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2022 GBREB Foundation Scholarship Event:   June 7, 2022

The Fund was established in 2012 with the goal of assisting economically disadvantaged young people attend and graduate from college by providing them with financial aid counseling and economic assistance.  To achieve this goal the GBREB Foundation has with Bottom Line, a Boston based organization that helps students from low-income families find an affordable path to a postsecondary education, and then through college with mentorship and life skills to prepare them for the workforce.   

The GBREB Foundation has awarded over 400 , two-year scholarships, since its inception which range in amount from $ 1,000 to $5,000, and are designed to supplement and not affect the financial aide package that the student receives from the institution they wish to attend.  These “last dollar in scholarships,” can often be the determining factor in deciding whether or not to attend college.

The GBREB Foundation Event traditionally recognizes leaders in Massachusetts real estate, business, and government for their service to the community, especially those who are particularly philanthropic, or trendsetters and trailblazers in giving back to Greater Boston.  
 
2022 Scholarship Application:
We encourage eligible students to APPLY HERE by the April 1st deadline.  Questions on how to apply?  Contact Ryan Burton at Bottom Line [email protected]
GBREB Scholarship Event
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FW: BOMA October eNews:  Fallfest, BOMA Webinar & TOBYs!

Read the October eNews.

October 2022 eNews
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MAA Insider: Education Panel, MAA Awards and Maintenance Mania!

Read the October MAA Insider.
MAA Insider - October 2022
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GBAR Annual Meeting
Tuesday, October 25
11:00 a.m.
GBAR Member Training & Service Center
68 Main St., Reading, MA

Please be advised that a special vote of the general membership on proposed changes to the Bylaws of the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR) has been scheduled for October 25. 

The first amendment would revise Article IV, Section 2 as set forth by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) to clearly define “good standing” as it pertains to membership status within the Realtor® organization.  The second amendment would modify the language of Article IV, Section 3 as outlined by NAR to clarify members’ duties to safeguard the association and real estate profession, as well as protect against conduct that would diminish the public’s confidence in Realtors® by outlining practices that could trigger disciplinary action against a member.  The third amendment is a house-keeping measure that would properly update the title of the GBAR member elected to a regional seat with the Massachusetts Association of Realtors® as it appears in Article XIII, Section 1.

The final two revisions address leadership elections.  The fourth amendment proposes revisions to Article XIV, Section 2 that would make modifications in the allocation of seats and the length of term for members elected as NAR Directors by designating a seat to the GBAR president-elect, instead of the president, and modifying the length of all terms from one year to two years.  The fifth amendment would amend language in Article XIV, Section 4 to clarify the timing of elections for NAR Directors, the Greater Boston Region Vice President to MAR, and Directors At-Large to the Greater Boston Real Estate Board to mirror current practice and comply with the organizational deadlines.
  
Each of the proposed changes have been reviewed, discussed and approved by the GBAR Board of Directors.  They now must be voted on and approved by the general membership for the language to be modified.  

All GBAR members are welcome to attend the meeting and participate in this vote. 

Registration in advance is requested by October 21 and may be made by contacting Elyse Libeskind at 617-224-9303 or via e-mail to [email protected]. Registrants are encouraged to attend in-person, but may participate virtually in which case a link will be sent in advance via email to allow participation in the meeting and voting process.  

 
GBAR 2022 Annual Meeting- October 25
GBAR
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jimmy Burgess

Lead generation is the name of the game. Focus on keeping multiple streams of incoming leads and developing follow-up systems that add value to them

Leads are the lifeblood of every successful real estate business, and consistent lead generation doesn’t just happen. It is a process that involves multiple strategies for systematically producing buyer and seller prospects.

No matter how many lead sources you currently have, an additional one or two sources can help your business grow. Additional lead sources provide stability to your business as all strategies can have seasons when they are less productive than they were in the past.
The following is a list of seven streams of incoming real estate leads to help your real estate business stay consistent and grow.

1. Geographical farming

Farming is the most fundamental way to consistently generate listings in real estate. I’m not aware of a single top-producing agent that does not have a neighborhood or area where they consistently add value and are known as the real estate expert. The process really involves three steps.

The first step is identifying the right neighborhood. The right neighborhood to farm includes, but is not limited to the following:

• A neighborhood you love to sell and believe in as a great place for homebuyers.
• Adequate size to make sure your investment of time, money, and effort is worthwhile.
• No dominant agent with over 20 percent market share of current listings or listings that have sold in the past 12 months.

