Six things to do six days before fall conference kickoff

Start double-checking the arrangements you’ve made to keep your business moving during the 2014 Illinois Association of REALTORS®’ Fall Conference & Expo because you officially have less than one week before it begins!

The Conference Registration Desk opens at 9 a.m. Thursday in foyer outside Room 375A in McCormick Place West.  IAR staff members will accept walk-in registrations and provide registration packets to attendees there.  The first event kicks off in Room 375C at 1:30 p.m.

Consult an electronic copy of the event program for ideas.

You can prepare today by making your own checklist. But veteran conference attendees might suggest:

  1. Downloading the free mobile app for your smartphone;
  2. Connecting with colleagues and friends ASAP via the app;
  3. Checking your transportation, parking and hotel arrangements;
  4. Coordinating sightseeing, restaurant and entertainment excursions with friends and family;
  5. Choosing Expo exhibitors to visit; and
  6. Selecting CE sessions (that require registration) or general sessions.

Are you ‘social’ enough to win the $100 Amazon gift card?

When you attend the 2014 IAR Fall Conference & Expo in Chicago, be sure to use the event app on your smartphone frequently so you’re eligible to win the drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card.

Starting as soon as you download the event app – do it now! — and continuing through 12:30 p.m. Sept. 6, the app will tally when attendees evaluate sessions, participate in conversations and share photos on the app.  Depending on what activity you perform, you’ll get between one and three points each time. You’ll be able to check running totals on the “Leaderboard,” and see who’s in the Top 20 along the way.

Then, at 1 p.m. Sept. 6, each of the Top 20 will have their names placed in a prize drawing and one lucky person will be randomly selected as the winner. That person will receive the Amazon gift card shortly after the drawing. The winner must be present at the drawing or another name will be chosen.

Remember that you can earn points for commenting, answering a survey or posting a picture on the app. IAR staff members will not be eligible to win.


Find great information and products at the Business Expo in Chicago Sept. 5-6

Download the free event app or visit the Virtual Expo page to get a better idea which exhibitors will have the information and products you’ll need at the Illinois Association of REALTORS® Fall Conference & Expo, Sept. 5-6, in Chicago.  Nearly 100 booths have been reserved in McCormick Place so far.

The Virtual Expo page of offers an alphabetical list of exhibitors, and so does the event app.  To download the app, visit or search for “Illinois Realtor Conference” in the App Store or Google Play. Either way, the app will allow you to review every session you attend, share photos and connect with our featured speakers and fellow REALTORS®.

Your registration for the Fall Conference automatically enters you into at least six prize drawings – but you must be present to win! If you haven’t registered yet, remember that walk-ins are welcome. Bring a copy of the $20 discount coupon and you’ll only pay $99 for a daily rate or $169 for the full conference registration!

Come join in the fun!


Congratulations to Fall Conference Winner Jessica Wilson #GameOnIAR

Congratulations to REALTOR® Jessica Wilson of Downers Grove, winner of an Illinois Association of REALTORS® Fall Conference package as part of the IAR new member campaign.

Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Jessica joined Wheaton-based Southwestern Real Estate in February.

Jessica won full registration to the IAR Fall Conference & Expo in Chicago on Sept. 4-6 along with a two-night stay at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.

Congratulations Jessica!

The contest may be over but you too can attend the IAR Fall Conference & Expo next week. Walk-ins are welcome and you can save $20 off the walk-in rate if you bring a coupon. That brings the full-conference rate down to $169 and the one-day rate to $99. Click here for the coupon and here to learn more about the event.


Attending your first fall conference can change your perspective

Talk to Wheaton REALTOR® Michael Parent if you want to know how attending his first IAR Fall Conference & Expo helped his career. Although he’s learned a lot in the 10-plus years that followed, understanding what customers value most has been one of the best benefits he could imagine. And even that definition has changed recently.

“These days, clients can get plenty of information on the Web,” he says. “But to make myself really valuable to my clients, I need access to information they don’t have.  And I need to share it with them.”

Parent estimates that the upcoming conference will be his 11th, but he’s excited about attending because he always learns something new. “When you haven’t gone to a conference before, you’re a little in the dark. You may be tempted to say you don’t have the time or you can’t afford it. But once you go, you realize there’s a lot more to this business than just residential sales. The strength of the state association is far-reaching and connects people from all over Illinois.”

In past conferences, Parent says the information provided in Legal Updates proved valuable, as well as explanations about how RPAC supports IAR members. He’s always brought back information to share with colleagues.  A member of the IAR Board of Directors for two years, Parent has served on numerous statewide committees since 2011, including two years on the working groups for: business issues/license law, political fundraising and the fall conference/inaugural gala.  He has served on the Young Professionals Network for five years.

He is also the current president of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® and is a broker with Coldwell Banker and vice president of operations for Burnet Title’s Chicago Region.

“If I met someone who wasn’t planning to attend the conference in September,” says Parent, “I would ask why.  Ultimately, what I’ve learned has inspired me to become more involved and made me more valuable to my customers.”

Parent hopes to see you at the conference in Chicago, where walk-ins are welcome.