Below are the presentations from our distinguished speakers from our Economic Expectations program on October, 25, 2023

Economic Expectations Presentations Available
GBAR is pleased to announce a new member benefit through our partnership with SafeShowings LCC, to bring a mobile app that gives REALTORS® control of their safety in real time.

The safety and well being of our members is ALWAYS a top priority and this is the FIRST mobile proactive safety app of its kind. We we encourage you to implement and use this new member benefit in your real estate business! 

SafeShowings is the first mobile proactive strategic deterrent, safety app of its kind. It captures a real-time image of the person or people to whom a professional, most often a lone worker, is about to show a property. The images are then uploaded to a secure location. If a user is unable to end a SafeShowings showing properly and within the allotted time, the application will immediately notify the user’s selected emergency contacts with the exact location and images of the person or predator. This is the only real-time, locale-entry strategic deterrent application that dissuades criminal behavior because the person intending to do harm clearly knows that they will get caught. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) states that “Research clearly shows that the chance of being caught is a vastly more effective deterrent than even draconian punishment.” According to the NIJ, a strategic deterrent is the number one way to ensure that you and your employees are safe. A strategic deterrent is the last line of defense.

With SafeShowings, the uer captures the following every time he or she enters a property:

• Images
• Contact names
• Cell phone numbers
• GPS location of the SafeShowings user

Click here to download the SafeShowings App--for FREE!


Getting Started Video

SafeShowings App Launch Webinar Replay

Click here
to view a replay of our SafeShowings App Launch Webinar, and learn more about how to get setup and start using this effective tool at your next showing or open house!
GBAR Launches New Safety App Member Benefit
On October 19, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) held a webinar for to introduce college students to introduction to Commercial Real Estate (CRE).

GBREB consists of five divisions: Building Owners and Managers Association, Boston (BOMA Boston), Commercial Brokers Association (CBA), Greater Boston Association of Realtors (GBAR), Real Estate Finance Association (REFA), and Massachusetts Apartment Association (MAA).  The program included a panel discussion with industry professionals from all five divisions who provided an introductory overview of the Commercial Real Estate Industry and its many career paths, and will share their tips on how to connect, network, and launch your career. 

Moderator: Kathleen Franco, Senior Vice President, Residential Operations, Claremont Properties, 2023 GBREB Chair  


Jessica Buonopane, CAPS, Senior Vice President, Residential Properties, National Development, 2023 MAA President
Alison Powers, Executive Vice President, JLL, 2023 CBA President
Ravi Ragnauth, Partner & CFO, Berkshire Residential Investments, 2023 REFA President-Elect
Tanisha N. Salmon, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, GBAR Director & GBAR DEI Committee Chair
Jennifer Twombly, General Manager, Rockhill Management, 2023 BOMA President

View GBREB Career College Showcase video

GBREB College Career Showcase Replay
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jimmy Burgess

Social media and YouTube are marketing machines that can transform your business in ways you can’t imagine. It's time to build your presence in a way that attracts more of your ideal clients

The idea that you need to be everywhere to be effective online is completely wrong. The key is to start on one platform, have a well-calculated plan and build from there.

The two main ways to grow a following are to spend money for someone to execute for you or to invest the time and effort to do it yourself. These options have often been referred to as debt or sweat.

Although scaling your growth on social media is hard to do without hiring someone to help you, starting out or beginning to build momentum is usually achieved by taking action yourself.

Here we’ll focus on the steps needed to get focused and build momentum. These steps will be broken down using the word “sweat” as an acronym.

S: Study your ideal client

All marketing efforts should begin with identifying your ideal client. Who is it that you want to work with? Who is it that your experience and expertise will benefit most? Is your ideal client a first-time homebuyer, an investor, or a homeowner in a specific community? Once you’ve identified who your ideal client is, you can begin to study where they spend their time. This will give you a better understanding of which platform to focus on to build your presence.

The social media or video platform you decide to focus on should be driven by the one where your ideal client spends the most time. If your client is a first-time homebuyer, then they may be spending most of their time on TikTok or Instagram. A more mature seller or buyer may be on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. An investor may be on LinkedIn or YouTube more often.

Spend time researching which platforms your ideal clients spend their time. Once you’ve identified which platform you should focus on, you can shift to the type of content your ideal client engages with.

W: Who’s winning in other markets?

The beauty of living in today’s world is that you can easily figure out the type of content potential prospects will respond to by studying agents in other markets that have built followings on the platform you wish to grow on. This leads to a search for agents that you can use as case studies. If you’re looking for agents that are doing well on Instagram, you can find 23 of them here.

Once you’ve found a few agents that present themselves and their business in a way that you would like to model, go to their wall (home page). Click on the Reels button and as you scroll down their wall the number of views and engagement of each Reel will show up. Identify the top five to ten reels they posted and produce content like those, highlighting your market instead of theirs.

If YouTube is the platform you are looking to build on, you can find a list of video types with an agent example here. Once you’ve identified agents on YouTube you would like to model your videos after, go to their page and click on the video tab. Once the dropdown box comes up, click on the popular tab. This will show you the most popular videos for this agent.

Again, model the video after the one they shot. Copy their title while changing out their city for yours. By modeling what has already worked for agents in other markets, your time frame for success will accelerate.

E: Escalate your activity

The next step is to escalate the amount of activity you are taking on your targeted platform. This not only includes posting more, but it also means liking and commenting on other people’s posts in your targeted market area. The most effective way to do this is the $1.80 strategy that Gary Vaynerchuk stated was how he built his extensive following online.

