Illinois REALTOR®: Tips for Marketing Your Commercial Business

Getting your real estate firm’s message and brand out to the public — and potential clients —  is critical for your long-term success.

In the January issue of Illinois REALTOR® magazine, marketing experts share their tips for using public relations, branding and social media strategies to build your commercial real estate business, but the tools apply to agents working on the residential side of the business too.

Why is it so important to develop a brand for your real estate business?

“We’re seeing a huge shift in behavior. Prospects used to reach out to you early in the sales cycle. Now they go to the Internet to conduct research and filter out options. They contact you later and are better informed. Success will increasingly go to REALTORS® with a brand that sells for them,” - George Krueger and Mary-Lynn Foster, co-founders BIGG Success.

Read more strategies from Krueger, Foster and others in this online Illinois REALTOR® article from commercial REALTOR® Alex Ruggieri, CCIM, SEC, MBA, GRI.

Morning Minute: HUD issues final rule on “qualified mortgage” definition

Beginning Jan. 10, 2014, mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will have a few more qualifying requirements.

Earlier this week HUD released its final rules on what constitutes a “qualified mortgage” including:

  • Require periodic payments without risky features;
  • Have terms not to exceed 30 years;
  • Limit upfront points and fees to no more than three percent with adjustments to facilitate smaller loans (except for Title I, Title II Manufactured Housing, Section 184,Section 184A loans and others as detailed below); and
  • Be insured or guaranteed by FHA or HUD.

Read HUD’s release for more details.

In other headlines:

Fannie, Freddie suspend evictions for holidays – Chicago Tribune

Mortgage bankers not amused with HUD’s lower high-cost loan limit – HousingWire

Morning Minute: U.S. commercial market sees modest growth in 3Q13

The commercial real estate market saw modest growth in the third quarter of 2013, with leasing activity rising 2 percent from the previous quarter, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) latest commercial forecast. NAR’s REALTOR® Magazine has the details.

In other headlines:

LPS: Foreclosure inventory hits lowest level since 2008 – HousingWire

FHFA leadership shift could impact HARP eligibility – HousingWire

2013 tax changes could affect your bottom line

A number of tax-law changes could make 2013 a challenging year for commercial REALTORS® and others who are in upper-income tax brackets.

“These are probably the most significant tax law changes in my career,” said Chris Bird, a former IRS agent turned trainer who conducts more than 125 seminars a year for real estate and tax professionals nationwide.

Two federal mandates have created this new business environment: The American Tax Relief Act of 2012 and The Affordable Care Act of 2010 otherwise known as the federal health care bill. “Fiscal Cliff” negotiations have also added uncertainty and relief to the mix.

Learn about some tax breaks that have been extended through the end of 2013 as well as tax changes that could reduce the profit margin for commercial practitioners or upper-income earners in the April issue of Illinois REALTOR® magazine.

With new members of Congress comes new Federal Political Coordinators (FPCs)

This week the new Federal Political Coordinators for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®, along with other policy and political leadership, attended the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) Annual REALTOR® Party Policy & Advocacy Conference and Training in Washington, D.C.  They were met with detailed agendas and presentations on everything from the current political climate and predictions of what will become priority issues in the 113th Congress, to detailed discussions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the future of conventional housing finance.

The Federal Political Coordinators (FPCs) who attended will work with the newly-elected members of Congress on issues that are priority for both NAR and the IAR. Illinois REALTOR® members, Bob Dohn, Cedrick Hunter, Tracey Taylor, Jeff Gregory and Matt Silver spent the first day learning what the key role of the FPC is and NAR expectations. They represent Congresspersons Tammy Duckworth, Danny Davis, Bobby Rush, Bill Foster and Brad Schneider respectively. They will play a key role in educating the members of Congress on the implications and impacts of legislation on real estate and property owners of all types.

IAR Fighting For You

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The IAR and NAR housing and finance policy team had the opportunity to meet with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan this week in Washington, including NAR staff Lora McCray; Illinois REALTORS® Mabel Guzman and Kay Wirth, leaders of the NAR Conventional Finance committee; IAR Housing Policy Advisor Sharon Gorrell and NAR's Charlie Dawson.


Wednesday’s agenda was packed with several experts in housing finance including academics, economists, Congressional staff and analysts who shared their thoughts and points to consider as the country moves forward and the real estate markets continue to slowly heal. Comments were made regarding the future of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), servicer issues related to short sales and foreclosure, HUD condominium problems, the Qualified Mortgage (QM) and Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rules in addition to capital markets and liquidity that affects both commercial and residential real estate.

These meetings helped prepare the FPCs, Political Action Committee Trustees, Policy Committee leaders and other attendees for the new legislative cycle and what resources are available from NAR. REALTOR® Party programs were explained and key NAR staff were on hand to present and answer questions on what the program includes.

Also present in D.C. were IAR members who serve in a variety of leadership capacities in NAR policy and advocacy including; John C. Kmiecik, Mike Drews, Chris Tenggren, Mike Onorato, Steve Volkadov, Mabel Guzman, Kay Wirth, Ed Neaves, Jean Crosby and IAR President Michael D. Oldenettel and IAR CEO Gary Clayton.