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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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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Building Stronger Communities...

Cinda Kelley-Hutchings

Today's blog post comes from a guest blogger, Cinda Kelley-Hutchings  who is the Executive Director of the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership. 

As local REALTORS® work every day to help families find the best homes in healthy neighborhoods, MIBOR is helping to build stronger communities. MIBOR and the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership (HCEDP) also work together to strengthen communities through a highly targeted approach that helps companies create jobs.

While the nation has struggled economically over the last five years, Hendricks County has enjoyed a net job growth. Like the nation, Hendricks County is primarily made up of small businesses, and HCEDP’s public entities and private partners such as MIBOR have developed programming to support these local employers. Locally based companies make up 61 percent of the Hendricks County businesses community, with 38 percent employing between 10 and 99 people (41 percent employ fewer than 10, and 9 percent are sole proprietors). Those three categories account for nearly 88 percent of jobs in Hendricks County.

In 2010, MIBOR asked HCEDP to implement the Edward Lowe Foundation program in Central Indiana, providing critical expertise to Stage II companies that are facing barriers to growth. Several companies have already been able to take advantage of no-cost expertise that helped them grow, create jobs, and make new investments in their communities.

HCEDP and the REALTORS® working through MIBOR are helping to create opportunities that will strengthen our communities and provide better lives for local residents today and for the next 100 years. We congratulate MIBOR on 100 years of community engagement and service, and are excited to work as your partner for many years to come. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Moving Forward...MIBOR Takes Transit

As champions for improving public transportation in our region, the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS® (MIBOR) staff walked the talk Wednesday, October 10th by commuting to and from work via various forms of public transit. Staff members who typically travel to the office by car experienced getting to work by IndyGo or the Indy Express Bus to highlight the advantages and challenges to our current infrastructure.

Seventeen MIBOR staff (65%) participated in the transit day. Some rode to and from work while others took the bus to and from meetings and lunch. 

Overall, the challenges noted were bus stop amenities like lack of shelters, sidewalks, etc. Staff members also faced longer commutes than usual, especially those coming from outlining areas of the city. Staff definitely noted a need for more frequency. In order to get to work on time, many of our staff had to start their day very early. The challenges reinforce our support for improving the built environment through Complete Streets and the Indy Connect Plan. 

Staffers were impressed by the safety and cleanliness of the busses. Many noted the camaraderie of the passengers and operators and the diversity of the riders. Staff also noted that the busses were full – many citizens rely on this mode of transportation. 

On transit day, staff members captured their experience in photos, tweets, Facebook posts, and e-mails.  

Here are some of their comments and photos:

Pat Cline - Strong ridership this AM, at lunch and now. It seems the demand for transit does exist in Indy. 

Tom Renkert - Nice quick trip on route 4B, did a bunch of email. Time well spent.

Lacey Everett - Easy trip to and from lunch. We're transit pros now!

Sara Laycock - Great 16 minute bus ride into the office. Hardest part was crossing at 20th & Capitol. Let's get more pedestrian friendly Indy!

Chris Pryor - Most riders are busy on laptops and iPads or their phones. One rider just told me this the most productive hour of her day.
Claire Belby – I was surprised how easy bus access way. There are lots of stops. The challenge of course is the limited scheduling. My travel time was long but I went to two distinct areas to drop off my kids - I was surprised at how easy the plan your route tool is online.

Kristi Howard – This commute is absolutely a realistic alternative for my family should we want to save money and go down to one car, or if someone had a car in the shop. 

Kari Smith – I liked to see the interaction among the people who seemed to be regulars. The bus drivers knew them and they all talked to each other as if they were friends.

Jenny Norris – What surprised me the most was the diversity of people on the bus…students, professional people in suits, all ages and all walks of life.

