Magazine article highlights friendship started at REALTOR® Conference & Expo

Staying open to meeting new people helped Illinois REALTOR® Dan Wagner at the 2012 REALTOR® Conference & Expo in Orlando, and it continues to help him today. Register now.

The September-October edition of REALTOR® magazine quotes Wagner, “When you go to these conventions, you have to be open to meeting new people. Get out of your comfort zone; don’t just hang around people you know.”

Shuttle diplomacy with the president,” recaps how Wagner and Florida REALTOR® Tom Salomone — who later became the 2016 NAR President — became friends after a spontaneous conversation on a shuttle ride. Their friendship has helped both personally and professionally. Read more.

 

Oct. 1 deadline coming for three REEF scholarships

 

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REALTORS® applying for the Past President’s Scholarship, the Roxanne Malo Scholarship and the Margery D. Shinners Scholarship should submit their applications, letters of recommendation and any other materials so they arrive in by Oct. 1.

Send your scholarship materials to: The Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 2607, Springfield, IL 62708.

The Past Presidents Scholarship is for Illinois REALTORS® – and Illinois residents – who want to pursue the: Certified Residential Broker (CRB); Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS); Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM); Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI undergraduate only); or REALTOR® Association Certified Executive (RACE) designation. Download the application.

Malo

The Roxanne Malo Leadership Scholarship Fund is for individuals wishing to further their education through leadership training in a real estate related field. Scholarship grants may also be awarded for leadership training by: a junior college, college or university; the Illinois REALTORS®; the National Association of REALTORS®, its institutes, councils or societies; a local Chamber of Commerce; the American Society of Association Executives or similar organizations. Download the application.

Shinners

Margery D. Shinners Scholarship was established for women wishing to study association management. Scholarships will be awarded for training programs offered by: the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); Chicago Forum; the Illinois Society of Association Executives (ISAE); the Illinois REALTORS®; the National Association of REALTORS®; or a higher educational institution. Download the application.

Watch for Illinois REALTORS® August housing report tomorrow

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings

Wednesday morning, Illinois REALTORS® will release its August 2017 housing report, with data breakdowns for the state of Illinois, city of Chicago and the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA). Also included will be a housing market forecast by Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

Members of the statewide association can access member-only market statistics by using their passwords.

REALTOR® siblings organized their own supply drive for Texas flood victims

Volunteers pause during the supply drive organized by REALTORS® Joyce Zelazik and Frank Klimala.

Homer Glen REALTOR® Joyce Zelazik admits she’s still in awe of the community response to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts she helped organize a few weeks ago.

“It was just a beautiful community effort,” says Zelazik, who works for Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Homer Glen.

After eight days of work, Zelazik and her brother, REALTOR® and trucking company owner Frank Klimala, had garnered enough support to fill a 53-foot long semi-trailer with bottled water, Gatorade, non-perishable food, bleach, cleaning supplies, diapers, toilet paper, towels, light blankets, pet food and toiletries.

“At the beginning, we posted on our Facebook page that we wanted to collect certain kinds of items to help the flood victims around Houston,” said Zelazik. “We didn’t feel like we needed any more volunteers (than the family, friends and colleagues who’d already committed to help). But during the final weekend, the people came and they came and they came. Some stayed all day long and volunteered to watch the trailer so nothing would happen to the contents. Some even came back to help the next day. It was very organic.”

How they made it happen

By far, organizing the effort was the most time-consuming, difficult and necessary part of the process, she says. Zelazik needed to determine what items were needed, find a safe place to collect them, a secure place to keep them and a reliable person or organization to receive them in Texas.

Klimala arranged for a trailer to be parked at the Homer Glen collection site and paid a driver to transport the donated items to Texas.

Through a mutual friend, Zelazik found a reliable contact in a Willis, Texas pastor who used to live in the Joliet area. The pastor found a warehouse to store the donations. Later, church volunteers drove smaller trucks to the warehouse and distributed the necessities to flood victims in smaller nearby towns where aid workers had not been yet.

Help comes from many directions

(l to r) REALTOR® Ed Prodehl, Sandy Prodehl, REALTOR® Joyce Zelazik and REALTOR®Frank Klimala during a break in the Homer Glen supply drive for Hurricane Irma victims.

Homer Glen area businesses, including Coldwell Banker, provided donations and support. A Big R store guided local volunteers toward needed items that could be purchased in the store. One donor gave 75 five-gallon buckets full of cleaning supplies one day, then came back the next day with 90 more.

A view inside the back of the Homer Glen truck shows numerous buckets filled with cleaning supplies and boxes of other donated items.

One volunteer, who worked for a company that manufactured backpacks, helped fill numerous backpacks with school supplies for children who’d be starting the school year under duress. Another woman drove from Wisconsin to pitch in after reading about the project on Facebook.

Real estate professionals from around the area joined in to help. Zelazik noted that she had nieces and nephews as young as six years old volunteer, and that a wide variety of people participated. Even after the project was complete, she was receiving text messages asking when the next one like it will begin.

Seeing so many different people come together to help flood victims far away renewed her faith in her fellow man. “I had the time of my life that weekend. It was hard work. It was hot, and it was sweaty. But it was good. I have never seen such a beautiful, spirited community effort.”

 

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.