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Standing Up for Chicago

by Chicago Agent

By Ginger Downs, RCE, CAE, IOM
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Association of Realtors

We Realtors have a well-established history of standing up for our communities, in good times and bad. In the preamble of our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, it is stated that, “Realtors should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms and the preservation of a healthful environment … In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public and each other, Realtors continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others.”

This is what led us to City Hall on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008, where the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR) and eight local organizations denounced the proposed Real Estate Transfer Tax that, if passed,* will increase the transfer tax on all Chicago real estate transactions by 40 percent. Our chances were slim, but still we fought hard, through advertising campaigns and media and community outreach and a press conference on the Mayor’s doorstep imploring aldermen to hear our voices.

The tax increase may pass, or it may not. Regardless of the end result, we stood our ground and proudly advocated on behalf of this city’s great citizens. This was not the first time, nor will it be the last, that Chicago’s Realtors fight to keep the city of Chicago a great place to live, work and play. Government advocacy is only one of the many ways CAR serves our communities and their residents. Others include:

Education: Informative courses on foreclosures, eco-friendly real estate and other pertinent topics are regularly offered to the public through our Realtors Real Estate School. Visit www.chicagorealtor.com/education for a full course listing and information on registration.

Business Ethics: NAR’s Code of Ethics is the one factor that distinguishes Realtors from other real estate agents. All Realtors are required to complete Code of Ethics training and renew their training once every four years. Members in violation of this requirement are subject to suspension.

Community Outreach: Whether manning a booth at Fiesta del Sol in the summer, building and renovating homes with Habitat for Humanity or coaching a little league team, our Realtors are active members of the communities that they serve.

Our Code of Ethics mandates that we hold ourselves to the highest standards of conduct. Yet, there are additional values which all Realtors hold dear that you won’t find in a handbook: community pride and good citizenship. These qualities cannot be taught in a classroom; they are learned on the streets of our great city and in interactions with the people we represent. We share in our clients’ joy when they complete a sale. We listen to their frustrations when things don’t go as planned, and work collectively toward a suitable solution.
We stand up at City Hall and on the streets, through economic boom and recession, and we will always remain standing for ethical practice, for homeownership, for Chicago and for its people.

*The Real Estate Transfer Tax did pass on Feb. 6, and will go into effect on April 1, 2008.

THE CHICAGO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (CAR), “THE VOICE FOR REAL ESTATE IN CHICAGO” SINCE 1883, REPRESENTS THE BUSINESS INTERESTS OF MORE THAN 16,000 REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS IN CHICAGOLAND. CAR IS LED BY A VOLUNTARY BOARD OF DIRECTORS, ELECTED BY THE MEMBERSHIP, WHO WORKS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH A PROFESSIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF.

COPYRIGHT 2008 AGENT PUBLISHING LLC

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