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GBREB NEWS

MEMBER RESOURCES

Information is rapidly changing.  GBREB will update this post as new information becomes available. There's a lot of information about government's response to COVID-19, however we have narrowed the focus of this page to issues impacting the real estate industry to serve as a resource for our members. 

Additional information, including legal advisories are available to members here .

MASSACHUSETTS EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND ADVISORIES
Mortgage Loan Borrowing , Division of Banks 3/25/20
Constuction Letter With Guidance  3/25/20
COVID-19 ESSENTIAL SERVICES  Order of  the Governor Assuring Continued Operation Of Essential Services  
Essential Services FAQ
SMOKE ORDER Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Inspections for One and Two-Family Dwellings and Three to Five-family Apartment Buildings
Standing Order Housing Court
DHCD Resources For Renters and Homeowners

BOSTON EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND ADVISORIES
Guidelines For Open House and Apartment Showing Policy
Construction Notice 3/25/20
Construction Permitting 3/16/20

DIVISION AND AFFILIATE RESOURCE PAGES

Building Owners and Managers, BOMA Boston, BOMA International
Multifamily Apartments, Massachusetts Apartment Association, National Apartment Association   
REALTORS, Greater Boston Association of REALTORS, Massachusetts Association of REALTORS, National Association of REALTORS
Commercial Brokers Association
Real Estate Finance Association






COVID-19
GBREB
 

GBREB News

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COVID-19 Resources for the BOMA CRE Community

BOMA Boston updates this page regularly with local, national, and real estate news, notices, and resources. 

New:
BOMA International Analysis of Federal government's CARES Act for Commercial Real Estate. Read now
Local legal analysis of rent collection issues during COVID-19. Read now
Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers - 3/28. Read now
Local legal analysis of Massachusetts "essential services" for Commercial Real Estate. Read now
NAA new COVID-19 federal laws. Watch now
BOMA International tenant FAQ. Read now 
Massachusetts construction and worksite guidelines. Read now

Resources:

BOMA International Resources center
BOMA International Building checklist 
CDC guidance for businesses
BOMA Canada Pandemic Guide
BOMA International Twitter - many helpful news stories and updates from around the web
Maa.gov Resources and news 
*Highly recommended - InspiRE Thought Leadership Series: COVID-19 

Webinars
BOMA International Webinar - Maintaining Building Operations and Preparing for Re-Occupancy - 3/26 - Watch now
BOMA Georgia Webinar  - Improving your Effectiveness as a Remote Employee - 3/25
BOMA Georgia Webinar - Effectively Managing and Leading Remote Employees - 3/26
BOMA/Georgia Coronavirus Webinar in Partnership with APIC - 3/12
BOMA/Seattle-King County Coronavirus Webinar with Building Operations Focus - 3/17
BOMA Canada's Lessons from the Frontlines: Responses to Recent Coronavirus Cases in Commercial Office Buildings Webinar - 3/16
Bisnow Webinar Managing Properties in the Age of Coronavirus - 3/19


What you can do:
Support our neighbors in need:
Give to BOMA's Charitable Partner, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, a shelter and support system for homeless youth in Boston. Donate now
Give to a food bank in your community or the Greater Boston Food Bank. Donate now
Give blood at your local blood bank. Find a location 
Donate PPE supplies to local hospitals. Find a location

COVID-19 Resources for BOMA
GBREB

 
COVID-19 Resources for the Apartment Community

MAA regularly updates this page with local, national, and apartment industry news, notices, and resources. 

