DR Legal News explains License Act changes, case studies and more

Get a summary of numerous changes to the Real Estate License Act negotiated by the Illinois REALTORS® advocacy team during the spring legislative session.

In the July edition of Designated REALTOR® Legal News, Jeffrey T. Baker, of Sorling Northrup Attorneys explains the enhancements in:

  • continuing education,
  • leasing agent rules,
  • investigation disclosures and
  • elimination of the advisory council.

Also included in the DR Legal News are stories about copyright issues, seven legal case studies, real estate disciplines and testimony by Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan before the Committee of the Whole in the Illinois House.

Read the July DR Legal News.

Celebrate Designation Awareness Month

It’s almost November, the official month selected by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) as Designation Awareness Month.  It is a month when you can celebrate the fact that the letters after your name do mean something…they show your commitment to professionalism in the industry and your desire to provide specialized services to your clients.

The REALTOR® family of designation programs provides REALTORS® with the most up-to-date topics to broaden your scope of business and develop specialized skills to help the industry thrive.  According to NAR 2010 survey data, the median  income of REALTORS® without a designation was $29,700 and the median income of those with at least one designation was $51,500 — a difference of $21,800.

We want you to celebrate with us! The Illinois Association of REALTORS® is offering a discount of our program costs to your local association for all of our supported designation programs in the month of November.  That means the cost to add those letters after your name may be a little more attractive in November and you can join the celebration too! Contact your local association today to see what designation programs they are offering in November so that you can be part of an elite group of real estate professionals! If they are not offering a program, you can complete an online course through REALTOR® University and take a proctored exam.

And don’t forget about the upcoming Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) being held at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington, Illinois November 29-December 2, 2010. If you register prior to November 4, you will receive $40 off Courses I, II and II and $20 off the Grad Course. Pre-registration closes November 17.

Check out the course calendar of designation program locations at www.coursecalendar.com or visit REALTOR® University.

It’s REALTOR® Back to School Time

Grider pic 0809Designations—or as I sometimes refer to them, the alphabet soup behind your name—have nothing to do with having more things to place on your business card,  but everything to do with growing your real estate career.

As the daughter of a school administrator (my junior high principal), the importance of education was stressed to me. Much to my parents’ disappointment, I only went to college for one year and graduated with a Secretarial Science Certificate. That choice, however, led me to my first involvement with real estate as a real estate secretary. I worked for a small office and got hooked on real estate. I took my salesperson test soon after my 21st birthday and never stopped taking classes. First I obtained my broker’s license. From there I earned the GRI designation from the Illinois Association of REALTORS® Graduate REALTOR® Institute.

It was during those GRI courses that I met a great mentor, REALTOR® Tom Dasso. I had been offered a position in management and Tom told me that if I was going to manage I needed to do it right and get my Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) designation. CRB is earned by a point system giving the broker credits for experience plus educational courses.

My next designation was ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative). Early on in my real estate career I never understood why we always had to represent the seller. I had the good fortune to serve as chair of the IAR committee that worked on the introduction of buyer agency in Illinois. It only seemed appropriate to obtain the designation that focuses on buyer representation. My most recent designation is e-Pro. The course is taken completely online and is geared towards effective communication with the growing population of Internet buyers.

I credit much of my professional and personal growth to applying the lessons learned in my designation courses to my day-to-day real estate business.

November is REALTOR® Designation Awareness Month. Take advantage of all the opportunities that are offered you to increase your knowledge, skills and relevance to customers. After each class make an action plan of ideas, then start applying one at a time. Too often we get overwhelmed with ideas—which freezes our brains! Master one new thing then add another. You will reap the rewards!