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Welcome! In celebration of MIBOR's centennial, we are going to post 100 blogs in 2012! We have a LOT of great things to share with you.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Look Back on REALTORS® Black History

While the country celebrated black history in the month of February, we also reflected on decades of strained race relations. The Fair Housing Act was signed into law in 1968 — a short 44 years ago. Prior to that, the experience of black and other minority REALTORS® was greatly different than today.

Throughout the 1950s, the Indianapolis Board of Realtors – what we know today as MIBOR – subscribed to an unwritten rule that no REALTOR® could show and sell majority owned homes to “colored families” unless two or more other colored families lived on the same block.

Minority groups were forced into segregated neighborhoods across Indianapolis, and minority agents were forced to improvise in order to help their clients buy and sell homes. They would knock on doors; make phone calls or simply show up to addresses listed in the Sunday paper to see if families were looking to sell their houses.  

Agents were constrained in other ways as well. Prior to the signing of the Fair Housing Act, it was common practice that minority real estate agents only worked for minority-owned firms.  Moveover, the minority agents were not members of the Indianapolis Real Estate Board. Therefore, agents did not have access to the Board’s listings.

When I joined the industry in 1977, there had been a housing discrimination lawsuit filed with the Human Rights Commission. I was asked by the executive director of the Commission to apply to a local white/majority-owned real estate company to test their hiring and office policies. I was warmly received by that company and offered the opportunity to join a handful of other minority REALTORS® in central Indiana to prove myself as a REALTOR®. Actions by the Human Rights Commission caused many majority-owned companies to take a positive approach toward equal housing by promoting and displaying the Equal Housing logo sign in their office and marketing materials.

Robbie Williams and Beth Blake
Celebrate MIBOR's Centennial
at the 2012 Centennial Celebration.
Our centennial year has been a time of much reflection. In recalling our history, we know this painful past is part of the industry and societal reality of that time. Today, it’s exciting to know that anyone can freely choose to find meaningful work by serving their communities as a REALTOR®. I’m proud to say that we’ve accomplished much in these short years. In the month of February, we celebrated those who worked in a less open, fair and just environment, battling for equal rights and equal housing opportunities. Today’s REALTORS® have the choice and satisfaction of serving communities ALL throughout the state.  

Robbie Williams, 
Member and former Director, 
Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS®

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our Next Generation of Leaders...

As we celebrate our Centennial this year, looking back on the progress we've made, it is natural to look forward as well. What will the next 100 years bring? Who are our next generation of leaders, and how can this organization and its members prepare them for the future?

Maybe you have heard of the Young Professionals Network (YPN) … maybe you haven’t.  Regardless if you have or have not, now is a great opportunity to take a brief inside look at what’s developing from inside the walls of your organization. 

MIBOR developed the YPN group in 2010 to provide young real estate professionals an avenue to network, educate and engage in community service. Since its inception, YPN leadership has held a host of successful educational and networking events. 

As with any developing committee there comes a time to meet at the crossroads to reassess goals, and YPN has reached that point. On April 2, 2012, YPN leadership is interested in hearing from you, while providing an educational opportunity. During this hour-and-a-half discussion, we invite you to discuss how you would like to see the future of MIBOR YPN. We want to ensure that members get the best use of time during engagement opportunities.

If you can’t attend the event, or you don’t want to wait until April 2, feel free to submit your YPN growth thoughts and ideas by commenting below or by emailing Ericka Wheeler at

The success of the next generation of real estate professionals is important to MIBOR and what better way to uplift, celebrate and encourage this group than through YPN. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Many Paved the Way

It’s obvious so much about the real estate business has changed. The way transactions are handled, the speed of information, the access to data and so much more. While it’s easy to think about that in abstract ways, how often do we reflect on the people who ushered those changes? Change and progress doesn’t happen in a vacuum, someone – or many someones – have to drive change.

Have you ever thought about the firsts in this industry? The first woman to lead the Board, the first local leader to serve the national association, the first multiple listing service, the first lockbox system. Who were those people and who was behind those monumental industry revolutions? So many firsts with rich, powerful stories make the industry you enjoy today.

Beth Blake, our Centennial Chair,
flips through the pages of
MIBOR history.
We kicked off the centennial year by publishing the organization’s first comprehensive history. In book and video format the work, REALTORS®: Opening Doors for 100 Years, shows those stories in vivid detail through many first or secondhand accounts of how the ideas were sparked and who lead the idea into reality resulting in progress and thus a new way of doing business.

How much do you know about those who paved your way? Have you heard of Helen Hirt, Bud Tucker, Mary Binford, Bruce Savage, Dick Nye, Aileen Klaiber, James Cruse, Elizabeth Booth, or Bruce Savage? Looks like you have some reading to do… 

Friday, February 17, 2012

How 'Hoosier Love' becomes a gift to the region...

We've been talking about it a lot...the "Hoosier Love Video Contest" at You've heard about it through e-mail, tweets, Facebook posts, this blog, and even on TV.

So, what are we doing?

We're asking citizens to tell us why they love central Indiana, and offering a grand prize of $5,000. We've received great responses so far, so we're boosting the competition by extending the deadline to Feb 27! The grand prize winner will be announced at the Central Indiana Housing Summit on March 13. (Register today!)

Why are we doing this? What does the Hoosier Love video contest have to do with the Central Indiana Housing Summit, and how does 'Hoosier Love' become a gift to the region?

