Northern Illinois Real Estate December 2015 : Page 8

FEATURE Chicago Association of REALTORS ® – Looking Forward To 2016 by Daniel Wagner, President, Chicago Association of REALTORS ® Senior Vice President Government Relations, the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies he Chicago Association of REALTORS ® has a long history as an organization since our found-ing in 1883. As the 132nd president, I am honored to be at the helm of an incredible Board of Direc-tors, working with Ginger Downs and her staff to best serve our members. Moving forward, there are numerous ways we intend to make 2016 another great year. I have several goals for my presidency. I will be focusing on encouraging further collaboration with like-minded in-dustry groups, such as the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the Chicagoland Apartment Asso-ciation (CAA). As REALTORS ® , we serve many aspects of the greater real estate industry, not just buyers and sellers. This spirit of collaboration will ensure that we maintain a united front against issues like property tax increases, poten-tial lease taxes and taxes imposed on MLS data usage, among other threats. In the same vein, I will be working to strengthen our re-lationships with the Illinois Association of REALTORS ® and the National Association of REALTORS ® . We are linked within the larger real estate community, and this collabora-tion will only serve to expand the support and development of our future leaders and accomplish our shared goals. This is a shared opportunity to fight for our industry, for private property rights and the 1031 exchange. To start the new year on the right foot, we’re offering our members complimentary Continuing Education (CE) through February 29. The goal is to help our REALTORS ® take their required courses early so they can then focus on investing in themselves and their business. We’re excited to be offering three different complimentary CE courses for commercial brokers, including Commercial Real Estate Law & Liability, Commercial Structures and Discovering Commercial Real Estate. For our members’ convenience, we also recently added six new Commercial Contracts to our website, free for our members’ use. Another initiative we’re thrilled about is the new Profes-sional Parking Permit. We’ve long advocated for a REAL-TOR ® parking pass to alleviate the barriers many of our brokers face in bringing services to clients in areas of the city where there is zoned parking. Approved by the City Council in October, the Professional Parking Permit is available only T to licensed brokers. We’ve had a fruitful working relation-ship with City Clerk Susana Mendoza on this initiative, and we believe this will make it easier for clients to get REAL-TOR ® assistance when buying or selling a home. Because REALTORS ® have an incredible opportunity to make a difference every single day, we are also partner-ing with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to better serve the children in our community. At the National As-sociation of REALTORS ® Leadership Summit in August, I presented a $10,000 donation to the BGCA on behalf of C.A.R. The check, presented to NAR President Tom Sa-lomone, Four-Time Heavyweight Boxing Champion and BGCA supporter Evander Holyfield and BGCA Chairman Emeritus Ron Gidwitz, was the first pledge from any As-sociation. We plan to continue that collaboration by offer-ing our members volunteer opportunities and encouraging our members to give. By partnering with the two Boys and Girls Clubs in Chicago, we can make a real impact in the lives of our children. Just as the leaders before us laid the foundation to unite the real estate industry for the greater good, we, too, strive to continue that tradition today. I look forward to meeting the challenges ahead. NIREM • December 2015 8

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