Three Rivers REALTORS® help grow local farmers’ market

Ribbon Cutting Coal City farmers market

The Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® used an NAR Placemaking Grant to help ensure a successful inaugural farmers’ market in Coal City. The $1,200 micro grant covered the costs of professional tents which housed the vendors for the market.

Five REALTORS® participated in the ribbon cutting and volunteered on opening day, July 16: Jim Sim (Three Rivers President), Mike Onorato (Illinois Director and past Three Rivers President), Lori Bonarek and Jim Ludes (Three Rivers Board Members) and Beth Stopka (Three Rivers Governmental Affairs Committee Member).

Nine vendors used the tents purchased with the micro grant, and because of the huge turnout from the community many of the vendors had to call in more stock before the day was through.

Press Clip Coal City Courant“It was an event which absolutely transformed Campbell Memorial Park,” said Gideon Blustein, local Governmental Affairs Director. “Residents came together, bought local healthy products, enjoyed performances from local entertainers and took pride in their community. The event received local press and REALTOR® participation was noted.”


Dialogue, bi-partisanship just two reasons why Illinois REALTORS will go to both national political conventions

Monday kicks off a two-week period of national political conventions and Illinois REALTORS® will go to the Democratic and Republican events to:

  • get unique dialogue with party leaders, particularly Illinois leaders;
  • continue the relationship-building process with those leaders;
  • demonstrate the bi-partisan nature of our association; and
  • show our support of the process by sponsoring events at each convention.

Get a feel for the experience by watching the video featuring Greg St. Aubin and Julie Sullivan.

In other news this week:

Illinois REALTOR® advocacy helps push Senate approval of HR 3700; and

PAAR CEO Hancock receives Rhino Award for association leadership.


Three Rivers sponsors conference for Joliet-area landlords

Three Rivers Landlord Conference photo

(l to r) TRAR CEO David McClintock, Joliet Director of Neighborhood Services Alfredo Melesio, Sue Miller, Local GAD Gideon Blustein, TRAR President Jim Sim

The Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® (TRAR) helped facilitate an area landlord conference for the City of Joliet and McHenry REALTOR® Sue Miller gave an encouraging keynote message July 11 and 12.

About 400 Joliet-area landlords attended the event, which TRAR helped fund through a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Diversity Initiative Grant.

The City of Joliet reached out to Local Governmental Affairs Director Gideon Blustein in December 2015 for help in securing a speaker who could discuss: the local rental market, the financial benefits of capital investments/beautification and new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) guidance on criminal background checks for housing providers.

After a short search, the TRAR Board identified Miller, Managing Broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell’s McHenry office, a continuing education and pre-license trainer who owns or manages more than 50 commercial and residential units. NAR awarded the grant to cover Miller’s speaking fees and to help promote the REALTOR® brand. Illinois REALTORS® can help the housing community interpret and practice diversity initiatives, understand local, state and federal fair housing laws and understand HUD’s concerns about criminal background checks.

Conference attendees included licensed REALTORS®, and landlords with a wide range of  managing responsibilities: from one unit to hundreds of units. All attendees walked away with a better understanding of HUD’s new guidance and good news about their market. “You got a 12 percent raise this year, that’s good news!” stated Miller when referencing the increased values in the Joliet market. With only a 1.4 month absorption rate in the rental market and a limited number of rentals, she said beautifying and investing in properties now will lead to stronger neighborhoods and higher rents.

Important dates for Illinois REALTORS® as November elections approach

usa 2016 vote


From now through mid-November, Illinois REALTORS® need to remember these dates so they can fully participate in local, state and federal elections.

July 18-21 – Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

July 25-28 – Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa.

The following information is from the Illinois State Board of Elections:

Aug. 10 – First day for registered voters to request vote by mail applications.

Sept. 29 – First day for early voting at the office of the election authority and temporary locations.

Oct. 11 

VOTE - Make the REALTOR Voice Heard– The last day for regular registration or transfer of registration within the offices of the election authority.  Grace period registration and voting available after this date.

– The first day registered Illinois voters who have moved outside their precinct within 30 days prior to a presidential election may apply to the election authority for vote by mail ballots (president and vice president only).

– Last day unregistered citizens temporarily living outside the U.S. can simultaneously apply for vote by mail registration and vote by mail ballots. (Registration is not required for those who request ballots for federal offices only.)

Oct. 24 – First day for early voting at permanent polling places other than the office of the election authority. These polling places are to be open holidays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Oct. 25 – First day qualified voters who are admitted to hospitals, nursing homes or rehabilitation centers not more than 14 days before an election can apply for vote by mail ballots.

Oct. 31 – Last day for members of the United States Service and family members and non-resident civilians to request vote by mail ballots.

Nov. 3

– Last day for registered voters in the U.S.  to apply for vote by mail ballots.

– Last day for physically incapacitated voters to apply to vote in person at a federally operated veteran’s homes, hospitals or facilities of residence. Voting will take place on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday before the general election.

Nov. 7

– Last day for nursing home voting, early voting at office of election authority

– Last day physically disabled voters can request curbside voting.

– Last day registered voters can request vote by mail ballots in person.

– Last day registered voters who have moved outside a precinct within 30 days can request vote by mail ballots for presidential elections only.

Nov. 8 – General elections and last day of grace period registration and voting.

Signing up for REALTOR® Party text alerts has never been easier

CFA gridIllinois REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® encourage you to sign up for text alerts on your mobile device. It’s easy to sign up and once you’re enrolled, the text messages quickly let you know when you need to respond to a Call For Action.

Join your colleagues, friends and association leaders! Text REALTORS to 30644 to get Call For Action alerts or fill out the online form.

Did you know that so far Illinois has the highest percentage of members who’ve responded to the HR 3700 Call For Action?  Our participation in the text alert program is certainly no coincidence. See the attached chart.

Don’t be the last person to know! Sign up for mobile text alerts today!