Celebrate and save $ with GRI Early Bird Registration

Save money if you register within the next two weeks for live GRI courses at the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette in early December. Early Bird Registration ends on Nov. 5!

The Early Bird Rate for IAR members is:

  • $325 for GRI II (Dec. 1-4);
  • $325 for GRI III (Dec. 1-4); and
  • $204 for the Wayne Edwards GRI Graduate Course (Dec. 3-4).

Non-members pay an additional $50 for each course.

From Nov. 6-21, registration fees go up for IAR members:

  • $340 for GRI II;
  • $340 for GRI III; and
  • $224 for GRI Grad.

Non-members will pay an additional $50.

View a registration form. Get more information about instructors, payment options and continuing education credits.  Since registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis, space may be limited for those who plan to walk in and participate the day the classes begin.

Book a Hotel Room
Since the courses will be conducted over several days, consider making reservations to stay overnight at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown Peoria, which is next door to the Pere Marquette. If you make a hotel reservation before 5 p.m. Nov. 6, you’ll pay $109 plus tax for a single/double room.  Rooms at these prices are available on the first-come, first-served basis.  You must call 309-671-5050 to make your reservations.  Ask for the IAR rate.

REALTORS® back three additional state rep candidates

The Illinois REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has provided direct contributions to three additional pro-REALTOR® candidates and encourages you to vote for the pro-REALTOR® candidate in your district on Nov. 4.

These Illinois House of Representatives candidates are pro-business, pro-private property rights, low tax and pro-growth on issues that affect the business of real estate.  RPAC Trustees consider them “Opportunity Races:”

  • 91st House District near Peoria – Rep. Mike Unes (R)
  • 103rd House District in Champaign and Urbana – Kristin Williamson (R)
  • 112th House District in Metro East near St. Louis – Rep. Dwight Kay (R)

For each candidate, we provide several reasons for your support:


  • A longtime friend and champion of IAR and his local REALTOR® associations, Unes was first elected in 2010. He has welcomed IAR members and opened sessions at IAR Public Policy meetings in East Peoria, which is his home.
  • The 91st District includes all or parts of the communities of East Peoria, Pekin, Canton, Lewistown, Farmington, Cuba, Bartonville, Marquette Heights, Mapleton, Kingston Mines and Creve Coeur. 
  • Unes serves on the committees of: Cities and Villages (where IAR often testifies on behalf of private property owners); Human Services Appropriations; Economic Development; Insurance; Small Business Empowerment & Workforce; Transportation; and Elementary and Secondary Education.


  • A director of public relations for a private company, Williamson has been a precinct committeeman and former vice chairman of the Champaign County Republican Party. She is running for an open seat of the 103rd District (no incumbent), representing Champaign and Urbana.
  • She is an advocate for tax and regulatory measures that reduce the cost of doing business in Illinois and help create new jobs.
  • She says a very critical issue in her district is the uncertainty of the pension reform package pending judicial review. 
  • Rather than raising the taxes on existing property owners, Williamson believes in making home ownership a more affordable reality so that the property tax base can be expanded. 
  • She is a strong proponent of private property rights
  • If the state’s economic condition is improved and more people return to work, Williamson believes the tax base will be expanded and other revenue sources will increase


  • First elected in 2010, Kay stresses the importance of economic development in the 112th District and in the state.  This district, known as the metro-East area near St. Louis, includes all or part of: Caseyville, Collinsville, Edwardsville, Fairview Heights, Glen Carbon, Granite City, Maryville and O’Fallon.
  • He also has co-sponsored key property tax relief measures.
  • He serves on the House Judiciary Committee as well as committees for: Public Safety Appropriations, Insurance, Environment and Labor & Commerce.

Read the previous Opportunity Race stories about:

(Contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. The Illinois REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) collects contributions from members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) for political activities. A portion of each contribution will be used for state political activities; at least 30 percent will be used for federal campaign purposes. The federal portion will be charged against an individual’s federal contribution limits under 2 USC 441a. Contributions are VOLUNTARY and refusal to contribute does not affect membership rights. A member may contribute more or less than the suggested amount. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website www.elections.il.gov or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.)

Advocacy helps Deerfield avoid fire sprinkler mandate

More than a month after the Deerfield Village Board considered a change to its building code, the board voted 4-2 against a requirement for fire sprinklers in all new construction for single-family homes.

Trustees Alan Farkas, Barbara Struthers, Tom Jester and Bob Benton voted against the sprinkler mandate, while Bill Seiden and Robert Nadler voted for the mandate.

The Oct. 6 vote came as a relief to Howard Handler, IAR Government Affairs Director for the North Shore-Barrington Association of REALTORS®, who had addressed the board about the topic at its September meeting, advocating for homeowner choice.  At the first meeting, Handler explained sprinklers would increase construction costs and put a strain on an industry still working to recover.

“I think the pendulum is shifting on this issue,” says Handler.  “More and more, municipal officials are rejecting sprinkler mandates because the debate is now moving from emotion to facts, and the facts are prevailing.”

The turning point of the conversation about sprinklers at the October meeting came when a Deerfield trustee asked several advocates if they had sprinklers in their homes. All four members of the Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District, including the chief, admitted they did not have sprinklers.

Handler gave credit to the members of the Deerfield Village Board for listening to the concerns of homeowners, REALTORS® and advocates of sprinklers.  He said a Canadian government study showed that even if cut in half, the estimated costs of a sprinkler system in a new home would outweigh the benefits.

“It is for these reasons, and more,” says Handler, “that most Illinois municipalities have not adopted a fire sprinkler mandate, and that even some municipalities, like Huntley, have rescinded their ordinances mandating sprinklers.”

NAR blog: Barrington agent doesn’t want you to become another victim

REALTOR® Celeste Barr of Keller Williams Success Realty in Barrington, Ill., wants colleagues to trust their intuition so they can avoid becoming a victim of crime, and she’s relating her experience to make the point.

Barr shared her thoughts with Graham Wood, a senior editor of REALTOR® magazine following Arkansas REALTOR® Beverly Carter’s death. Wood relayed her advice to fellow REALTORS® in the NAR “Speaking of Real Estate” blog. Read the story and her reasons for speaking up.

Here are a few excerpts from Barr’s email to NAR:

  • “Back when I was a newer agent in 1991 – I had only been in the business for two year(s) – I, too, was attacked.  A ‘buyer’ attacked me in the basement of a home.  I got away.  I was one of the lucky ones.” 
  • “If I were to give any advice to anyone in our community of REALTORS®, it would be to listen to your gut more.  We’re all so eager to get the next deal; we’re not listening.  Even as our gut is screaming, we think it won’t be us.” 
  • “Plan ahead and have a way out, even if all you have is a lame excuse to leave.  You really need to keep a safe zone between you and the client.”