The second step is to develop a marketing plan for the neighborhood which includes, but is not limited to the following:

• Monthly or bi-monthly postcards / mailers to all owners in the neighborhood
• Just Listed / Just Sold campaigns
• Sponsored special events for the neighborhood like food truck nights, family photography events or family movie nights in a neighborhood park

The third step is to execute your plan, stay consistent and measure your results over the first year. Farming is foundational for creating consistent listing opportunities.

2. Online leads

Online leads are a great way to generate a consistent flow of leads coming into your database. There are several different ways to generate these leads that include, but are not limited to:

• Paid site options like Zillow, Realtor.com and other easily accessible sites to purchase leads.
• Hiring someone or learning to run ads yourself for sites like Google, Facebook or any of the other social media platforms.
• Sites like Opcity will send you leads with no upfront costs, but a referral fee will be due at the time of closing.

The best way to optimize your conversion of online leads is to have a system for follow-up in place that includes reaching out to the leads quickly and consistently. Odds are if you can secure these leads online, they are also being sold to or captured by other agents.
Online lead generation is a great way to generate several leads every month.

3. Referrals

When asked what the top lead sources are for their business, top-producing agents almost always include referrals. Referrals can come from your sphere of influence, past clients or people that see you actively providing value through your content on social media.

If you are looking to increase your referrals, focus on consistently providing value to your sphere of influence. This should be through a monthly or a weekly email newsletter that adds value to them and keeps you top of mind.

This newsletter should also go to your past clients, but they should receive additional attention since they already know, like and trust you due to working with you. Check-in calls to see how they are doing and to deepen your relationship with them cues them to think of you when they have the opportunity to send a referral your way.

Social media opened up an additional way to generate referrals that was not available just 10 years ago. By consistently adding valuable content to social media that is entertaining, educational and engaging, you will be the first agent your friends or followers think of when they hear someone discussing real estate or that is looking for an agent.

Referrals are not given, they are earned. Go deeper into the value you provide the people that already know you, and they will help your business go wide.

4. Expired listings

Expired listings are a group of homeowners who have raised their hand saying they want to sell. They simply didn’t have the right agent to give them professional advice on pricing, staging or marketing. This is a lead source that was limited over the past few years as prices soared and the tremendous demand for homes meant nearly everything sold.

That is not the case now. Anticipating the increase in expired listings that is coming makes this an opportune time to develop an expired listing strategy. Yes, calling expired listings is a part of the process, but developing a systematic plan that clearly states your unique value proposition is critical for success.

This is a lead source that will naturally see the number of opportunities rise as the market normalizes.

5. Circle prospecting

Circle prospecting is the process of calling the homeowners surrounding a selling event like a new listing, pending contract, or a home that just sold. These should be informational calls where you provide the homeowners relevant information about the activity on the sale of their neighbor’s home that affects the value of their home.

A typical script would be the following:

Hello Mr./Mrs. Homeowner. My name is (agent name) with (agent’s brokerage). I’m not sure if you got the details yet, but your neighbor’s home just four doors down from yours just sold today, and it really helped the value of your home. Have you heard the details about the sale?

This will lead to your ability to share the details of the sale and how it could affect the value of their home. Somewhere in the conversation, you will have an opportunity to say:

Do you have any intentions to move in the next few years?

Or

I would be the worst Realtor in the world if I didn’t at least ask if there is a price where you would consider selling.
Circle prospecting is a classic way to generate leads and build a database of homeowners that never goes out of style.

6. FSBO listings

For Sale by Owners (FSBOs) are another group of people that have clearly identified themselves as someone who would like to sell. Most will eventually list with a Realtor, so this is a great group of people to target with a follow-up system. A system that includes providing the homeowners with value while they are a FSBO leads to opportunities when they are unable to sell the home themselves.

If you add more value and stay in contact the longest with FSBOs, you will get listings.

7. Agent referrals

Agent referrals give you the opportunity to tap into the trust already earned by the referring agent. These referrals can become one of the most fruitful streams of leads when strategically targeted. Here are a few strategies to help you generate more of these referrals:

• Send handwritten notes to agents in feeder markets where buyers moving to your city often come from asking them to keep you in mind for referrals to your city.
• Farm agents in these feeder markets just like you would a neighborhood. Postcards, emails and calls keep you top of mind.
• Develop an email list of agents in other markets that you consistently give tips on what is working in your business that they may be able to use in their business. Then thank them for keeping you in mind if they know of someone moving to your area or relocating to their area that might have a house to sell.

