REALTORS® in Chicago and the surrounding areas will soon have a chance to eliminate a major pain point in providing services to clients.
The Professional Service Parking Permit, introduced by City Clerk Susana Mendoza and unanimously passed by the City Council in November, is available to licensed brokers and leasing agents, and allows for parking for business purposes in any residential parking permit zone between 9AM and 9PM, seven days a week, with the exception of bus lanes, metered parking, loading zones or disabled parking, and sporting or other special events. It launches as a two year pilot program beginning April 18.
The Professional Service Parking Permit is a direct result of years of lobbying and advocacy work by the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.
In the early 2000s, the idea for a REALTOR® sticker first percolated and was subsequently adopted. Because REALTORS® provide tax revenue and improve communities, there was a strong reason to believe the city would be open to a special permit. But the initial program was limited in use to only City residents and prohibitive in its operating hours, thus the City ceased the program.
The permit program as approved today has immeasurably improved upon the initial program’s weaknesses. The extension of the hours of use to seven days a week, twelve hours a day, gives REALTORS® greater flexibility in addressing and serving their clients’ needs, and the inclusion of suburban agents in the new program makes this a multiboard benefit and opens up opportunity in the region for agents to serve clients outside of their usual markets.
“This is a tremendous example of the importance of REALTOR® advocacy in improving the climate for brokers to succeed,” Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, said. “The professional service parking permit strengthens our real estate agents’ abilities to serve their communities, gives them flexibility in bringing services to their clients and, in the long run, saves them money.”
“REALTORS® have a friend in City Clerk Susana Mendoza,” Brian A. Bernardoni, Senior Director of Government Affairs at C.A.R., said. “She knew well the issues with the first permit and led the way to develop a meaningful program for our members and their clients.”
Advocates of the program also note the parking permit could count as a deductible business expense, and advise REALTORS® to talk to their tax professional as to how much they can write off.
Managing brokers will also be able to purchase permits on their agents’ behalf, with copies of pocket cards and VINs.