St., and could play a key role in efforts to redevelop a corridor extending from the Abraham Lincoln Home National Historic Site to the state Capitol.

The Springfield City Council vote allows use of funds from a tax increment financing district in the downtown area. The plaza, once built, would commemorate the state’s 200th birthday in 2018.

The plaza’s approval comes as the city determines next steps for a large lot nearby lot which once was home to a vacant, three-story YWCA building. That structure was torn down last month, and now city leaders are debating what to do with the large, undeveloped property located across from the Executive Mansion and Illinois REALTORS® headquarters.

Illinois REALTORS® sees the Bicentennial Plaza as a way to enhance the downtown area. The space could be used for performances or even street fairs once completed.

“We are grateful that Illinois REALTORS® can join with the city of Springfield in celebrating the role the city has played in the state’s rich history,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter. “We look forward ultimately to having a space that can serve as a community focal point, and which will enhance the historic downtown area well beyond the birthday celebration.”

The plaza would be constructed at an overall cost of $2.6 million, and would require an old bank branch owned by the association to be razed to make way for the public space.

Illinois REALTORS® has launched plans for its more than 44,000 members to celebrate the state’s 200th birthday by having local REALTOR® associations adopt historic properties throughout Illinois. The association’s theme for the commemoration is: “REALTORS® Working with Heart in Every Community.”

“Our members are at work throughout the state to make communities great places to call home,” said Dixon REALTOR® and Illinois REALTORS® Bicentennial Task Force Chair Vicky Turner. “REALTORS® truly are working with heart in these communities. The Bicentennial Plaza and plans to have members pitch in at historic sites reflect our deep commitment to the state’s heritage.”

Former Illinois REALTORS® President Jim Kinney serves on the state’s Bicentennial Commission. The association plans to work closely with the state on commemoration of Illinois’ statehood.

Fed raises interest rates, but impact not expected to be severe for homebuyers

The Federal reserve has raised it’s short-term interest rate by a quarter percentage point.

The Federal Reserve, which had signaled interest rates were going to be ratcheted up, did just that on Wednesday, sending the benchmark short-term interest rate up a quarter of a percentage point.

The short-term rate likely will have some implications for the real estate industry, as increases in the short-term rate often result in increases in mortgage rates.

The average mortgage interest rate jumped to 4.17 percent last week in anticipation of the Feds announcement, according to USA Today. The upward shift was seen as a preparation by lenders for the announcement.

“While any increase in a mortgage interest rate adds to the cost of financing a home, the increase Wednesday is not expected to deter many people from their quest to buy,” said Doug Carpenter, Illinois REALTORS® president. “As we have seen for more than a year, consumer demand is such that the market impact should not be dampened in the near-term, especially given the relatively low numbers of homes on the market.”

A third rate increase could be in the offing as the Fed weighs largely positive economic numbers and tries to keep inflation in check.

“Borrowers with adjustable rate mortgages that are seeing their rates reset should brace for higher payments. Because most ARMs only adjust once per year, the next rate reset could be a doozy if it encompasses 2 or 3 Fed hikes in the interim,” said Bankrate’s Greg McBride in the USA Today online article.




REALTORS® delegation marketing state at largest real estate conference

Illinois REALTORS® Treasurer Dan Wagner interviews Jim Schultz, CEO of Intersect Illinois which helps market the state to foreign investors. Video produced by Matt Difanis, Illinois REALTORS´® president-elect. 

Illinois REALTORS® have spent two full days meeting real estate investors from throughout the world at the annual MIPIM Conference in Cannes, France.

Association President said the Illinois delegation attended a panel discussion on Tuesday featuring National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, and the booth has seen a steady stream of visitors.

“The setup is fabulous this year,” Carpenter said via telephone from Cannes. “NAR did a nice job of putting this together, and the pace of traffic has been very workable.”

This is the third year Illinois REALTORS® has taken part in MIPIM. Joining the state delegation this year is Jim Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Intersect Illinois, a public-private which markets Illinois as a place to do business.

Illinois REALTORS® is located in the NAR Pavilion, which houses a number of other REALTOR® associations seeking to provide information to prospective investors.

MIPIM is touted as the largest real estate conference in the world. The event is hosted at the Palais Des Festivales which hosts the Cannes Film Festival. The multi-level facility is chock full of real estate firms, investment groups and localities seeking business.

The event continues through Friday.

Illinois REALTORS® take part in international real estate conference

Illinois REALTORS® is taking part in the MIPIM Conference in Cannes, France this week. Pictured from left to right are: Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary Clayton, Treasurer Dan Wagner, President Doug Carpenter, Intersect Illinois CEO Jim Schultz, association Immediate Past President Mike Drews and President-elect Matt Difanis. Photo provided by Matt Difanis.

For the third year Illinois REALTORS® is taking part in the annual MIPIM Conference in Cannes, France.

Members of the association’s leadership and others who play a role in marketing the state as a place to buy property arrived Monday. They will spend the next four days meeting investors from throughout the world at the Palais des Festivales.

The mission is two-fold.

The Illinois REALTOR® delegation is providing information on the state and its many investment opportunities. Assisting with that is Intersect Illinois’ CEO Jim Schultz, who heads the public/private economic development arm of the state.

Association members attending the event also have a mission of making sure international investors know the power of the REALTOR® brand when they look to invest in Illinois.

The trade show brings people from throughout the world, and is touted as the largest real estate conference in the world.

Illinois REALTORS®’ booth will be in the National Association of REALTORS® Pavilion, which showcases a number of REALTOR® organizations.

REALTOR® Goodman wins four-way battle for Lincoln mayor’s job

Seth Goodman, REALTOR®. Source: ME Realty

Illinois REALTOR® Seth Goodman was cleared to become mayor of Lincoln on Tuesday, beating out four opponents for the city’s top job.

According to the Lincoln Courier, Goodman won won with 40 percent of the votes cast. His nearest competitor had only 26 percent of the votes.

Goodman, 29, who won the the Republican primary in Lincoln, a city of about 14,000 people, will advance to the April 4 general election where he is unopposed.

Goodman is with ME Realty. He has been a REALTOR® since 2008, and was named a member of the NAR 30 Under 30 class of top brokers in 2012.

In another primary race, REALTOR® Frank Gambino lost to incumbent Rockford Alderman Dr. Timothy Durkee in a close race according to the Rockford Register Star. Illinois REALTORS® had supported Gambino with an independent expenditure.