Offering a 30 percent versus the typical 25 percent referral fee is another way to capture their attention. Just like all the other sources listed, the more effort you put into generating agent referrals, the more you will get out of it.
Lead generation is the name of the game. Focus on keeping multiple streams of incoming leads and developing follow-up systems that add value to them. If you get these two things right, your business can’t help but grow.

Jimmy Burgess is the Chief Growth Officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida.

Are Your Leads Drying Up? 7 Was to Get Them Flowing Again
GBAR

 

Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Ben Fox

As independent contractors, agents can hang their licenses wherever they want. As brokers, it’s incumbent on us to create a beneficial environment for agents to flourish


With the summer coming to a close and fall on the horizon, the real estate industry is gearing up for the high season of recruiting. While agents can change brokerages at any time, we typically see more activity in the last quarter of the year. As the market resets, we can also expect that agents may be exploring other opportunities.

As a broker-owner, I consider retention a far more valuable use of my time than recruiting. That’s why I am always looking for signs that an agent may be thinking about leaving the company. While some signs may mean a move is inevitable, other signs create opportunities to open the lines of communication and reinforce the firm’s value to the agent. I also take many preventative measures to mitigate the likelihood of agent churn.

An ounce of prevention

In my experience, company culture is one of the main ways to prevent an agent from leaving. Being approachable as managers means that agents can feel comfortable coming forward with questions or concerns.

Another measure we have put into place in our company is a steering committee comprised of agents. When a new agent joins the company, we provide them with a copy of the steering committee charter which explains that agents can come to the steering committee, which serves as their voice with management. 

Another way we make sure agents feel connected to the company is through weekly, deliberate communication with each of our 65 agents. Every week, agents receive a phone call or face-to-face interaction with either an owner, manager or key staff member. It’s a great way to re-engage with agents who may have drifted — especially if it’s been a busy time and they haven’t been to the office much. 

We also create compelling reasons for agents to come to the office, whether it’s a guest speaker, a bagel breakfast or a community service effort.
That said, while culture is very important in retention, there may be some other reasons agents are “looking.”

Here are seven signs you should be looking for:

An agent starts withdrawing from company events and training

When I notice this, I don’t call and say, ‘Why haven’t we seen you?” Instead, I take a positive approach, such as inviting them to present at a sales meeting or chair a food drive. The goal is to get them connected again and make them feel appreciated and valued.

An agent exhibits a sudden change in demeanor or attitude

If you notice someone who was previously positive is now negative or someone bubbly and expressive is quiet and withdrawn, it’s probably a sign something is going on either personally or professionally. I make a point of reaching out and saying, “I notice you haven’t been yourself lately. Is everything OK?”

This comes from a place of genuine concern, whatever the reason may be. The goal is to create an opening for the agent to feel comfortable telling you what’s on their mind.

An agent asks for a copy of their compensation agreement

This likely means they are in conversations with another firm and looking to compare offers or negotiate. I make a point to ask whether they are checking to see where they are in their plan or if they are being recruited. If it’s the latter, I always compliment them on getting noticed by a competitor, then ask them to come back to me after they have an offer.

I use that conversation as an opportunity to revisit why they chose to work with us in the first place. Sometimes there are intangible benefits that aren’t captured in a comp plan, and I like to remind agents of those things they will be missing if they explore another opportunity. I also offer to sit down with an agent to talk about what’s good for the agent and their business and serve in a consultative role.

An agent downloads their database from the company system

You may not be alerted that an agent has exported their contacts, but if they do, it’s likely they are already on their way out. You have the opportunity to reach out and ask if they are thinking of leaving — similar to the conversation I have when they ask for a copy of their comp plan.

An agent requests a meeting with you in the next day or two.

These requests are usually vague or non-specific about the reason for the meeting. In my experience, this is often how agents announce they are leaving. I ask what led to the agent deciding to go. Again, it helps to be prepared to discuss why the agent joined in the first place.

An agent asks questions about other business models.

This is usually a sign that the agent is talking to another company with a different business model from ours. I have taken preventative measures to minimize this by transparently discussing other business models at a sales meeting or training session.

