Jeffrey Baker is CEO of Illinois REALTORS®, one of the largest and most influential trade groups in the state, representing 50,000 members engaged in all facets of the commercial and residential real estate industry.
Baker was appointed to his position in January 2021 after serving in various capacities with the association since 2014, including as the association’s associate general counsel and deputy CEO. He is just the fourth full-time leader of the association in its more than 100-year history.
Under his guidance, Illinois REALTORS® has stepped up efforts to protect private property rights, better train its members, diversify the industry and ensure that housing affordability and availability are the top issues of elected officials at the local and state levels. “We want to eliminate the barriers to the American dream of homeownership,” Baker says.
Illinois REALTORS® advocates at every level of government on behalf of brokers, homeowners, landlords, renters and businesses. In the past year, it has increased its educational commitment by doubling the number of minority scholarships and providing grants for brokerages to provide diversity, equity and inclusion training through a partnership with the Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation. In addition, through its committees, partnerships with industry groups and national and local associations, the organization is helping to develop, cultivate and advance future real estate leaders.
Baker also notes that Illinois REALTORS® is promoting the state’s commercial real estate sector to national and international investors.
The association will take even greater strides to show the importance of REALTORS®, Baker says. “Our members sell the value of homeownership and property ownership and business ownership every day, which means our members are unique in this country — there are not many other industries or callings in America where you can say you are responsible for making the American Dream happen.”