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New Study: More than 30 Percent of Massachusetts Communities Failing Housing Promises of Community Preservation Act Tufts Center for State Policy Analysis Finds Missed Opportunities to Address Housing Crisis

In the midst of a housing production crisis, more than a third of communities participating in the state’s Community Preservation Act are failing to meet the legal mandate that 10 percent of the assessment on -local property taxes be spent on housing, a new study from the Tufts Center for State Policy Analysis shows.

The report found that housing is receiving far less of the new funding than open space and recreation and historic preservation, which each have consistently drawn more than 40 percent of the funding, while housing projects consistently received less than 20 percent of all CPA funding.

“The Community Preservation Act can be a vital tool communities may use to increase housing production – they just need to fully use it,” Greg Vasil, CEO of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, said. “We hope this analysis by Tufts and its recommendations shed light on ways that the CPA, a program we have supported since its inception, can be strengthened to create more housing and more meaningfully address the housing crisis.”

“Communities across Massachusetts must play their part in meeting affordable housing requirements and helping the state overcome the housing crisis,” said Kate Franco, Board Chair of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. “By enforcing – and even strengthening – the CPA, the state has an opportunity to send a clear message that it is committed to making the Commonwealth of Massachusetts more affordable.”

The report, “Missed Opportunities: Funding Housing Through the Community Preservation Act,” analyzes how the 195 communities that have joined the CPA since it became law in 2000 are spending the program’s funds. The findings come as Massachusetts faces an unprecedented housing crisis that has contributed to the departure of more than 100,000 residents since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting the long-term economic vitality of the region in jeopardy.

Under the program, municipalities may impose a surcharge on local property tax bills to fund – with the support of a partial state match – affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and recreation. Participating communities must commit to spend at least 10 percent of funding on each of those areas. The report found the program has worked to create affordable housing in urban and rural communities, but has been less successful in suburban areas, which have prioritized open space over housing development.

“Though the Community Preservation Act has proven incredibly popular across Massachusetts, our research reveals how serious gaps exist within the program that have dramatically impeded the creation and maintenance of affordable housing,” said Evan Horowitz, Executive Director of The Center for State Policy Analysis at Tufts University. “Our findings highlight how the state may improve the CPA to help the program reach its full potential, and make it a more pivotal tool in helping the state overcome the housing crisis.”

The report finds:

  • Since the CPA took effect, less than 5 percent of projects have involved the creation of new housing, with funds primarily going towards unit upkeep and maintenance.
  • When housing creation does occur, urban areas spend substantially more than suburban communities.
  • Towns appear to occasionally double-count homes produced.


Dozens of communities that placed CPA funds in housing trusts - municipal bank accounts - have not reported how these funds were later used, even though they are required to do so.

To boost housing production, the report recommends:

  • Offering additional state funds for cities and towns that commit at least 20 percent of their CPA dollars to affordable housing (or 10 percent to support new housing units). Municipalities meeting these higher thresholds could also be given priority access to state grants and subsidies.
  • Ensuring that all municipalities are meeting the minimum requirement to devote at least 10 percent of CPA revenue to affordable housing. Cities and towns falling below this threshold may need to support additional “make-up” housing projects moving forward.
  • Enforcing reporting requirements for housing trusts, including annual spending summaries and concrete project details.


The report is available for review at this new website, MAHousingsolutions.com which breaks down the findings and shows how participating communities are spending CPA funds.



Funding Housing Through the Community Preservation Act
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Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jimmy Burgess

Jimmy Burgess shares 10 specific prompts designed for real estate agents that will help you generate leads, grow your business and serve your clients at the highest level possible


ChatGPT continues to get better and better. This article shares 10 specific prompts designed for real estate agents that will help you generate leads, grow your business, and serve your clients at the highest level possible.

The following prompts are easily copied and pasted, but understanding how to write an effective prompt yourself provides the knowledge needed to take your business to a new level. Rajeev Sajja, my co-host of The Real Estate AI Flash on Apple Podcasts, has developed an easy-to-follow formula for writing effective prompts utilizing the acronym R.I. S.E.