In addition to explaining the different ways brokerages are set up, I discuss why our company is set up the way it is. This way, agents get it straight from the horse’s mouth, reducing the likelihood a competitor can twist things to their benefit.

An agent who is part of a team starts questioning the company management

This is a tricky situation as there is potential breakage on two fronts: the team and the company. It’s important to give the team leader a heads up that one of their agents might be in conversations with a competitor. This can also be a sign that a team member is considering going solo.

I do everything I can to keep talent in-house, but I am completely transparent with the team leader. We have open communication about the financial impact such a move could have, and we come to a mutually beneficial agreement. 
As independent contractors, agents can hang their licenses wherever they want. As brokers, it’s incumbent on us to create a beneficial environment for agents to flourish.

But beyond company culture, it’s critical that we are always paying attention, making ourselves available and keeping lines of communication wide open. The better job we do of retaining our agents, the greater likelihood the red flags don’t get raised.

Ben Fox is the broker-owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Journey in Arkansas.
Is It Too Late? 7 Red Flags Your Agent is About to Jump Ship
GBAR

 

Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Berince Ross

If you met someone today, would they be able to look you up online six months from now when they need a REALTOR®? The answer depends on the effectiveness of your brand identity

 
Effective branding is at the heart of every successful business, but it is a rarity in the real estate business. If you’re ready to generate more leads from your branding efforts, here are the Do’s and Don’ts you need to know. 

Build your brand on your strengths

Before you decide on your branding strategy, go through your current and past client list looking for patterns in the types of clients you have attracted. If they’re clustered in one or two primary price ranges, locations, or property types, etc., then part of your branding should be focused on serving these specific niches. 

Discover what your customers say about you 

To create an effective brand, you must have clarity about what your past and current clients think of you and your business. Use the following process. 

• Contact at least 10 to 20 past and/or current clients and ask, “What are the three to five words that best describe me?” 
• Follow up by asking, “What are the three to five words that best describe my business?” 

The words you consistently hear will let you know what they love (and dislike) about you. Use those words in the process of creating your brand as well as your marketing materials. Any reviews that past clients have posted online are also great resources.

What constitutes a great brand?

A great brand does each of the following: 

• It’s memorable.
• It immediately brings the product being sold to mind.
• It identifies a specific target market.

Three examples of great branding from outside the real estate industry include: 
• Netflix (Provides “flicks” or movies on the “net.”)
• “The happiest place on earth” (Disney’s irresistible brand slogan and value proposition)
• “The Ultimate Driving Machine” (BMW)

What constitutes an effective real estate brand? 

In terms of major real estate brands, the best branding in the business belongs to “NextHome.” Notice how their logo and branding clearly convey what their company does.

Now compare these major real estate brands that could be mistaken for businesses other than real estate:  
• Is Coldwell Banker a bank? 
• Is Compass in the GPS business? 
• Does Redfin sell fishing gear? 

What constitutes a great brand for a real estate agent? 

Great branding for individual real estate agents does the following:   

• It references the words “homes,” “real estate” or “properties.” Examples are “Savannah Historic Homes” or “Lake Travis Waterfront Properties.” 
• It helps agents “get rich in a niche.” In their classic book Marketing Warfare, Al Ries and Jack Trout explain that large companies lack the financial resources to compete for small slivers of the market. Avoid being a generalist. Instead, laser focus on a very specific market to become the go-to expert in that niche. 
• A great brand often uses a specific market niche based upon geographical location, city and zip code. For example, “Live in Westwood 90024” or “Key Biscayne Homes 33149.” 

The most common branding mistake agents make — branding with their name

Here are just a few of the issues associated with using your name to brand your business. 

• People have a difficult time remembering names because they are constantly bombarded with thousands of names of people, products, places and services. 
• Memory research shows that we forget 70 percent of what we have learned within the first 24 hours after learning has occurred. Consequently, even though a lead may remember your name today, there’s a 70 percent chance they won’t remember it tomorrow.
• Your company brand normally has much higher name recognition than your personal brand, especially if your company has lots of advertising and signs in your local market. Furthermore, if you’re branding with your name and you work for a company like Keller Williams, a potential client must remember four names rather than two.  
• Using your name to brand your business greatly diminishes the desirability and value of your business if you hope to sell it when you exit the business. 
• If you are using your name to brand your business, simply expand your branding to include the specific niches and types of clients you serve. 