New:
NAA - Rental Housing Industry statement on CARES Act - 3/27. Read now
Local legal analysis of rent collection issues during COVID-19. Read now
Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers - 3/28. Read now 
Local legal analysis of Massachusetts "essential services" for Commercial Real Estate. Read now
NAA new COVID-19 federal laws. Watch now
Massachusetts construction and worksite guidelines. Read now
Housing Court standing order - 3/13. Read now 
Guidelines for open house and apartment showings in Boston. Read now 


Resources:
National Apartment Association resources, including relevant government and legal news, daily micro-webinars, best practices, tips for working from home, HUD communications, cleaning advice, and more
National Apartment Association Twitter - many helpful news stories and updates from around the web
United States cases, updated daily by CDC
Home readiness checklist by CDC 
Legal advisories from Boston law firm, Nutter 


Massachusetts Resources:
Mass.gov DPH Corona virus news and updates
MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Resources 


Resources for Maintenance Techs
NAA Coronavirus Micro-Webinar: How to Handle Maintenance During COVID-19


Something fun
10 Ways to Keep Your Residents Engaged 
Free online fitness classes - great to share with residents 
Free online education sites 


What you can do:
Support our neighbors in need:
Give to MAA's Charitable Partner, Rosie's Place, a shelter and support system for homeless women in Boston. Donate now

Give to a food bank in your community or the Greater Boston Food Bank. Donate now






COVID-19 Resources for MAA
MAA


The CBA Achievement Awards will now be held on Wednesday, June 24 at the InterContinental Hotel. 

For all information regarding this year's awards, please visit www.cbaawards.com .

Held annually, the CBA Achievement Awards bring together 550+ of the most influential leaders and decision makers from the Massachusetts brokerage industry. Prestigious Deal of the Year awards are presented along with special recognition awards for individuals and companies. Awards are voted on by members of the CBA, and winners are traditionally announced the night of the awards. The CBA Achievement Awards are the largest gathering of the year for the CBA.

Any additional questions, please contact Kayla Burmeister at kburmeister@gbreb.com or 617-399-7863.

To register, please fill out this form and email to Alex Levine at alevine@gbreb.com

NEW DATE FOR CBA AWARDS
GBREB

 
COVID-19 Rent Policy Update

Click here to view Turk & Quijano, LLP's COVID-19 Rent Collection Issues Update for more information on the CARES Act. 







COVID-19 Rent Policy Update
MAA

Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Linnette Edwards and Cameron Platt

Don't make the major mistake of not communicating with your clients and prospects during this time of uncertainty. It could define the rest of your career. Here's how to do it right.

As the novel coronavirus spreads and business-as-usual slows or screeches to a halt in many areas, communication between real estate agents and clients is more crucial than ever.

The biggest mistake agents and brokers can make right now? Not using this time to shine as trusted real estate advisers by crafting responsible, thoughtful, factual and compassionate messaging.

Our responses as individuals and brokerages will define us for the rest of our working lives. It’s going to be brutal, but if we continue to point to the true north that is our unwavering commitment to our clients, we will emerge better than we were before.

“The last thing you want to do in a crisis is put blinders on and ignore the big purple polka-dotted elephant in the room,” Theresa Maloney, president of Silicon Valley-based Cogenta Communications, recently said.

“Not hearing anything from you is worse. Then people start making up their own narratives,” added Maloney, who has more than 25 years of experience with crisis communications during several market swings.

Some agents might assume their audience, exhausted by our 24/7 news cycle, doesn’t want or need to hear from them.

But they’d be wrong.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, where we’ve been under shelter-in-place orders since March 16, our brokerage’s first email, blog post and social media messages related to the effects of COVID-19 on our market logged our highest click-through rate ever — over 50 percent.

People are feeling isolated, anxious and hungry for communications as the pandemic shakes up our economy.

Like everything in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way

Whether you connect with your sphere of influence via emails, social media posts, videos, print — or all of the above — you are obligated to share assurances and information in the most thoughtful way possible.

“This has to be a priority,” said Abio Properties Associate Broker Elisabeth Watson, who took the lead on preparing our communications.

For us, ensuring that our first messages included the best information and tone — personal yet authoritative — wasn’t easy, especially when news about interest rates, financial markets, and the wisdom of holding open houses changed at least three times on the day we planned to push out our communication.

We started by forming a leadership council of experienced agents and brokers to strategize, check and double-check our messaging.

And then we followed these guidelines:

1. Utilize the 3 Cs of crisis communications

• Compassion: Acknowledge that we’re all in this together and experiencing the same impacts, uncertainty and new reality that’s changing by the day.
• Confidence: Communicate in a voice that conveys your personality as well as confidence that you are doing everything in your power to provide accurate information.
• Competency: Along with providing assurances, give facts you can back up. Don’t over-reach and pretend you have all the answers if you don’t (and you probably don’t).