Here's the plan:

After we announce the grand prize winner at the Housing Summit on March 13, we will start production on a 30-second professionally-produced video, based on the winner's concept, that our economic development partners and community groups can use to promote the region. The finished product will be a creative gift to those who better our communities, bring more jobs, employees and economic vitality to our region, thus strengthening our housing market.

The finished product is our gift to the region, in celebration of MIBOR's centennial. It's a gift that can be used in a variety of ways, all focused on continuing to move central Indiana forward.

That is why we're asking members to refer clients to submit videos. We want to hear from the people you've helped establish roots in our region; the individuals and families who have chosen to live here. So be sure to tell you family, friends and clients about this opportunity! (Your referrals qualify you for a drawing for Indianapolis 500 Race Day Tickets!)

And that's not all that will happen at the summit this year.

The Central Indiana Housing Summit, on March 13, is also second-half of 'The Region is Our Product' discussion that began this past November through MIBOR's first webinar.

We'll focus on how central Indiana is positioned to compete in the arenas of community development, economic development and homeownership. We'll hear from a panel of regional experts including Todd Sears, Chief Financial Officer at Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc.; Drew Klacik, Policy Analyst with IUPUI's Center for Urban Policy and the Environment and Mark Miles, President and Chief Executive Officer with the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

Then we'll hear from two MIBOR Past-Presidents, Larry Mitchell and Pat Williams, who will highlight how this information is relevant to you.

You definitely don't want to miss out - register for the summit today, and keep spreading the word about "Hoosier Love"!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Power of Collaboration

Earlier this month, I attended the opening of the Chase Legacy Center, the new community center on the campus of Arsenal Technical High School on Indianapolis’ Near Eastside. It’s one of the signature achievements of the Super Bowl festivities. A crowning achievement, really, particularly for the residents and future residents of a neighborhood that has never before been graced with a rec center, YMCA or Boys and Girls Club.

As I stood listening to the Tech drum line bring the place to life and the dignitaries comment, one after another, about the impact the place will have on a neighborhood and its families, I felt pride (and a tear or two) to be there on behalf of REALTORS® and all the affiliated real estate professionals who know a thing or two about neighborhoods and families. It’s true that the Legacy Center is not part of MIBOR’s Centennial Building a Living Legacy project. Building a Living Legacy is about homes and the stability and security that comes from waking up each morning in a place that allows you to know that anything good you want for your life is achievable. The Center is part of the package, however. Just like the Building a Living Legacy homes are part of the package. Each is part of this sense of place; a place that has been energized and ignited because many people and many groups of people cared and then collaborated.

That’s what hit me the most on the day of the Legacy Center opening. REALTORS® have not only understood the need to help others, but the power of collaboration in order to achieve great things for others since the beginning of their organized history 100 years ago. The REALTOR® Foundation has been the leader in that effort for more than 25 of those years, providing structure to the way the real estate community helps others, but is was happening long before that.

Being part of the team that compiled the history for the book and video that celebrate MIBOR’s Centennial allowed me to see in the early copies of the minutes and in so many photos that REALTORS® never really wanted to do it all themselves. They collaborated in those very early years and in all the years since with builders, affiliates, chambers of commerce, government and so many others to create an industry that helps families and neighborhoods. It’s a great model that continues today. The power of collaboration is real and tangible. If you want to see an amazing example, drive through St. Clair Place to see the renovated Legacy homes, new street lamps and sidewalks and stop by the Legacy Center on Tech’s campus. You’ll see it around you. 

Claire Belby
Communications Director, MIBOR

Friday, February 10, 2012

This week's Hoosier Love contest winner is...

Tannika’s “Why I love central Indiana”!

Congratulations to Tannika for the being our first week’s Hoosier Love video contest winner! Tannika will receive a $500 cash prize for her “Why I love central Indiana” entry, and a chance at winning $5,000 announced at the Central Indiana Housing Summit on March 13, 2012 at the Indiana Convention Center. 
We are looking forward to next week and expect the competition to become much more artistic, inspiring and innovative. So, what should you do? Continue to encourage your clients and friends to enter at! Closing on a deal? Encourage your client to make a video and submit it - they could win some extra cash to buy that great new TV for the new place! 
Plus, we want to reward you too! Your referral makes you eligible for entry into a drawing for Indy 500 Race Day tickets! Members are also welcomed and encouraged to submit a video. You definitely know what makes central Indiana shine, so tell us! Please note, members are not eligible for the weekly or grand prizes. 
Take a look at to see the contest submissions (including this week's winner!). We also have a playlist of "Hoosier Love at the NFL Experience" submissions - definitely watch those, they're great!
Tell us what you think about Hoosier Love on Twitter and Facebook. Help us push out the details to keep the momentum going!
By the way, save the date for the Central Indiana Housing Summit on March 13 from 9 - 11 a.m. Registration opens next week!
Now go out and show some Hoosier Love!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Celebration Has Begun!

More than 500 people turned out for the Centennial Celebration in January. That’s over 100 more attendees than last year. It’s evidence that people are jumping on the Centennial bandwagon. 

It was great see so many people enjoying themselves and each other at the event. Within the context of the sponsor video, one of the sponsors commented that the best thing about an event like the Celebration is that with the business becoming increasingly remote, digital and impersonal we all need that chance to reconnect with each other.

The MIBOR Board of Directors and the REALTOR Foundation
Board of Directors join together for a toast to kick off the
Centennial Celebration and commemorate 100 years of opening doors. 

That was definitely one of the goals of the event that served to kick off your centennial year. How do you think it worked? You know the saying, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.