People remember functions rather than names

How many times have you met someone, and you couldn’t remember their name but did remember what they looked like and what they did for a living? 

For example, if we met at a Little League game and I introduced myself as “Bernice Ross” and was wearing a cap with my company’s logo on it, chances are you would remember where we met and probably that I was wearing a baseball cap. The probability you would remember my name six months from now when you need to move is less than 10 percent. 

On the other hand, if I introduced myself as Bernice Ross from Austin Probate Sellers (and had my logo on my hat), you still may not remember my name but you would probably remember the “blond lady who sells probates in Austin.” If I have properly branded my site with “AustinProbateSellers.com,” chances are I will be easy to locate on the web. 

People search for homes based upon the city, state and ZIP code

According to Oodle, which powers major classified advertising websites for companies like AOL, the New York Post, and Wal-Mart, the three keywords most people use when searching for property are “street name,” “city” and “zip code.” 

The biggest omission Realtors make on their websites is leaving off the state where they work. A great example is “Springfield, Illinois” and “Springfield, Oregon.” The most notable example, however, is the 46 different cities named Riverside. Your website visitors need to know that they are searching in both the right city and the right state. 

Using these guidelines, you can turn the specific branding above into a URL that will maximize the number of searches you receive. Examples include: 
• HorseshoeBayNewHomes78657.com
• LiveInCherryCreekDenver80126.com. 
• WestlakeVillageGolfProperties91371. 

These pages can be standalone websites or they can be added as additional landing pages on your current site. 

Always test your new brand before creating any marketing material

Be sure to check with your clients and sphere of influence to determine if your new brand is easy to remember. If not, keep working on refining your brand until it’s easy for people to recall six months from now when they need your service. 

You can have multiple niches with different websites and marketing campaigns

When it comes to creating URLs for your brand and marketing your services, one-size-fits-all simply doesn’t work. First-time homebuyers obviously have very different needs and expectations as opposed to a luxury buyer or a senior who is right-sizing. 

To illustrate how this works for a subdivision with a lot of entry-level condos and homes, provide information on down payment assistance, facts they need to know about purchasing, and be sure to use photos, videos and a URL targeted to the needs of this group. The more highly targeted your brand and marketing is, the more effective it will be in attracting the right clients for your business. 

When it comes to creating an effective brand for your business, going hyperlocal and following the “Do’s and Don’ts” in today’s column will give you a huge advantage when it comes to potential customers finding you, no matter when or where you meet them. 

Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with more than 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent

Do's and Don'ts of Creating an Engaging Real Estate Brand
GBAR
Article Courtesy of: Bankers & Tradesman
By: James Sanna and Colin A. Young | Banker & Tradesman Staff and State House News Service

With the final match-up between Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates now clear, the stakes for the real estate industry in November’s general election are starting to come into focus.  But the race is scrambling some traditional ideological lines that the industry may have gotten used to.

For the last eight years, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has been the state’s biggest cheerleader for housing production in the face of reluctance from Democratic supermajorities in the state legislature. It’s a mantle that Attorney General Maura Healey looks to seize as she tries to become the first Democrat in the State House’s corner office since 2014.

Meanwhile, Republican nominee Geoff Diehl has made decrying a much-heralded reform aimed at building more housing a core element of his campaign.

Republican primary voters opted for Trump-backed candidate and former state legislator Diehl as their choice for governor of Massachusetts on Tuesday, kicking off a nine-week uphill battle against the Democratic ticket of Healey and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, the latter of whom emerged Tuesday from a three-way primary to be the party’s lieutenant governor nominee.

Healey, a Boston Democrat who has been the state’s attorney general of the last eight years, cleared the gubernatorial field after she entered the race in January and has been able to largely waltz to the doorway of the governor’s suite since Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz ended her Democratic primary campaign in June.

The corner office is up for grabs by virtue of Baker’s and Lt. Gov Karyn Polito’s joint decision announced last December to not seek a third term for their popular Republican administration. Polito’s decision not to seek the governor’s office herself left no heir apparent to assume Baker’s mantle on the Republican side.

Diehl Would Scrap MBTA Communities Law

The Associated Press called the GOP primary for Diehl at 10 p.m. when he had about 56 percent of the votes counted to 44 percent for Wrentham businessman Chris Doughty, whose campaign focused on affordability issues and mostly eschewed federal political issues. Diehl said Tuesday night that his campaign will be the first to focus “specifically on we the people – our freedoms, our rights and our prosperity.”

