Illinois REALTORS® highlighted at NAR Global Forum

The NAR Global Business Council Forum at the REALTORS® Conference and Expo Thursday highlighted the Illinois REALTORS® through two presentations where we were used as examples for success.

First, Erik Brejla, Assistant Deputy Director for Foreign Investment and Site Selection from the Illinois Department of Commerce highlighted the recent trade mission that Illinois REALTORS® Immediate Past-President Doug Carpenter, CEO Gary Clayton, and Consulate Liaison REALTOR® Ayumi Deloney participated alongside Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner. The mission was to Japan and the focus was to attract investment and corporate relocation here to Illinois. This trip highlighted how REALTORS® are a major partner in creating jobs and increasing economic development for the state.

Then, Emily Line, Vice President of Commercial Services for the REALTORS® Property Resource showcased three Illinois REALTORS® from Caton Commercial Group. Principal Bill Caton and brokers Steve Caton and Andy Velkme are helping bring investment to Illinois through the newest trend in multifamily residential real estate. The co-living model that became famous in Europe is now seeking its way to the U.S. RPR was one of the sources used in helping these brokers share key data points with the investor.

Through member expertise, leadership, participation and support the Illinois REALTORS® are becoming national leaders in global business and economic development.

Illinois REALTORS® consulate liaisons making an impact for Illinois and Baltic Region

(l to r) REALTOR® Mikus Kins, Ambassador Andris Teikmanis, REALTOR® Andy Velkme and Consul General Robert Blumberg.

REALTOR® members Mikus Kins and Andris Velkme, members of the Illinois Realtors® Global Business Council and Consulate Liaisons for Lithuania and Latvia, respectively, have taken the lead to create an opportunity for cross-border connections and partnerships.

They were part of a new event called “Spotlight Latvia: Gateway to Business in Europe and Beyond.” This event brought 40 business owners from Latvia to present their businesses and share the economic landscape and legal framework to do business in Latvia. Illinois business owners, including some of our members, were there to make connections and discover potential opportunities with Latvian clients and investors.

This event included the launching of the Latvian-American Chamber of Commerce, which was founded in part by Kins and Velkme. This new chamber will now have the Spotlight Latvia under its purview and is looking forward to continuing this effort.  At the event, more than 50 organizations joined the new chamber and they are excited for it to grow.

The Honorary Consulate General to Latvia, Mr. Robert Blumberg, and the Ambassador of Latvia to the United States H.E. Mr. Andris Teikmanis were on hand to be part of the launch of the program and are looking forward to expanding U.S. partnerships. The event was kicked off by Mr. Mark Peterson, CEO of Intersect Illinois, the public-private economic development organization for Illinois.

Revolution Chicago conference could prepare you for the future of real estate

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The Illinois REALTORS® and Illinois REALTORS® Global Business Council are sponsoring a first of it’s kind technology conference that is being put together as a joint effort of the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of REALTORS® (NICAR), the Illinois Chapters of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), and the CCIM Institute.

The Revolution Chicago conference will be Oct. 5 at the Crowne Plaza Glen Ellyn-Lombard, at 1250 Roosevelt Rd, Glen Ellyn, IL. This multi-faceted event will begin with a keynote address from Howard Tullman, CEO of tech incubator 1871, located in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Other components of the day will include breakout sessions, round table discussions, an industry expo and a networking cocktail reception.

Come and meet some of the movers and shakers who are shaping the future of the industry and presenting some of the most innovative and game-changing technologies designed specifically for the real estate marketplace.

Illinois REALTORS® help economic development effort for the state

(l to r) Gary Clayton, Marsha Clayton, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, Ayumi Deloney and Doug Carpenter together in Tokyo, Japan.

Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, CEO Gary Clayton and Liaison to Japanese Consulate Ayumi Deloney were invited by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to participate and represent the real estate industry in Japan earlier this month. The trip, the governor’s first international trade mission, was coordinated by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Intersect Illinois, which is the state’s private economic development partner.

Activity during the trip centered on participation in the Midwest U.S. – Japan Associations’ Annual Conference in Tokyo. These organizations together have 10 states and roughly 100 Japanese corporations that network and collaborate on ways to increase foreign direct investment and industry expansion.

Although former governor James R. Thompson chairs the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association, Gordon Dobie, a partner of Winston Strawn, stood in for him. In Tokyo, the Japan-Midwest U.S. Association is chaired by Yuzaburo Mogi, Honorary CEO and Chairman of the Board for Kikkoman Corporation, one of Japan’s oldest corporations and a well-known brand.

Illinois REALTORS® was considered an integral partner for this trade mission given that real estate is a major component of economic development. The Consulate Liaision program that began in 2015 has been a great way for the association to expand its partner efforts and market the benefits of Illinois assets. For example, our air, rail, road, and waterway system well position a company to transport goods across the country, whether final products or part of the supply chain.

Deloney, who was born in the Kanagawa prefecture in Japan, is the Liaison to the Japanese consulate in Chicago and the consul general, Naoki Ito, was also in attendance at the event. Through many transactions with Japanese clients Deloney has demonstrated her understanding of the Japanese culture and business norms, which makes her a great liaison for the association and a great partner on the trip.

Erik Brejla, Assistant Deputy Director for Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, coordinated the governor’s trade mission and saw great value in REALTOR® participation.  He was excited about the trip, including a reception sponsored by Illinois REALTORS®. “The reception was huge and had over 200 attendees who were interested in building the Illinois/Japan relationship,” said Brejla.

Carpenter, who gave opening remarks at the reception and introduced Rauner, stated, “We were excited to accept the invitation to participate and look forward to being part of the effort to expand corporate investment that will result in increased jobs and economic development opportunities for our members and Illinois citizens.”

Just when you thought your credit score was improving . . .


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This last week and a half has been full of headlines regarding the most recent cybersecurity incident. As a real estate practitioner or consumer, your credit score and access to credit is integral to your ability to participate in our economy.

For several years, the National Association of REALTORS®, Asian Real Estate Association of America, National Association of Real Estate Brokers and National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals have been engaged at a national level on credit reform both within regulatory and legislative realms. Those efforts, in addition to pressure from many states attorneys general, have resulted in positive change for some. As of July 1, reforms have been implemented that would cut down the incidence of reporting mistakes of tax liens and civil judgments.

However, just when credit policy takes a turn in the right direction, wham!, we are hit with another major security breach.  As you likely already heard, Equifax, Inc. has been hacked and it’s possible you are a victim.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is working on helping Illinois consumers address the issue by both putting pressure on Equifax to respond and protect consumers. In a press release, she is giving information on where to go on the Equifax website for help and sharing some pointers on how to protect yourself.

As an industry that is tirelessly involved in advocacy efforts on credit policy and helping people become homeowners or find perfect properties for their businesses, we know just how important your credit score and your identity is.  Be proactive, check your credit score regularly and watch your accounts. It is far better to catch something sooner rather than later.