Although you may not use this complete formula in every prompt, the framework is helpful in providing ChatGPT the information it needs to give you the best response possible. This is a breakdown of the formula you can utilize:

R – Role

What role do you want ChatGPT to play? In the first prompt below, the first sentence that says, “Act as an expert real estate agent business coach,” is the role.

I – Input

The input you provide helps ChatGPT get a better idea of the goal for the prompt. In the first prompt below, the second sentence where it says, “I am a real estate agent that would like to generate two listings per month in 2024,” is an example of the input.

S – Specifics

The specifics help ChatGPT understand additional details about what you are trying to accomplish through the prompt. In the first prompt below, the third sentence where it says, “I currently generate listings from geographical farming and sphere of influence referrals,” is an example of specifics.

E – Expectation

The expectation you provide helps ChatGPT understand what it is you want it to do or what you expect to be able to achieve from the response to the prompt. In the first prompt below, the last sentence where it says, “Provide me with 20 strategies that can help me generate the seller leads needed to take the two listings per month that I’ve set as my goal,” is an example of an expectation.

Hopefully, this formula will help you write better prompts and, in turn, receive better responses. Now, let’s get to the prompts that we are getting results with right now.

1. Listing lead generation idea prompt

If you’re looking for ideas on how to generate listings this year, this is an example of a prompt that will help.

Act as an expert real estate agent business coach. I am a real estate agent that would like to generate two listings per month in 2024. I currently generate listings from geographical farming and sphere of influence referrals. Provide me with 20 strategies that can help me generate the seller leads needed to take the two listings per month that I’ve set as my goal. 

As with all these example prompts, adjust them to reflect truths about your business and don’t be afraid to test a number of different versions.

2. Buyer lead generation idea prompt

If you’re looking for buyer lead generation ideas, this prompt will provide 20 options.

Act as an expert real estate marketer and provide me with 20 creative ways to generate real estate buyer leads in the current market environment.

3. Google Business Profile review generation prompt

Reviews on your Google Business Profile page add credibility and an opportunity for organic lead generation. This prompt will help you craft an email that will get you the reviews you desire.

Act as an expert copywriter specializing in working with real estate agents. My goal is to increase the number of reviews on my Google Business Profile Page. Provide me with an email to past clients thanking them for their business and asking them to click on the link provided to leave a Google Business Review. The tone for the email should be conversational and gratitude-driven based on them doing business with me in the past. Also, provide me with three email subject line options for this email.

4. LinkedIn article for seller lead generation prompt

LinkedIn continues to prove itself as an underutilized lead-generation platform. This prompt will help you craft a blog post that the LinkedIn algorithm will love.

Act as an expert real estate copywriter and provide me with an SEO-optimized LinkedIn article with seven things a seller should do before listing their home for sale in [your city] in the spring. No. 7 in the article should be to call me for a free, no-obligation valuation analysis and a list of things that can be done to the home prior to listing it to maximize the sales price.

5. Social media content creation idea prompt

Are you struggling with content creation ideas? This prompt will help you grow your audience and influence in your local market. Although this example mentions Instagram, simply substitute your platform of choice for comparable results.

Act as an Instagram expert specializing in creating content for real estate agents. Provide me with 20 Instagram post ideas that will showcase me as the local real estate expert in [insert your city]. The goal of these posts is to increase engagement with the actual posts and followers of my page.

6. Business growth plan prompt

Do you have a goal to grow your business in 2024? This prompt will help build a plan of action that can make it happen.

Act as an expert real estate business coach. My goal is to increase my real estate sales business by 20 percent in the coming twelve months. Ask me as many questions as you need to understand my current business so you can provide me with strategies and a plan of action that will help me achieve my goal of growing my business by 20 percent in 2024.

7. Social media bio optimization prompt

The key to expanding your reach on social media is to gain followers. This prompt helps you optimize your bio in a way that encourages people to find your page and to follow you.

Act as an Instagram expert specializing in helping real estate agents grow their Instagram following. Ask me any questions you need that will help you write a compelling bio for my Instagram page that will increase my follower count.