“Maura Healey as governor would lead our state in the wrong direction, down a path of higher taxes and radical legislation. We don’t want that, right? Under her leadership, Massachusetts would be more expensive, more excessive and more restrictive,” he said. “So when it comes to your rights, your freedoms, your wallet, your businesses, your kids’ education, I declare Maura Healey to be the people’s worst nightmare and I’m here to stop her from ever bringing her radical policies to the governor’s office.”

Diehl’s “Blueprint for the Bay State” pledges to enact the tax reform proposals made by Baker, suspend the state gas tax whenever the pump price is above $3 per gallon, create a statewide “jobs boss” who would focus on attracting new companies to Massachusetts and growing existing companies, increase mental health care capacity, repeal the state’s new transit-oriented zoning regulations, increase the presence of police officers in schools, and create a new state agency to monitor schools for the promotion of a political agenda. He also has vowed to rehire state workers who were fired for refusing to comply with the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

In a column published in Banker & Tradesman last month, Diehl reiterated his opposition to the MBTA Communities zoning reforms.  “Streamlined permitting is often cited as a major need in order to jump-start the creation of more housing. I support efficiency and streamlined service for permitting and other government functions. But I also favor local control over the process,” he wrote.

GOP Running Mate Knocks TOPA

Diehl hasn’t specifically spoken out on issues important to real estate lobby groups like transfer taxes, rent control or tenants’ right of first refusal legislation – also called TOPA – that failed in the legislature this year, but made it through in 2021 only to be met with a veto from Gov. Charlie Baker.

His running mate for lieutenant governor, nurse and former state legislator Leah Cole Allen, spoke in general terms at a virtual candidate forum held by the Greater Boston Real Estate Board last week about how legalizing accessory dwelling units statewide might fit in with the campaign’s opposition to “excessive regulations.” She also articulated opposition to low-carbon construction requirements, which she called “greenlining,” real estate transfer taxes and TOPA legislation, although she said she had only passing familiarity with the latter concept.  

However, Allen also endorsed the idea of rent stabilization legislation, which she distinguished from rent control. She described rent control a bad solution to the state’s housing problems and said increasing housing production would let the market “correct itself.”  “Rent stabilization is something that maybe we could explore if we exclude smaller landlords and new construction so we’re not hampering development that will increase housing,” she said.

Healey Promises ‘Zoning Barrier’ Pushback

Once Healey’s place as the Democratic nominee for governor was cemented Tuesday night, she told supporters at a Dorchester union hall wedged between the Red Line and the Southeast Expressway that she’ll cut taxes, and fix roads, bridges and the MBTA. She also touted her bipartisan working relationship with Baker, whom she said “has led with respect and worked with both parties,” and cast herself as a politician in his mold.

“Unfortunately, Geoff Diehl and Chris Doughty will put us on a different path. They’ll bring Trumpism to Massachusetts, and they both already said they’ll support Donald Trump in 2024. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the anger, the vitriol, the division. That’s not who we are. That’s not what Massachusetts is all about,” Healey said before her Republican opponent became clear. “I want a different path. My path is one of optimism; working together with urgency and intention to get things done.”

Healey has said that her gubernatorial administration would tackle “local zoning barriers” to build more housing. It’s a key area many industry leaders, housing advocates and academics have blamed for the shortage of apartments for rent and homes for sale statewide that’s sent prices for both skyward, with Boston’s suburbs coming in for the harshest criticism.

However, she has also said she would support local-option rent control or rent stabilization, like those Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has said she’ll bring before the legislature in 2023, but would not push for any statewide policies.

Driscoll, Healey Back Local Rent Control

With Healey having endured little opposition until now, the lieutenant governor’s race became a forum this summer to try and divine some of the Democratic gubernatorial ticket’s policy priorities on hot-button issues affecting the real estate industry.

Driscoll, the mayor of Salem since 2006, got into the lieutenant governor’s race in January promising a “new focus from Beacon Hill” on the needs of cities of towns. She bested two members of the legislature in the primary, defeating both Sen. Eric Lesser of Longmeadow and Rep. Tami Gouveia of Acton. As Salem’s mayor, Driscoll won plaudits from the real estate industry for her relentless focus on increasing housing production in her city, in the face of stiff opposition from some politicians and residents’ groups.

