News from the Chicago Chapter
By Kris Cramer, CPM®
Colliers International, Senior Property Manager
IREM Region 9 Vice President
In 2020, long-time IREM Chicago leader Kris Cramer, CPM® began a new chapter in her service to the organization by taking on the position of Region 9 Vice President. We asked Kris to share thoughts on her accomplishments as 2019 chapter president, the state of the industry and her new role as Regional VP.
What were the most noteworthy achievements during your 2019 term as IREM Chicago Chapter President?
There were several. I was able to gather presidents from all CRE associations in metropolitan Chicago for two meetings and conference calls. And, we recently met with the officers who finished their terms and the incoming 2020 Presidents in order to keep the lines of communication going. We addressed topics that are critical to commercial real estate: Cook County property taxes, parking garage operating taxes, the proposed rent control legislation and other issues. Earlier this year, the leadership and staff conducted a marketing/branding analysis for the Chicago Chapter. From the that research, we identified these goals: Learn the other organizations where our members had an affiliation in order to get them more involved with IREM Chicago; determine where we need to concentrate recruiting activities to gain new members; and identify the kinds of incentives we can offer members to keep them interested and involved.
How did serving a second term as President benefit you as a property management professional?
It was a smoother transition since I served as president in 2014. You know to concentrate on tackling a few more important items and get them accomplished, rather than trying to take on every challenge and task.
How can IREM Chicago play a greater role in the overall metropolitan Chicago property management industry?
This is something we discussed and will continue to work on in 2020 by using the market research obtained during our work sessions in 2019. Also, we plan to continue hosting events with other CRE associations.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing property management professionals and the assets they are charged with managing in the years ahead?
From a political perspective, the key issues revolve around the tax policy, labor laws and new environmental regulations. From a technology perspective, the increase in new technology may decrease the number of people needed to manage an asset. All property managers today must keep abreast of developments related to tenant and engineering software and building automation systems.
In 2020, you will begin your role as Regional VP for IREM. How did your service with IREM Chicago prepare you for this new challenge?
I am very excited to begin my journey as the new RVP for Region 9. I feel prepared because I have attended global and regional events over the years. I have already been able to meet and interact with many of the chapter Presidents I will be working with over the next two years. Being a past President of IREM Chicago will help me understand what they are going through, even though there will be differences. IREM Chapter membership varies greatly, with Chicago being the largest with close to 600 members and one chapter with 50 members. I am hoping to deliver resources and solutions in order to help all chapters obtain and retain members.