8. Client appreciation ideas prompt

One of the best ways to generate referrals is to show your clients how much you appreciate them. This prompt will keep you top of mind when the opportunity for them to send someone your way arises.

Act as an expert real estate marketer specializing in showing past client’s appreciation. Give me 20 creative ways to say thank you and show my appreciation for those past clients and their business.

9. MLS description prompt

Pictures are what capture potential buyers’ attention, but in many cases the MLS description is the deciding factor on whether they decide to schedule an appointment to see the home or move on to the next listing. This prompt makes sure your MLS description helps your listing put its best foot forward.

Act as an expert real estate copywriter specializing in writing MLS home descriptions. Provide me with three MLS descriptions with one written in a conversational tone, one written in a professional tone, and one written in a luxury tone. Use the previous MLS description below for details of the home, but make sure the descriptions you provide are unique. Here is the previous MLS description: [insert previous description]

Once it provides the three options, show them to the homeowner and ask which they prefer and if there is anything additional they think you should highlight in the description.

10. Price reduction marketing plan prompt

As the market normalizes and days on the market increase, the need for price reductions will return to the market. This prompt provides ideas you can mold into a price reduction marketing plan for the homeowner that you can provide with the price reduction request. This plan of action provides the seller with confidence that the price reduction along with your proactive marketing plan will help them get the home sold.

Act as an expert marketer specializing in real estate marketing for homes with a recent price reduction. Give me 20 creative ways to market the home that will get it the exposure needed to get the home sold.

ChatGPT is available for everyone, but not everyone will take advantage of the opportunities it presents. Invest the time to learn this innovative technology and not only will you not be left behind, you will separate yourself from your competition.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida.

10 Powerfully Effective ChatGPT Prompts for 2024
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Whether commissions can be paid to an LLC depends on how the LLC is established and by whom. First and foremost, Massachusetts real estate licensing laws prohibit the sharing of fees, commissions, or other valuable consideration with an unlicensed individual. This restriction extends to corporate entities, such as LLCs, which must be validly licensed. For a corporation to become licensed, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, Section 87UU mandates that a partner or officer of the corporation hold an individual broker’s license. This means that the corporate entity must have its own corporate broker’s license in addition to the officer’s individual broker’s license. If the principal no longer holds an active broker's license, the corporation also loses its valid license.

As a result of this requirement, salespersons may never receive real estate commissions through an LLC or other corporate entity. For individuals with a broker's license, setting up an LLC to receive commissions is possible, provided the entity is properly licensed, which includes obtaining a separate broker bond.

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® Legal Team.
Can Commissions Be Paid To An LLC?
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Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Darryl Davis

As we continue to watch the unfolding of change and challenges in our industry, what we know is that the real estate agents who not only will survive — but also thrive — will be those with advanced skill training.

With the National Association of Realtors reporting it’s largest decline in membership in a decade, the message is clear: Adapt and enhance your skills or risk falling behind. We want to share some key strategies for success with a focus on training that agents must embrace in 2024 to excel in today’s ultra-competitive market.

1. Comprehensive skill training

Top-tier training in communication, negotiation, and marketing skills is the first must do. Agents who want to stay ahead, stay compliant, and stay in business can’t rely on old skills and strategies.

This should be the year of training — as much as possible. Seminars, webinars, workshops, courses, mentorship programs — all of which can help shorten learning curves and give you technical and relationship-building advantages as well as additional confidence to meet prospects and clients armed with knowledge and skills to do the best possible job for them.

2. Mastering digital marketing

In an increasingly digital world, proficiency in digital marketing is crucial. Agents should focus on creating a strong online presence with solid branding, leveraging social media with a balance of personal and business posts, and utilizing digital tools to reach and engage with a wider audience.

However, don’t use these tools to replace the human connection, but rather to enhance those connections.

3. Effective networking strategies

As they say, it’s all about who you know. Building and maintaining strong networks of agents, vendors and clients alike is more important than ever. Agents should actively engage in industry events and local community activities, developing these connections for opportunities and referrals.

