Conor Brown was selected to the post over six other applicants. He most recently served as government affairs director for the Illinois Realtors Association. Brown succeeds Steve Bois, who has led the Realtors association since January 2008.
Brown is taking the helm of the group as the regions real estate market continues to rebound from the Great Recession. The average sale price of a single family home in the Rockford area in August was $144,141. That’s an increase of $11,062 compared to August 2017, and it’s the highest average sale price in the area since November 2007.
“The nice thing is we’re still in an incredibly affordable market,” Brown said. “You can come in here, buy a home, raise a family and really kind of make it your own.”
“It’s a systemic issue throughout the state and it’s something that we work on as part of a state association in addressing and even locally, we need to celebrate those taxing bodies that are willing to hold the line on their property tax levies.”
Brown has experience in real estate and public policy. He worked as a senior legislative assistant for former U.S. Rep. Donald Manzullo in Washington D.C. from 2001 to 2005. He then returned to Rockford to work as manager of government affairs at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.
Over the years, the Rockford Area Association of Realtors has supported a Homebuyers Property Tax Refund Program to help promote the sale of distressed properties in Rockford. The association has also endorsed a successful referendum to improve District 205 schools and athletic facilities and a 1 percent sales tax to repair city roads. Last spring, the association opposed the effort to restore the city of Rockford’s home rule authority.
The Realtors association will continue to be involved in key education, economic development and infrastructure issues in the region, Brown said.
“We’re going to continue to look at all of those tough issues,” he said. “We’re an organization that’s been in existence here in Rockford for over 100 years. We’re trying to look out for the next 100.”
“We believe that economic development is everybody’s responsibility,” Bois said. “As soon as everybody buys into that … all of our citizens in the community … we will thrive beyond what you can imagine.”
ROCKFORD – After more than a year of searching, Rockford Area Realtors finds its next leader from within.
It promoted former Government Affairs Director Conor Brown to CEO. He takes over for Steve Bois, who'd served in the position since 2008. The agency spent more than a year looking for a replacement. Brown says the area housing market has made great strides during Bois' tenure and he hopes to keep it going.
"We're looking at the future," said Brown. "There's going to be challenges. There's going to be threats. Some of it's going to be real estate focused. Some of it's just going to be community focused. We just want to have a seat at the table and problem solve and really what we can in terms of an impact with our community, or real estate market, and that's going to be our focus moving forward."
Brown says he'll work with the community and local government leaders to help drive the Stateline economy.