Illinois REALTORS® meet with Japanese Consulate

(l to r) Keizo Shirakura, Hisayo Matsumoto, REALTOR® Ayumi DeLoney and REALTOR® Vicky Silvano.

Another successful connection was made within the Consulate Liaison program this week. REALTOR® Ayumi DeLoney, Broker with Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty and Illinois REALTOR® Liaison to the Consulate General of Japan led a discussion with Economic Consul staff to discuss ways we can partner and share information that will result in broadening the Illinois economy and raising awareness of the REALTOR® brand globally.

(l to r) Vicky Silvano, Keizo Shirakura, Hisayo Matsumoto and Ayumi DeLoney.

Also, according to Erik Brejla with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, “Japan is an important part of the economic landscape of Illinois. Japanese companies employ roughly 50,000 Illinois residents so we appreciate the Illinois REALTORS® engagement with the Consulate’s office in order to foster a unified message that Illinois is open for business and is a leader on things like infrastructure, logistics and technology.”

Joining DeLoney at the meeting was Global Policy staffer, Sharon Gorrell, and Chair of the Consulate Liaison Working Group, REALTOR® Vicky Silvano. The three met with Hisayo Matsumoto, Special Researcher for the Consulate General, and Keizo Shirakura, Economic Section Consul, and shared statistics on Illinois and the recent 2017 Housing Forecast.

Shirakura stated, “We are glad to have a source to share economic data and real estate information and look forward to working together.”

(l to r) Sharon Gorrell, Keizo Shirakura, Hisayo Matsumoto and Ayumi DeLoney.

Prominent Illinois REALTOR participates in important discussion

(l to r) Former state senator and speaker of the Illinois House Lee Daniels, Daniel L. Goodwin and Dan Wagner

Inland Real Estate Chairman Daniel L. Goodwin facilitated a discussion last week with Illinois Senate President John Cullerton. The discussion took place at the 10th Annual Governmental Forum hosted by Elmhurst College and sponsored by Illinois REALTORS®.

Mr. Goodwin asked a variety of questions involving the state budget, education, the political map, and several other issues. Senate President Cullerton also shared a detailed presentation on the Illinois budget situation and the proposal known as the “Grand Bargain” developed by he and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, who was also in attendance at the event.


Illinois REALTORS® engage local partners in global business

Several members of our Consulate General Liaison Program (l to r): Ahmed Badat (S. Africa), Maurice Hampton (Canada), Betty Milam (Ecuador), Andy Velkme (Latvia), John LaTourneau (Ireland) and Mikus Kins (Lithuania).

Several REALTOR® partner groups gathered last week in the Chicago area to learn more about serving the real estate needs of international customers.

On Thursday, the Illinois REALTORS® sponsored the Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Global Council event, “CANADA: What You Need to Know: Country, Culture, Clients and Costs!” Speakers discussed tax policy, marketing strategies, international mortgages, culture and geography of the provinces, and the housing market. Attendees asked questions and listened to short presentations during a series of roundtable discussions. Global staff members of the National Association of REALTORS® participated as well.

On Friday, the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of REALTORS held their monthly Global Business Council meeting. Bill Caton, Principal of Caton Commercial and a founding member of the Council spoke about the 2017 MIPIM real estate conference in Cannes, France. Several of the Illinois REALTOR® Consulate Liaisons also participated in the meeting and the discussion included strategies to promote commercial international business efforts.

The state and local associations are developing programming and strategies designed to better equip members to serve international real estate customers and to motivate them to expand their sphere of influence into the global realm. The Illinois REALTORS® are excited to be part of the expansion and excitement!

Illinois REALTORS® shine at National Policy Conference

The spirit of service is inherent in so many of Illinois REALTORS® members, it often goes unnoticed since most are not looking for accolades, they are looking for progress. However, this week at the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Annual Policy Conference and Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., these members got both.

Accolades for service

Congratulations to the Chicago Chapter of NAHREP for receiving the Chapter of the Year award and earning recognition for its success in Financial Performance, Sponsor Engagement and Board Management at the Leadership Academy.

These awards are no surprise since the commitment of members extends beyond the local chapter to involvement at the state and national levels. At the gala, Joe Castillo, Broker/Owner of Mi Casa Real Estate in Chicago was installed as a national board member, and Genie Birch, Broker at Century 21 Affiliated in Lincolnwood, serves as Chair of the Diversity Committee at NAR and welcomed the group at their reception. Gaspar Flores, Jr., the current Chicago Chapter president, serves on the Illinois REALTOR® Strategic Thinkers Working Group and the Housing Opportunity Working Group. This is a short list of their involvement but underscores why they have achieved so much success.

Members of the Chicago Chapter are contributing to NAHREP’s advocacy efforts this week. They headed to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to share with members of Congress their position on topics like: immigration, the building of the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, homeownership, the mortgage interest deduction and promoting small business.

Progress realized

These members have seen results from the NAHREP Hispanic Wealth Project through the increase in Hispanic homeownership. According to the 2016 State of Hispanic Homeownership that was presented at the conference, Hispanic homeownership accounted for almost 80 percent of the year-over-year homeownership growth from 2015 to 2016.

A Fannie Mae survey cited as part of the project explained that Hispanics have many reasons for valuing homeownership, including:

  • The environment for raising children,
  • control over one’s living space,
  • building wealth and
  • property rights through the ability to control one’s own living space.

The conference provided a great opportunity to see Illinois REALTORS® show their commitment to real estate and homeownership while celebrating their culture and community.

Congratulations NAHREP Chicago from all of us at Illinois REALTORS®!

(Photos by Sharon Gorrell, Jessica Barrera, Erika Villegas and Gaspar Flores, Jr.)

Consulate liaison Suvarnamani receives award

REALTOR® Nancy Suvarnamani (right) and Royal Thai Consulate General Saksee Phromyothi (center).

Nancy Suvarnamani, Broker/Owner of Century 21 S.G.R. in Chicago, and also the Illinois REALTOR® Consulate Liaison to the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Chicago received the Exemplary Community Service Award from the Asian American Coalition in Chicago last weekend.

She is pictured here with Consulate General Saksee Phromyothi who was at the event.  Nancy is very involved with the Consulate and active in the Thai community in Chicago as well as being a leader in real estate in Thailand. Nancy also works on international real estate issues through her role as National Association of REALTORS® Regional Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific Region. Congrats to Nancy for a job well done!
Get more information on the Illinois REALTORS® Consulate General Liaison Program.