During the GBREB forum last week, Driscoll echoed Healey’s position when she told moderator Lynn Bora, executive vice president at Winn Residential, that she sees rent control measures as having “drawbacks” when trying to incentivize housing production, but that she saw a need to promote “local autonomy” in solving the housing crisis.  “I don’t think [rent control or stabilization] is the answer, for sure, but I wouldn’t want to hold back a local community that thinks it‘s a necessary part of the toolbox” to address housing costs, she said, citing her own experience as a municipal leader.  

Driscoll also expressed concerns about TOPA laws which, she said, can be “onerous” for homeowners and small landlords.  “One of the things that worries me about TOPA is it’s so reactive,” she said. “[In Salem,] we’re reaching out proactively to buy right of first refusal, then working with our housing nonprofits to assemble funding.”

When GBREB CEO Greg Vasil asked Driscoll about her support for increased transfer taxes, an idea that’s emerged on Beacon Hill as one way to fund affordable housing, Driscoll was similarly noncommittal.  “You’re always worried about adding additional fees and costs. Myself, as a mayor, I like having the autonomy over the tools I have at my disposal,” she said. “Maybe it’s for building affordable housing, maybe it’s leaning in on the issues we’re just talking about [like housing affordability]. I wouldn’t want to take that away.”
 
What Do Diehl, Healey Wins Mean for Real Estate?
GBAR
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Bernice Ross

September is a fantastic time to refresh your listings and create unique, eye-catching marketing campaigns that will get your listings sold now

 The kids are back to school and fall selling season is upon us. September is a fantastic time to refresh your listings and create unique, eye-catching marketing campaigns that will get your listings sold now. 

The market has already peaked in many areas. Motivated sellers are now dropping their prices to make sure their properties under contract as quickly as possible. Here’s what to do to make sure your listings garner the attention they deserve now as well as into 2023. 

Check Zillow to determine how much down payment assistance is available

DownPaymentResource.com and Zillow have partnered together to provide Zillow users with access to all the down payment assistance programs available for each active listing on Zillow. 

To locate this information for your listings, do a property search on Zillow. Directly below the “Request a tour” button you will see another menu that says: 

Overview, facts and features, price and tax history, and “Month” (for “Monthly cost.”) 

Hit that tab and next to it you will see “Down Payment assistance.” 

Here’s what was available for a listing priced at $489,000 in the building where my brother lives.  

To refresh your current listing, add this information to the comments section in your local MLS. You can also use it on your

brochures, open house flyers or for any other types of marketing you’re doing for this property. Here’s what to say:

According to DownPaymentResource.com, you may qualify for up to 13 different down payment assistance programs with up to $24,495 in down payment assistance for this property.

Before using this information, however, review the types of programs available so you’re clear on what’s being offered. By the way, this can be a fantastic tool to use on listing appointments, as well.
 
For any leads you generate, whether or not the lead is interested in a current listing, direct them to the DownPayment Resource site to view the types of down payment assistance they may be qualified to receive. 

Listing refresh — new photos, new price

Whenever you do a price reduction, make sure that you take new photos and post them to the MLS. Additional suggestions include:

Use a service like BoxBrownie.com to turn some of your existing photos into twilight photos or to improve the lighting on poorly lit photos.

Do a 360 virtual tour using the service from Matterport.com or from another virtual tour company.

Add a drone overview of the local neighborhood to your listing. While drone photography can be a bit expensive, if you do a fly-over for the neighborhood, you can use it on any listing presentations you do in that area. You can also use it with a link or QR code for both print and digital marketing. 

Virtual staging

Today’s buyers want homes like the ones they see on HGTV. For vacant listings, use BoxBrownie to virtually stage the property. If you have a tired or cluttered listing, BoxBrownie also provides a service that allows you to virtually declutter your listing. 

Update the garden and landscaping

If the yard looks terrible or needs a landscaping update, Small Biz Trends has a list of its top 15 best landscape apps. Their top-rated app is iScape which is $299 per year and is available for iOS and Android. The top alternative to iScape is the Better Homes and Gardens “Plan a Garden” app. 

An additional benefit to using these virtual landscaping apps is you can make the exterior of your listings look as good as possible, no matter what season it is.

Capture the end of summer 

Now that we’re in September, you only have a few short weeks left to capture the green summer foliage and the fall-blooming plants for your future marketing campaigns. You can also take pictures and videos of your area’s unique outdoor lifestyle, whether it’s a cookout, biking, hiking, sitting poolside, water skiing, etc. 

