Illinois REALTORS® are arriving in Washington, D.C., today to begin a week of business meetings and visits to Capitol Hill.
The association’s members are taking part in the NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, which culminates with the NAR Board of Directors meeting on Saturday.
Illinois REALTORS® will spend Wednesday and Thursday visiting all of the state’s congressional delegation. A meeting with Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth is scheduled for Wednesday.
The meetings provide members with an opportunity to make sure their views are heard on a variety of issues, not the least of which is protecting the Mortgage Interest Deduction, or MID. A tax reform package proposed by the White House has provisions which would water down the MID, and additional proposals would eliminate deductions for state and local taxes.
The meetings end Saturday with the NAR Board of Directors meeting.
Consumers want information on the real estate market and they are looking for REALTORS® who really connect with them and can offer them the personal touch and community expertise they won’t find scrolling through online sites, says REALTOR® and trainer Leigh Brown, the opening session speaker at the Illinois REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Collinsville.
Many consumers may not be aware of the level of professional expertise REALTORS® bring to the home buying and selling process. Successful agents are those who are consumer centric and focus their energy on providing the information and service that today’s clients want, said Brown in her session, “How to Defeat External Threats.”
Brown shared a few tips to help REALTORS® put consumers first:
- Contact clients from your five most recent closings and ask them for real feedback on the transaction. Finding out what they liked and disliked can help REALTORS® fine-tune their efforts.
- Be quick to respond when prospective clients contact you. Don’t let phone or email inquiries languish. Consumers will move on to a more responsive agent.
- If you pay for an email drip campaign program, don’t rely on the stock outgoing message. Edit it to reflect your own “voice.”
- Present a professional image whether it is in the way you dress (always slightly above your marketplace) or the way you answer your phone (always mentioning your name, your company and the fact that you are a REALTOR®.)
- Professional listing photos are a must. Don’t skimp and think you can get by snapping photos with your phone.
- Remember that REALTORS® offer something that online listing sites can’t – personal knowledge and expertise about the local market, community and everything both have to offer.
Leigh Brown is a partner at RE/MAX Executive Realty in North Carolina and the broker-manager of its Concord office. She is the owner of Leigh Brown Instruction and is a sought after industry speaker.
Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter (second from left) spoke to the a luncheon held by NAHREP in Oak Brook Terrace on Thursday, May 4, 2017. Photo: Sharon Gorrell, Illinois REALTORS®.
Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter told members of the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals that both organizations share a desire to make sure housing is accessible for all.
Carpenter, speaking at NAHREP’s sixth annual Success in Real Estate Conference in Oak Brook Terrace, noted that Hispanic homeownership had continued to increase since the 1990s, but he urged members to be vigilant about policies that could undercut that progress.
“As you may be aware, a tax reform plan was released by the White House last week which would water down the Mortgage Interest Deduction by doubling the standard tax deduction,” Carpenter said. “This poses a threat to what both of our organizations have worked so hard to preserve over the years.”
“Illinois REALTORS®, like NAHREP, wants more opportunity for home ownership, not less,” he said.
Illinois REALTORS® was a sponsor for the event. Carpenter praised the work done by the organization through its Hispanic Wealth Project to encourage homeownership.
“I ask that you join me in making sure that Fair Housing for all remains at the center of what we do as REALTORS®,” Carpenter told the luncheon crowd.
As we approach the end of National Fair Housing Month, Sharon Gorrell and Cristina Headley talk about what are known as “Unseen Disabilities” and why REALTORS® and landlords need to be aware of them.