As we look forward to the 2013 legislative session, MIBOR will continue to be an advocate of enabling legislation for the authority to conduct referendums to dedicate local revenue to transit and moving the Indy Connect plan forward. MIBOR is vitally interested in the future of the communities where REALTORS® do business and believes the expansion of transportation infrastructure, including bus, light rail and bike/pedestrian pathways, is an important investment in the growth of local economy and the community-at-large in central Indiana.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Looking Back...MIBOR Political Advocacy

With all the talk of Super PACs and special interests during recent campaign cycles, it is easy to think that these things are a new phenomenon. Political activity has certainly amped up in recent years, but it isn’t a new game. 

In fact, recognizing the importance of having a voice and participating in politics isn’t new. Pericles famously recognized that “[j]ust because you don’t take an interest in politics, doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you” back when Ancient Greece was first toying with a new idea called “democracy.”

In present day, the same concept lives in the common political axiom that if you aren’t at the table, you’re on the menu.

This isn’t lost on REALTORS®.  I love history and was excited to get my hands on early drafts of MIBOR’s Centennial history book, REALTORS®: Opening Doors for 100 Years.  I am proud to work for MIBOR and wanted to learn more about the organization’s history. And while I shouldn’t have been, I was surprised to see page after page of stories detailing the political involvement of MIBOR and its members.

Reading the stories from the book about the origins of RPAC and the early days of political advocacy is both humbling and inspiring for me as MIBOR’s Political Affairs Liaison.  The books shares tales of REALTORS® working on the Fair Housing Act, advancing the rights of women and minorities, economic development and protecting and promoting home ownership.  It talks of our members working with LBJ, Nixon and a visit to one of our board meetings from Robert F. Kennedy.  When I sit in our board room, adorned with the portrait of every past president of MIBOR since 1912, it has a different feel than it did before reading the history; the portraits used to strike me as the kind of old timey photos* you might see at an antique store.

Instead, now I feel like a baseball fan in Cooperstown.  I see the faces of the giants who transformed the role of REALTORS® in the political arena.  I see the face of Delbert Ludlow, who worked with the Indianapolis Human Rights Commission during the civil rights movement.  Just above the spot on the wall where I’ve often stood while pouring myself coffee is the face of Fred “Bud” Tucker, Jr. who was one of 13 REALTOR® leaders from across the country who pushed to establish the REALTORS® Political Action Committee in 1969. While leading NAR, he emphasized the importance of RPAC and Governmental Affairs. He noted that “[t]he REALTORS® of America are in the business of politics and they are in it to stay.”

There are many more portraits on the wall of leaders whose stories are recounted in the book, and for each one of them are a dozen other men and women who worked alongside to advance the cause.  The history of REALTOR® involvement is interesting and humbling, but it also gives me a new perspective.  I see the scores of members who volunteer their time to interview candidates, fund raise for RPAC or meet with their town councilor, mayor or congressman regarding an issue. Often, it is easy to get caught up in the issue of the day – township government, rental registration agreements, TIF districts, the mortgage interest deduction, property assessments, etc. . . – but not recognize the big picture.  I love that I work for an organization that has long recognized the need to be a part of the political process. I see the commitment of the leadership and the members over the decades and I feel the passion when I talk to members who recognize the next hurdle and roll up their sleeves rather than assign blame.  
As MIBOR starts its second century, I enjoy knowing that the members who are currently writing RPAC checks or volunteering their times for an issue may be the same names listed on the first few pages of MIBOR’s bicentennial book.  Our political involvement is rich with history, but also has a bright future.

As the election season we’re currently enduring mercifully comes to an end in less than two weeks, it is comforting to know that the issues important to REALTORS® and homeowners are being advocated. Politics is a messy, and often ugly game, but it isn’t going anywhere. I’m just glad that the REALTORS® aren’t either.

*I’m only referring to the really old photos on the south side of the room, NOT the more recent photos. If you can read this, I’m not talking about you. Don’t hurt me. Please.

Pat Cline
MIBOR Political Affairs Liaison

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just 3: Featuring MIBOR President Debbie Morris

Recently we introduced a new feature to the blog called “JUST 3”. Periodically we’ll pose just three questions to someone who has something insightful to say about the MIBOR Centennial and the history of the real estate industry. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. If you want share you’re JUST 3 thoughts, let us know. Email Claire Belby with your ideas! 

