Protect yourself from cyber criminals by attending this free webinar

October is full of scary things: Halloween. TV Talk Show Host Day.

But one thing that’s truly frightening is making a mistake that sends your personal data into the hands of someone who will use it for ill.

IAR is marking national Cyber Security Awareness Month with a webinar provided through the Department of Homeland Security’s “Stop. Think. Connect.” campaign. IAR members can join the event, to be held 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014. Speaking will be Kristina V. Dorville, who works with Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division.

To register, go here.

And to learn more about how to protect yourself, go here.

What Illinois REALTORS® need to know about getting a Florida real estate license

If you are a licensed broker or managing broker in Illinois, and have considered moving to Florida or maybe one day taking advantage of their warm winter months – you now have the opportunity to obtain a similar license in Florida.

That’s according to Illinois Association of REALTORS® Education Manager Carrie Elliott, who says the agreement between the two states is not the same as reciprocal programs Illinois has with other states. Florida has a “Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)” with Illinois.

“The agreement between the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is most attractive to Illinois licensees who plan to retire or spend winter months in Florida but have not yet purchased property there,” says Elliott. “Florida refers to the agreement as a Mutual Recognition Agreement and requires broker and managing broker candidates to meet four qualifications for an equivalent license.”

Illinois brokers and managing brokers seeking Florida licenses must:

  •  Be 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  •  Possess a valid and current Illinois license, be active and in good standing.

They can’t:

  •  be a Florida resident at time of application.
  •  claim mutual recognition if they obtained their license in the mutual state by reciprocity.

The agreement allows Illinois licensees to sit for the Florida state-specific law examination.  You are required to still complete post-license education.  These requirements include:

  •  Due prior to the first renewal period.
  •  Newly Licensed Brokers – equivalent to the Salesperson category in Florida – need 45 classroom hours of education
  •  Newly Licensed Managing Brokers – equivalent to the Broker category in Florida – are required to complete at least 60 classroom hours of education.

“In summary, the agreement with Florida recognizes the education and experience earned in Illinois to obtain Illinois licenses, but once licensed by mutual recognition in Florida, licensees will be required to complete the post-license requirements regardless of the type of license they seek,” Elliott says. “We are in the process of researching sites that offer practice exams and/or study materials for the Florida state-specific exams and will add that information to our website for future reference.”

Florida has mutual recognition with eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Move, Inc. to be bought by News Corporation for $950 million

Sign outside Move Inc's headquarters. (Source: Move Inc./LinkedIn page.)

Move Inc., the parent of REALTOR.com, will be bought by News Corporation for $950 million in cash, it was announced this morning.

The sale caps months of widespread changes in the industry. Zillow bought Trulia two months ago, creating a real estate search giant.

Details are here in the New York Times.

From the statement released by the companies: “This acquisition will accelerate News Corp’s digital and global expansion and contribute to the transformation of our company, making online real estate a powerful pillar of our portfolio,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “We intend to use our media platforms and compelling content to turbo-charge traffic growth and create the most successful real estate website in the US. We are building on our existing real estate expertise and expect to leverage the potential of Move and its valuable connections with Realtors® and consumers around the country.”

Move, founded in 2006,  is based in San Jose, Calif. In addition to REALTOR.com the company operates HomeInsight, Top Producer, ListHub and SocialBio, according to the company’s LinkedIn page.

RPAC Trustees identify pro-REALTOR® candidates

The Illinois REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) provides direct contributions to pro-REALTOR® candidates and – for REALTOR® candidates who face tough challenges – provides grassroots support to urge IAR members to vote for those candidates.  Deemed “Opportunity Races,” these candidates are selected by the RPAC Trustees following input from the local Association where the candidate is running.  Some of these candidates are incumbents and others are running in “open seats” where there is no incumbent.  Candidates selected are pro-business, pro-private property rights, low tax and pro-growth position on issues that affect the business of real estate.

We encourage IAR members to vote for “Opportunity Race” candidates in the Nov. 4 General Election.  In the Illinois House, the pro-REALTOR® candidates are:

  • Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R) 20th District;
  • Candidate Margo McDermed (R) 37th District;
  • Rep. Anna Moeller (D) 43rd District;
  • Rep. Sheri Jesiel (R) 61st District;
  • REALTOR® Rep. Sam Yingling (D) 62nd District;
  • Rep. John Anthony (R) 75th District;
  • Rep. Mike Unes (R) 91st District;
  • Candidate REALTOR® Mark Batinick (R) 97th District;
  • Candidate Kristin Williamson (R) 103rd District; and
  • Rep. Dwight Kay (R) 112th District.

In the Illinois Senate, RPAC recommends:

  • Sen. Mike Jacobs (D) 36th District; and
  • Sen. Andy Manar (D) 48th District.

Make sure you register by Oct. 7 and vote on Nov. 4!  Early voting begins on Oct. 20.

Disclosure: 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.

Are you ready for this week’s open house?

If you’re preparing an open house this weekend, take steps to make sure the event is safer for you and your associates.  In the spirit of REALTOR® Safety Month, here are seven ideas provided by the National Association of REALTORS®:

  1. Arrange to have multiple REALTORS® work an open house at the same time.
  2. Program emergency numbers into mobile phones before opening to the public.
  3. Check your cell phone’s signal strength before the event begins.
  4. Check all rooms for escape routes and make sure deadbolt locks are unlocked.
  5. If the back yard has a fence, unlock the gates.
  6. Always walk behind potential customers and gesture for them to enter rooms ahead of you.
  7. Tell a friend, relative or someone in your office that you will call in every hour on the hour; otherwise, they should call you.

Get more ideas about open houses, the safe use of social media, safety at the office and safety at home.