5 ways REALTORS® can avoid danger on the job

The National Association of REALTORS® and the Illinois REALTORS® want members to work safely as they strive to provide the best possible service to real estate buyers and sellers. Consider five tips from the NAR Safety Program that could help prevent real estate professionals from physical harm:

  • Don’t be too nice for your own good. Follow your instincts and keep your guard up to potential predators. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in any situation, leave.
  • Keep your eyes up, ears open and hands free. It is important to be alert to who and what is around you. Talking on a cell phone or listening to headphones can make you an easy target for a predator.
  • Be cautious of showing too many pictures of expensive items, such as artwork and other home décor on your property listings as this could attract thieves.
  • If meeting a client alone, use a safety app or safety solution that lets trusted contacts know where you are going and how long you plan to be gone.
  • If you are being attacked, run in the direction of other people. An assailant usually will not engage in a pursuit which could increase the possibility of detection or apprehension.

Watch for more safety tips on this blog in the coming weeks. The NAR provides many safety resources for REALTORS® to use.


Watch NAR Leadership Summit on Facebook Live

(l to r) Moderator John Smaby, Brad Inman, Bob Goldberg, Stefan Swanepoel and Elizabeth Mendenhall participated in a lively panel discussion Tuesday morning.

This morning in Chicago, local presidents-elect and local chief staff executives are participating in the second day of the NAR Leadership Summit.

It is available for viewing on Facebook Live. Following presentations by President Elizabeth Mendenhall and CEO Bob Goldberg, the two joined industry experts Brad Inman and Stefan Swanepoel for a panel discussion that includes questions from the audience and Facebook Live viewers.

Following that is a keynote address by Eric Thomas, a former NFL player, motivational speaker, author and minister.

Watch the replay at your convenience here.

REALTOR®-backed energy efficiency measure signed into law by governor

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act (PACE) on Friday, providing property owners an innovative new way to help integrate energy-efficient upgrades into their commercial or industrial properties.

The PACE Act was a key effort of Illinois REALTORS® in the 2017 legislative session, and had passed the Illinois House and Senate with significant support.

The PACE Act allows a city or county to establish a clean energy program and create a PACE area by entering into a voluntary assessment contract with the property owner to finance or refinance energy projects. The repayment of the costs of the energy project are through assessments on the property.

Key safeguards are included in the bill, including:

  • There is a requirement that there be written consent of the existing mortgage holder,
  • Contractors agree to adhere to terms and conditions established by the unit of local government,
  • The property cannot have any delinquencies,
  • The owner must be current on all mortgage debt, and
  • The amount of the assessment in relation to the greater of the assessed value of the property or the appraised value cannot exceed 25 percent.

The act is limited to commercial or industrial properties. It does not apply to single-family homes.


Egyptian Board of REALTORS® to help area communities celebrate rare total solar eclipse on Aug. 21

During the early morning hours on Monday, Aug. 21, volunteers from the Egyptian Board of REALTORS® (EBOR) will help visitors find comfortable viewing positions for the first total solar eclipse to hit southern Illinois in almost a century.

The location is Bald Knob Mountain, nearly 1,000 feet above sea level, just south of Carbondale, near the small town of Alto Pass. The mountain is known for a cross built at the top called the Bald Knob Cross of Peace. The area is the place where the eclipse will have the greatest duration and will be “the destination for many serious eclipse chasers,” according to the Cross of Peace website.

EBOR became involved with the project many months ago after EBOR CEO Charay Palmer attended an area economic development meeting. The organizers of the meeting explained that scientists, photographers and people interested in the rare phenomena would be flocking to areas like Carbondale to witness and document the eclipse. Thousands of people are expected to visit in the days leading up to the eclipse, Palmer said, and the area is hoping to get an economic boost from the activity. The non-profit organization that operates the Bald Knob Cross of Peace planned to raise money by renting defined viewing areas to visiting eclipse enthusiasts. But they sought partners to help defray some promotional costs.

The EBOR logo is one of three on the back of the eclipse T-shirt.

The Egyptian Board of REALTORS® soon decided to pitch in, providing seed money for T-shirts and special sunglasses to be created. An affiliate member bought 1,500 bottles of water. An EBOR staff member surprised Palmer by taking a photography class so she could document the day with eclipse photos. Volunteers signed up to help direct car and foot traffic on the day of the eclipse.

“Bald Knob Mountain is the highest spot in the county,” said Palmer. “You can see parts of four states from there. Plus, it’s just a very pretty place.”

Among the side benefits for participating in the event, says Palmer, is the fact that EBOR was permitted to print its name on the promotional glasses and T-shirts. In addition to local news coverage by newspapers and radio stations, the Associated Press and three regional television stations will be on hand. Schools will be closed in three counties and local families are expected to take interest in the eclipse as a result.

Just a few miles away at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, representatives from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Adler Planetarium in Chicago and the Louisiana Space Corsortium will be part of a special program at Saluki Stadium. While some members of the community may have initially wondered about the significance of the eclipse, the mounting interest in the educational value of the upcoming event has certainly caught the attention of many.

Charay Palmer

“We got involved because it’s another way to show members of the community that we’re not just interested in buying and selling real estate,” said Palmer. “We care about what’s going on in our communities.”