Today we hear from Debbie Morris, 2012 MIBOR President. Being President in this milestone year offers a certain perspective. Here’s Debbie’s JUST 3…

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given about working as a REALTOR®?   
Treat every client as if they're your only client.

Describe a REALTOR® in three words.   
Trusted. Resourceful. Advisor    

What has been the most surprising thing about your (almost) year as MIBOR President?  
Having served as a Director and Officer, I knew that I would enjoy the Presidency, I just underestimated how much I would enjoy it. Steve Sullivan and the staff ensure that I'm prepared for the various meetings and media appearances so that I've been able to enjoy each opportunity. MIBOR Staff, the directors, and members have been so supportive during our very special Centennial Year, and I will step down in December with even more pride and respect for our association and its members than I had before!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Did you know?

MIBOR wasn't always MIBOR. In 1979, the Indianapolis Real Estate Board merged with surrounding counties resulting in a new name and logo for the organization.

Here is a look at the logo:

"Former Board President John Lewis recalled the shift, 'There was a big push from the Hamilton County Board, and that's what really made us decide to open up. Hamilton County was an attractive area to market real estate, and we wanted to be a part of that just as just as the Hamilton County Board wanted to work freely with the Indianapolis Board. So that was our first merger. From that point, it didn't really take long to realize the benefits of expansion outside all areas of Marion County. Soon we were merging with Johnson County, Hendricks County, and so on." -- excerpt from REALTORS®: Opening Doors for 100 Years.

Friday, October 5, 2012

JUST 3...

Starting today, we are introducing a new feature to the blog called “JUST 3”. Periodically we’ll pose just three questions to someone who has something insightful to say about the MIBOR Centennial and the history of the real estate industry. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. If you want share you’re JUST 3 thoughts, let us know. Email Claire Belby with your ideas. 

Today we start at the source of your association’s quintessential history, Todd Gould. Todd is an award-winning author and television producer/director. A graduate of the IU School of Telecommunications, he has produced documentaries and features for PBS, ESPN, the BBC, The Learning Channel and other national and international video distribution outlets. He is a 18-time Emmy Award winner and a six-time winner of the Indiana Film Society Award for “Best Documentary”. He is the author of REALTORS® Opening Doors for 100 Years and the producer of the video documentary of the same name (hint...available for sale in the REALTOR® Store). He is your historian and here are his JUST 3:

Did you have any professional experience telling the story of real estate or trade associations before taking on this project?
While I had done several historical projects that explored the history of the city of Indianapolis in a variety of videos and publications, I had never examined the growth of the city in such a dynamic and diverse way as when we first began doing research work on the MIBOR history project. It has been fascinating to learn how the social and cultural history of our city was shaped largely by the men and women of the real estate industry, and how cultural, social and political leaders followed this visionary blueprint for success that created the booming city and its amenities, which we all enjoy today.

What was similar about the MIBOR history to other projects you’ve worked on?
Typically with any interesting and expansive history such as this, there are a number of influential leaders and intriguing characters who share in the trials and triumphs of the industry and help chart a course for the future and shaped the who we are as Hoosiers and residents of the city of Indianapolis. The same holds true here. From James S. Cruse, the first president of the Indianapolis Real Estate Board in 1912, to other influential leaders with names like Tucker, Binford, McClain, Booth, Justus, Savage, Carr/Boyd, Graves, Hirt and many, many others, MIBOR has enjoyed a history as rich and colorful as any about which I've ever researched and published works.

What was the most surprising thing you learned about REALTORS® while writing the book or producing the video?
I was very impressed with the many, many ways in which real estate professionals played such a critical role in the development of the city. From the rise of an industrial power, to the growth of neighborhoods, to civil rights, to women's suffrage, to the rebirth of a city's identity, REALTORS® had a tremendous influence on each of these important areas of our city's growth. Their history parallels the history of all of us who proudly call Indianapolis "home." 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Then and Now...

The times may change, but some traditions live on. They just evolve. Check out this picture from a MIBOR Annual Ball of yesteryear compared to the 2012 event. Can you guess the year in our first photo?