4. Utilizing advanced technologies

Embracing technologies, such as artificial intelligence, can significantly enhance the buying and selling experience for clients. Regardless of your experience (or lack thereof) with these advanced tech tools, agents should take the time to learn how to use them. There’s no shortage of training and options!

5. Exceptional customer service

Outstanding customer service remains a cornerstone of real estate success and the hallmark of a great agent. Agents must focus on building trust and long-term relationships through attentive, empathetic, and personalized service, especially in the wake of the negative press that has been so prevalent recently.

Transparency, advocacy, communication and honesty are game-changers. Being a great agent is more than a successful transaction. It’s cultivating connections that withstand the test of time.

6. Strategic marketing techniques

As you know, (but not all clients do), selling a home is more than just sticking a sign in the yard. It’s about getting as many buyer’s eyes on it as possible. Agents need to employ specialized marketing techniques and have a solid understanding of the target audiences. Agents must also understand how to use data analytics to create more effective campaigns.

7. Effective time management

Time management is more than just balancing multiple clients and listings. Balancing prospecting, lead generation, social media posting, and reaching out regularly to past clients are all imperative.

All of these things require excellent time (and life) management skills. Agents should use productivity tools, such as a CRM and automated social media posting, as well as prioritize tasks to maximize efficiency.

8. Lead generation and client retention

Generating new clients doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as easy as wearing your name tag in public and striking up a conversation or two.

Simple conversations in line at the market, the bakery, and even Home Depot can turn into amazing new clients and referrals.

Maintaining strong relationships with existing clients means staying top-of-mind. Once again, this is where a CRM and systems can help even the busiest of agents keep contacts from falling through the cracks.      

9. Staying informed on market trends

This industry can change on a dime (and has), and agents should stay abreast of market trends and real estate news to coach their clients accurately and adjust strategies for conducting their business.

Agents who don’t have a clear picture of what is happening in the market will quickly fall behind and be left without answers when news-savvy consumers have questions. 

Related reading: 49% of agents sold either 1 home or none at all in the past year: CFA

To be a top-performing agent in 2024, prioritizing skill development will be your best way to adapt to the changing market. Remember, success in real estate isn’t just about sales numbers. Serve, don’t sell. Coach, don’t close.

Although those may seem like semantics to some, they have made all the difference in how consumers perceive and communicate with our members. No one wants to be “sold” in today’s world. They want advocates and trusted resources and to know that the professionals they align with have integrity levels they can count on. 

This year, stay committed to your personal and business growth, be agile and ready to adapt to our evolving industry in whatever form it takes, continue to provide exceptional value to your clients and keep them first and foremost in your business. After all, this is a people business, and they need you more than ever.

Darryl Davis is the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars.
9 Action Steps to Grow Your Business in 2024
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Housing & Homeless Assistant Grants Available

Do you have a housing-related non-profit close to your heart?

Please consider submitting an application for a 2024 Housing & Homeless Assistance Grant to support them with a grant of up to $2,500. These grants are available to housing-related 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, which provide shelter, food and clothing, mortgage and/or rental assistance, home buyer counseling or other similar support in one of GBAR's 64 towns and cities or in a community where a member firm is located. For more information this initiative, including eligibility and deadline to apply, please visit the GBAR Charitable Giving page.

Placemaking Grant Program

In partnership with NAR, we offer these grants to help make our communities better places by creating new, outdoor public spaces and destinations on unused or underutilized sites. Grant limits have been expanded to allow for larger project budgets and new project types including trailheads, playgrounds, pocket parks, community gardens, downtown gathering spots, and many more. If you can think of a space in your market area that could use our support, click here to learn more. 
Charitable Grant Applications Available!
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MBA Recap & Boston's Lending Environment 2024 - SOLD OUT!
Holland & Knight
12:00pm
 
Rentals the Right Way! Webinar
Zoom
9:00am
 
BOMI: Budgeting & Accounting
Virtual Via Zoom
9:00am
 
Women's Leadership Initiative Program & Reception
Experience Center At The District
3:00pm
 
MAA Membership Orientation Webinar
Virtual Via Zoom
10:00am