Brokerages and agents who communicate quickly and often, even if they don’t have all the answers right away, will make a lasting impression on their clients, advised Mary Tindall, a Florida-based brand strategist experienced in crisis communications.

“Make it about your clients, not about you,” Tindall said. “Focus less on ‘our official response to this circumstance’ and more on meeting their needs with clarity and empathy.”

2. Don’t assume you have nothing to add to the conversation

Some agents assume their SOI has “email fatigue” after being flooded with communications about the virus. You know it’s overload when you receive COVID-19 messages from every single business you ever set foot in. Even Lululemon.

But from our recent experience with high open rates and clicks, we know clients are eager for specific real estate information.

3. Get your facts straight

It’s your job is to stay up-to-date with your market’s MLS statistics, interest rates, and financial market trends so you can answer your clients’ most pressing questions.

To keep informed as broker-owners, we are sitting in on Zoom conferences with industry leaders discussing the real estate market, bond market and interest rates and then sharing that info with our agents.

We are also constantly in touch with agents so we know which mortgage brokers, title, permitting offices, etc., remain in operation. We are asking agents to share what they know — everything from virtual tools that work to mortgage loan and refinancing delays.

Stay tight with your brokerage community; this isn’t the time for shady competition that flouts shelter-in-place orders and endangers public safety in pursuit of a commission.
 
We, for example, joined with many Bay Area brokerages to set clear guidelines, including no in-person showings and not letting appraisers, inspectors, photographers, etc.,

 into a property in person, even if the property is vacant.

When you share this pertinent info with your SOI, include links to reputable websites so readers can take a deeper dive if they want.

4. Be personal

Social distancing does not apply to virtual communications! Your tone should be warm. Bring your personality. Readers will gloss over dry copy.

We love how agents and brokerage are letting their personalities shine through by ending their messages with an uplifting or funny (but not irreverent) “We’re all in this together” quote, meme or video.

Now more than ever, people need to know they are in your thoughts.

5. Be brief

You don’t need a preamble that explains everything that’s happening in the world. Get to the point. In fact, get to the bullet points, which are easier to digest than long paragraphs. The question-and-answer format also works well, too.

6. Write a relevant email subject line

How many emails have you received recently with the subject line “COVID-19 update” or “A letter from (fill-in-the-blank company name)”? And how many of those did you open?

Want more engagement? Be specific with your subject lines and headlines. Make it clear you have important information or can fulfill a need.

We like subject lines that ask a question, like this: “Buy, Sell or Wait? COVID-19 and Bay Area Real Estate.”

7. Include next steps

All good crisis communications include a “What’s next?” section. (A great example is this update from North Berkeley Wealth Management.) Share your next steps and calls-to-action (CTAs):
How often you will send updates. (We are planning weekly emails and blog updates, plus daily social media messages that vary between informative and light-hearted entertainment about our shelter-in-place, work-from-home lifestyles and BINGO.)
Assurances that you can move fast as circumstances change.
Assurances that this situation won’t last forever, and when normal everyday living resumes, you are ready to move swiftly on behalf of clients.
If you’ve worked through market swings in the past, such as the 2008 housing crisis, invite readers to chat with you about how you helped clients weather a storm.
Suggestions about what clients can do in the meantime: home improvement projects, DIY projects, decluttering, getting financial documents in order, etc. Repurpose your content.

 The difference between crafting a good communication and a bad one is like the difference between hiring a good home stager (and scoring above-asking bids) and not staging at all (and watching a property languish on the market).

Your legacy when this is over could sustain your business for decades and drive your survival.

 Linnette Edwards and Cameron Platt are co-founders of Abio Properties, a boutique real estate brokerage launched in 2016 in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are passionate about building an indie agency that embraces a culture of transparency, collaboration, innovation, fun, and family. Linnette is a top 1% producer and broker associate with nearly 20 years in the industry. Cameron is a “recovering” attorney and broker with more than 17 years of experience managing agents and running a top-producing team.

