In a recent survey of Illinois REALTORS® membership, 62 percent rated the “condition of the Illinois state economy and the overall economic environment” as the business or real estate issue that worries them most.

This response was nearly three times greater than the next highest concern: access to mortgage financing.


of Illinois REALTORS® membership, rated the “condition of the Illinois state economy and the overall economic environment” as the business or real estate issue that worries them most

As I read the survey results this 62 percent number really got my attention. This concern is consistent with what the Outreach Team hears when we visit REALTOR® offices statewide. It is a concern that your association shares and we have some excellent tools our members can use to address this concern.

One of my favorite questions to ask REALTORS® when I visit an office is, “what are your pain points?” I’ve been presenting at offices for three years and regardless of the geography, company or size, I regularly hear concerns about the Illinois economy.

Sometimes the response has to do with property taxes, sometimes it is about corruption or the seeming instability of government in Illinois, but often it is more personal. REALTORS® share their dismay that so many of their clients are leaving the state. Is Illinois slowly lurching toward insignificance as our population declines? What does this mean for the housing market, our industry and our individual businesses?

REALTORS® in Illinois are in a unique position to work on improving Illinois at the local and state level. Your 47,000 member strong organization has the data, lobbying power and grassroots strength to address what a majority of our surveyed members listed as their top concern.

Our Illinois REALTORS® Market Stats can be used to educate clients and elected officials about economic trends, in Illinois. National data sources such as RPR can be accessed to help educate consumers and elected officials about local market economic conditions and compare to other areas. We’ve created a property tax guide and companion educational video you can share with consumers.

In Springfield, your legislative team is fighting to rein in property tax increases, give residents more power to consolidate excessive local government and have more say in how their local tax dollars are spent. Your local government affairs directors are shining a light on every local government to make sure they’re encouraging homeownership in Illinois instead of making it more difficult to buy and sell property. We also utilize RPAC to help elect REALTOR® friendly elected officials who will encourage investment in Illinois.

These tools are only effective however, if REALTORS® use them. Here is my challenge: what will you say next time a client says they’re concerned about the Illinois economy? Will you shrug and say, “yeah, but what can we do?” or will you be able to confidently tell your client: REALTORS® in Illinois are working to make it better by fighting for homeowners at the state and local level.

Join a committee. Use these tools. Host the Illinois REALTORS® Outreach Team at an office meeting to help spread the word about how we can all work together to address our top concerns.