2020 was a year that none of us will forget. Although we weren’t able to be together physically, we stayed connected through our virtual events, charitable efforts, webinar courses and more. Thank you for helping ensure that, despite the challenges the world navigated, we were able to continue to support you, our members, as well as our communities. We can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store.
When COVID-19 hit, we pivoted our services remotely and never stopped working for you.
We’ve hosted over 120 free, virtual events since the stay-at-home order began in March based on the topics you told us you needed for your business.
If you missed any of these events, they can be replayed on-demand in our Video Resource Library.
We also hosted some of our most popular events virtually, including the 2019 Sales Awards and 137th Inaugural.
Our REALTORS® Real Estate School delivered the training you needed, when you needed it, seamlessly pivoting online and helping you navigate an extended continuing education season.
Over the summer, we brought in an unemployment specialist, Megan McGhee, to assist you with the unemployment benefits application process through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). She was available to answer your phone calls and emails; she also hosted multiple webinars with over 300 attendees to talk directly with you.
We ensured that impactful legislation that helped you continue to do business were responded to quickly efficiently, including:
- Real estate was deemed an essential service in Illinois.
- Remote notary services were made available.
- Advocated for continued funding for PPP and EIDL so small businesses could survive in the challenging economic environment created by COVID-19.
- Self-employed workers who lack the traditional W-2’s were included in government relief, including Unemployment Benefits.
- The Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Infrastructure Department included residential and commercial real estate services in their Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce guide.
- Proposals that would allow the government to take over rent and mortgage payments, cancel rent, impose rent control and more were refrained from becoming a reality.
- The Cook County Recorder of Deeds and Treasurers Offices continue to function online and remotely without significant holds or obscure requirements delaying transactions.
- Property owners have an additional two months to pay their 2nd installment of property taxes without penalties and late fees.
- The City continued to issue Full Payment Certificates, and that title companies and authorized users were able to continue to purchase and print stamps, so that closings were not interrupted or canceled, despite the physical closing of city offices.
- Online payment and certification of water meters continued to be available online and the DWM was available for questions, ensuring you were able to confirm parcels didn’t carry outstanding debt.
- Financial regulators were asked to aid efforts to reduce liquidity issues in mortgage markets that resulted in unnecessarily high requirements from lenders and raising costs for consumers. Government regulators were also asked to take action to improve liquidity and consumer access to credit.
- Emergency rental assistance and financial relief for rental property owners were lobbied for, to provide relief for missed rental effects which have cascading effecting on the rental housing industry, as well as state and local governments. On Monday, July 27, the City announced a $33 million fund to help renters pay approximately two months of past due rent.
And created calls for action for harmful legislation including:
- Opposing amendments to the Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance
- Opposing Cook County’s proposed Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance
We also continued our Coffee With Your GADs virtually with special guests like Assessor Fritz Kagei and Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough.
We reached out to you via flash surveys to find how your business was doing, how we could best assist you and to get your thoughts on the market.
Our magazine continues to be a go-to source for the latest tools, resources, industry news and member highlights. It’s made available by mail and online.
We connected with you on social media.
We were the voice of the real estate industry in Chicago by showcasing our members as local market experts:
- ABC 7: Homes are selling fast in Chicago, but suburbs are seeing biggest increase
- Chicago Sun Times: Stuck on ‘pause,’ housing market braces for virus’s impact
- Chicago Tribune: As real estate’s busy season winds up, here’s how to buy or sell a home during the coronavirus pandemic
- CBS Chicago: For Homebuyers, Virtual Tours Replacing In-Person Visits During COVID-19 Crisis
The Covid-19 Information You Needed, When You Needed It
Our COVID-19 webpage was frequently updated so you could keep on top of the updates, programs, guidelines and anything you needed to continue to transact safely and effectively.
We also released a COVID-19 Addendum to Purchase and Sales Contracts form to use along with existing contracts if delays occurred as a result of the pandemic.
Community Meals Fund
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we raised over $10,000 and provided over 1,000 meals to five different organizations with front line workers.
Member Care Task Force Outreach
The Member Care Task Force launched in mid-summer and began taking your requests for calls and emails to discuss questions, concerns or suggestions you have for the association.
To receive a call from the Member Care Task Force to discuss your comments or concerns, fill out this form.
When our communities were impacted by civil unrest, we sprang into action.
Clean-Up and Recovery Fund
To help rebuild neighborhoods that experienced damage after the civil unrest, the CAR Foundation and The 77 raised over $50,000 for clean up efforts, such as supplies and volunteer opportunities.
We also hosted multiple clean up days throughout the city for our members to lend a hand to the communities that were damaged by the events in the city.
Op-Ed on Race and Real Estate
Through the Chicago Tribune, we released an op-ed discussing the impact of racism on real estate, how it still is at play today and what we can do to help.
Race in Real Estate Webinars
We launched a series of webinars focusing on race in real estate where panelists discuss various issues, share stories and talk about potential solutions to combat discrimination and bias.
Through all of this, we were still able to continue growing as an association and providing you tools.
Forms & Contracts
11 forms and contracts were added or updated. Click here to view our Forms & Contracts page to access them.
We launched three exciting new products to help your business.
We launched three new member perks:
You proved your commitment to the highest levels of professionalism.
“NAR’s Commitment to Excellence endorsement was launched in 2020. It allows members to assess their expertise and professionalism, and help give insight into enhancing their skillset.
Sustainability Work Group
The Sustainability Work Group launched the new Ambassador Program to spread the word about sustainability in the industry and pledge to work towards a greener future. Click here to become an ambassador today!
We also developed handouts that can be shared with clients to gain more knowledge about sustainable homeownership. Download and share them with your clients here.
We also hosted sustainability-focused webinars throughout the year. Replay the events in our Video Resource Library.
Global Real Estate Council
The Global Real Estate Council took its conference virtual with six weeks of global-focused webinars and content.
Our Global Real Estate Council also received NAR’s Platinum Global Achievement Award for the third year in a row!
CommercialForum hosted regular webinars throughout the year, including the popular power lunches, that can be played back in our Video Resource Library.
And revamped and relaunched a monthly newsletter to keep our members up on everything happening in commercial real estate.
Young Professionals Network (YPN)
In 2020, our YPN committee:
Kicked off the year at Tao with our YPN Kick-Off Mixer.
Hosted six breakfasts.
- February: 2020 Top Producer Panel
- April: How to Navigate a Disrupted Market
- May: Chicago 30 Under 30 Panel
- June: Strategic Brand Presence
- July: Lending Updates in 2020
- August: Objection Handling
Developed the new Thrive series with 13 virtual interviews.
And hosted four motivational Get Your Mind Right Monday events. Click here to view them on our YPN Facebook page.
We helped support charities in the city as well as future and current careers throughout the industry.
The CAR Foundation raised:
Over the past year, the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation provided these donations to the following organizations:
We also debuted the Marki Lemons Ryhal Education Advancement Scholarship, which supports Black female candidates who are looking to obtain their real estate license OR attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).
To find out more about all the scholarships CAR offers or how to give to the foundation, click here.