7 Essential Tips for Communicating With Your Sphere During Crisis
GBAR

Article Courtesy of: National Association of REALTORS® HUB
By: Austin Perez

FEMA is extending the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days in order to help NFIP policyholders experiencing financial hardships.

FEMA continues to take proactive steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic and to help serve its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) customers who may be experiencing financial hardships, the agency is extending the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days.

To avoid a lapse in coverage, there is typically a 30-day grace period to renew National Flood Insurance Program policies. However, due to the widespread economic disruption arising from this pandemic, FEMA recognizes that policyholders may not meet the standard deadline.

This extension will allow additional time for policyholders who may be struggling financially to pay insurance premiums and ensure their policies are not cancelled for nonpayment of premium due to circumstances beyond their control.

If a policy has an expiration date between February 13, 2020 and June 15, 2020, then the NFIP insurer must receive the appropriate renewal premium within 120 days of the expiration date to avoid a lapse in coverage. Likewise, if a policyholder receives an underpayment notice dated between February 13, 2020, and June 15, 2020, then the NFIP insurer must receive the additional premium amount requested within 120 days of the date of the notice.

Policyholders who need additional time to pay their premiums, beyond the 120-day extension, should contact their agent or insurer to inquire about other options the insurer may offer for premium payment.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of External Affairs, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov

FEMA Extends Flood Insurance Renewal Period
GBAR

Congratulations, BOMA Boston!
Together, we raised $45,000 for Bridge Over Troubled Waters!

March 25 was intended to be the 2020 BOMA Boston Benefit, supporting Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Unfortunately, we had to cancel this in-person event.

Instead, most of our of sponsors generously donated their sponsorship dollars, and dozens of members purchased raffle tickets online, for a combined total of $45,000!

We are so proud to be able to provide Bridge Over Troubled Waters with financial support during this challenging time. Every year, Bridge serves over 2,000 homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. Right now, with schools closed, many hourly jobs shut down, and some unsafe home environments, Bridge provides crucial shelter, food, resources, and social services for the youth of Boston.

Check out sponsors, raffle winners, and more here!

BOMA Benefit Raises $45k!
GBREB
GBREB NEWS

MEMBER RESOURCES

Information is rapidly changing.  GBREB will update this post as new information becomes available. There's a lot of information about government's response to COVID-19, however we have narrowed the focus of this page to issues impacting the real estate industry to serve as a resource for our members. 

Additional information, including legal advisories are available to members here .

MASSACHUSETTS EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND ADVISORIES
Mortgage Loan Borrowing , Division of Banks 3/25/20
Constuction Letter With Guidance  3/25/20
COVID-19 ESSENTIAL SERVICES  Order of  the Governor Assuring Continued Operation Of Essential Services  
Essential Services FAQ
SMOKE ORDER Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Inspections for One and Two-Family Dwellings and Three to Five-family Apartment Buildings
Standing Order Housing Court
DHCD Resources For Renters and Homeowners

BOSTON EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND ADVISORIES
Guidelines For Open House and Apartment Showing Policy
Construction Notice 3/25/20
Construction Permitting 3/16/20

DIVISION AND AFFILIATE RESOURCE PAGES

Building Owners and Managers, BOMA Boston, BOMA International
Multifamily Apartments, Massachusetts Apartment Association, National Apartment Association   
REALTORS, Greater Boston Association of REALTORS, Massachusetts Association of REALTORS, National Association of REALTORS
Commercial Brokers Association
Real Estate Finance Association






COVID-19
GBREB

Calendar

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POSTPONED BOMI Budgeting And Accounting
Alexandria Real Estate
 
POSTPONED - BOMA Roundtable: The Hub on Causeway Tour
The Hub On Causeway
11:00am
 
POSTPONED - MAA First Look: The Andi
The Andi Apartments
3:30pm
 
Real Estate Investing
GBAR Member Service And Training Center
8:30am
 
BOMA 360
BOMA Offices
9:45am