Linda Ehlers, Velur Enterprises
Primary Products & Services:Linda is a licensed Real Estate agent and certified Land Banking Specialist. She specializes in helping investors diversify their retirement funds with the intent of minimizing risk and maximizing ROI. Linda has been a wonderful advocate for the small business community and helps to get the word out and push for positive changes in Illinois. She is very active in our Southwest Suburbs Chapter.
How did you hear about the SBAC?:I originally learned about the SBAC at a large networking group that met at the Moraine Valley Community College’s Business Center in Palos Hills. It started up just as I was retiring from one profession after 30+ years into a new one as the only California based Certified Land Investment Specialist in Illinois.
Land banking is a very old fashion way to invest and it is based on a buy and hold strategy requiring a great deal of research in government, business and population trends to name a few areas. Most of my investors are new to this investment option and need to be educated and kept up to date. In my earlier profession I did large amounts of research and teaching, so transforming that experience into land banking was easy. Finding investors open to this investment strategy was an issue. Advertisements on TV, radio and magazines aren’t productive for me. One-on-one relationships are.
I went to make contacts and meet local business owners. I soon learned that the SBAC was more than an exchange-your-card club. They were really trying to make a difference for the business community and they wanted every business owner to contribute, not just their dues but their ideas and energy.
Why did you decide to join the SBAC?:I had been in the Chambers of Commerce in my area since 1982. I served every roll, from parade organizer to President. I tried my best to move these chambers from coffee clutches to activism for local businesses without affect. And I was frustrated with how ineffective the State COC was. I always felt that our local communities took advantage of small businesses, ignoring or being uneducated to the many issues that owners faced. City governing bodies simply couldn’t or wouldn’t understand many issues that slowed or stopped small business growth. Instead of seeing small local businesses as the capstone to a healthy thriving community most saw small business as a cash cow and an annoyance.
I wanted to be a part of a group that would give small business a political voice in my community. I have multiple degrees and my first was a BA in Political Science with a double major in Political Theory and Public Administration, so you can understand why I had and have a distinct leaning towards political activism.
My interest in the SBAC was natural. Shortly after joining, Elliott issued his open invitation to join the Policy Committee, I raised my hand. I saw being on the Policy Committee as great opportunity to work with like-minded owners to make life easier and more effective for us as a group. That was and is true.
Member Join Date:I believe I joined the second year SBAC was in existence.
How has the SBAC benefitted you and your organization?:I am an advocate of “A rising tide lifts all ships.” Although everything the SBAC strives to achieve does not benefit me directly, it does so by making the economy of my community healthier. I know I am doing something to make my state and our business community better, fairer and more productive. Financially comfortable investors are much more willing to learn about and invest in land, which is a long term investment.
I have made excellent contacts for my business. Because my service/product fits into a niche within in the Investment Community well established, intelligent investors are my best clients and referrals. The men and women in the SBAC are well educated, proactive and know their goals and plans for their future. That’s perfect for a land banking investor and for me as a land banking specialist.
My SBAC membership affords me the opportunity to both help my community – and Illinois certainly needs the help – and build my business too.