To illustrate the power of this approach, one industrious agent in the Midwest photographed the front of every home in her farm area. That winter her work really paid off. Her summer and fall photos made her listings stand out from the snow-covered competition. The great shots you take in September can form the foundation for your marketing throughout the year.

In terms of your listings, get in the habit of taking seasonal pictures throughout the year. This is a powerful way to update your marketing materials and make your listings look fresh on the multiple listing service.

3 fall holidays in 4 weeks — take advantage of them

In addition to capturing the changing colors this fall, the three fall holidays provide a wealth of opportunity for both face-to-face as well as print and digital marketing campaigns. Some marketing ideas include: 

Many agents have had great success with costume parades or pumpkin carving contests for Halloween. If you want to go the scary route, hold a haunted house or a contest for the scariest yard decorations. 

For Veteran’s Day, search the local newspaper archives for Veteran’s parade pictures or for stories about local heroes from 50-100 years ago. 

At Thanksgiving, send out paper or digital “Happy Thanksgiving” cards to your present and past clients. Other alternatives include doing a food drive for needy families or inviting your past clients to pick up a free pumpkin pie for their Thanksgiving dinner. 

Themed open houses 

Themed open houses are a tried-and-true tactic that has worked well no matter what the holiday. For example, at Halloween, you may have hot chocolate, hot apple cider, Halloween candy, and mini pumpkin pies. Supplement these with Halloween-themed plates, cups and napkins. 
If you’re doing a pumpkin-carving contest, costume party or haunted house, arrange for a food truck and fun prizes for the kids. 

Use Spac.io for your open houses

In my opinion, Spac.io is the best open house lead conversion system ever. To use Spac.io, load all your listing information into the app, including any 360 tours, drone flyovers, market data, photos, etc. 

When someone attends your open house, ask them to sign in on your mobile device to obtain the property information. Whether the lead provides their email or mobile number, you just converted the lead.

Spac.io also provides, “eye-catching and impressive seller reports to keep clients informed with information on attendees, the quality of leads, and much more.” 

In today’s slowing market where the number of price reductions is soaring, Spac.io allows you to notify everyone who has signed in at your open house on the Spac.io app to be notified immediately about the price reduction. There’s no better way to generate additional interest from those who have already visited the property.   

Help them lower their property taxes

As 2022 wraps up, many people will receive a tax bill based on prices from earlier this year, even though those prices may have dropped substantially. This is especially true in areas that saw a major surge in prices during the pandemic and are now experiencing significant declines in value. If this is the case in your area, your buyers who paid top dollar should no longer be assessed at a purchase price that is greater than what they can sell for today. 

To help your clients appeal their valuation, provide them with copies of the documents they will need from the county tax assessor along with a copy of your personal CMA. 

Also, gather the estimated values of their home that are posted on the Chase Home Price Estimator (often the lowest) as well as the estimated values posted on Redfin, Realtor.com (there are four of them), as well as Zillow.com. Use the prices that best illustrate what’s currently happening in your market as support for a lower valuation. 

The hottest new real estate marketing innovation launching this fall

Foiye is currently in a soft launch right now. Their mission: To enrich the lives of the real estate and home design enthusiast.
Look for Foiye to be a powerful alternative to marketing your listings and your business on YouTube or on any other video marketing channel. 

To get started on the site, create your Folio on Foiye at no charge. You can then begin posting your videos, photos, blog or other real estate-related content. Best of all, there’s much more in the pipeline with Foiye’s formal launch later this fall.

September will fly by before you know it. To make sure your listings obtain the maximum exposure possible, use the 10 unique strategies above to create the buzz that will enhance the probability of selling your listings right now. 

Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with more than 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com 
10 Fresh Ways to Make Buyers Fall in Love with Your Autumn Listings
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34th Annual REFA Gala honoring Paul Ayoub, Nutter
Westin Copley Place
5:30pm
 
GBAR New Member Orientation- Agency Webinar
GBAR Webinar
12:00pm
 
Real Estate Professional Ethics - Webinar
Live Webinar Course
2:00pm
 
GBAR New Member Orientation- Agency Webinar
GBAR Webinar
10:00am
 
BOMA Fallfest 2022
The Exchange At 100 Federal
5:30pm