The $1.80 principle states that you should give your “two cents,” otherwise known as comments, on 90 posts that are relevant to your area or your ideal client a day. This may sound extreme, so consider doing it at whatever scale you can do.

I’ve done this myself at times where I set a daily goal to leave my “20 cents” or 10 comments on other people’s posts per day. Whatever level of commitment you can make, make that commitment. Just remember, the more you engage, the faster you will grow.

You can find posts to comment on by utilizing hashtags or becoming active on local platforms that have big followings. For instance, #YourCity (whatever it may be) will show you all the posts recently made using that hashtag. Use this to find content creators, local pages or local businesses that have an audience interacting with their pages via questions or comments.

Add value by answering these questions or adding to the comments and becoming a resource. Following active members who comment and interact on these pages is another great way to build your audience as well.
When you escalate your activity and become a resource, your following will grow.

A: Add value

The agent who adds the most value to the market will always, eventually, become the top-producing agent in their market. What are the biggest pain points for your ideal prospect? Produce that type of content to grow your presence and the trust your ideal clients will have in you.

Forget about making yourself feel/look good by letting people know that you’re number one. Focus on giving them what they want, whatever that is.

Answer the questions you most often receive. Talk about programs for first-time homebuyers that help with closing costs or that provide down payment assistance. Talk about the local schools if your ideal client is a family with children.

Whatever they are concerned about should be the focus of your content. When you focus on them, they will notice you and your value, in their eyes, will grow.

T: Take the long view

Success on social media is a process. Yes, you can have one post or video go viral, but true success is built through building a following that views you as their local resource. This takes time. It requires consistency and commitment. But time will pass either way.

A year from now, or three years from now, will your business be better if you make the commitment to be consistent on social media or through video production today? I believe it will. This is not something I think can happen, it’s something that I know can happen.

It took me 72 videos and 14 months to get my first 100 subscribers on YouTube. But now, just a few years later, I’m adding over 500 YouTube subscribers per month. When you look at the amount of time viewers watch my videos monthly, every second of real time people are watching four seconds of my videos.

Imagine how building a YouTube channel that provided four seconds of marketing for you for every second of real time would change the trajectory of your business.

Social media and YouTube are marketing machines that can transform your current and future business in ways you can’t imagine. Now is the time to get focused and build your presence in a way that attracts more of your ideal clients.

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

Why Your Online Presence Isn't Growing (And What To Do About It)


Article Courtesy of: Inman News
by: Beverly Jacobo

Whether it’s a newbie with poor people skills or a veteran top producer who thinks they’re the only one who matters, power imbalances and a lack of professionalism can occur in even the best brokerages or on the most tight-knit teams. Sometimes toxic behaviors go on too long before they’re addressed, creating a negative environment that drives away valued agents and staff members.

As part of the leadership team, you’ll need to come up with a plan to address problem agents, whether they’ve been there for years or just came aboard. You’re not doing anyone any favors by letting bad behavior continue. Here’s how to make an honest assessment of the situation, and create the change you want to see.

1. Recognize your part in creating the problem

Sometimes we find that we’re playing a part in the drama of a workplace conflict, even with the best of intentions. 
• Maybe you don’t have a strong enough onboarding program for new agents. 
• Maybe you lack adequate ongoing training and education programs.
• Maybe you need to rein in some of your more veteran agents who don’t think the rules apply to them.
• Maybe you need more face time with all of your agents on a weekly basis.
• Maybe you need to better define your brokerage’s mission and cast a more compelling vision to get everyone onboard.

Great leadership starts with taking a look in the mirror before trying to change the behavior of others.

2. Be open to changes in your process

It takes time to change the processes that you’ve put in place, along with a willingness to do what’s necessary to get better results. Even if it costs more, even if it’s frustrating, be open to the necessary changes and don’t put them off. Every day that you defer creating positive solutions is another day that your business is operating at less than peak performance.

3. Create an open dialogue with others in your organization

You may need to have some conversations with stakeholders inside and outside of your organization. Problem behaviors may require you to speak with staff members, agents, current or past clients, and other members of your professional network. This should be handled delicately and without gossiping. Get the facts and use this as an opportunity to repair relationships to the best of your ability.

4. Have an honest conversation with your ‘problem’ agents

Once you have the facts in place and you’ve done your part to create a better environment, it’s time to sit down with the agents who aren’t yet getting with the program. Some of these conversations may be difficult and painful. Some may be productive and based on a simple lack of knowledge. In either case, it’s usually a good idea to have someone else in the room so that you have a witness to your interaction, then follow up with a written record of the meeting.

5. Work with them to create a plan of action

Be part of the solution for those agents who need to improve. Work with them to define their areas of concern and help them understand what constitutes acceptable behavior and performance. Connect them with a coach or mentor as needed, or help them to find training that can provide the tools to create the level of improvement you’re seeking.

6. Understand what harm has been done and make corrections as needed

Denial will not help you, and it will not help your business’ reputation. Don’t continue to defend an agent whose behavior is unacceptable and don’t overlook their actions because they bring a lot of money in the door. Truly problem behavior can have severe consequences both on the agent and on your brokerage.

In some cases, your conversations may make it clear that it’s time to part ways. Ensure that you’ve kept comprehensive records of your interactions and the interventions you’ve put in place in the past so that you can accurately recall everything that led up to the separation.

7. Continue to reevaluate and make changes as needed

It’s easy to initiate change but can be difficult to keep it going. Check in frequently to make sure that the action plan you’ve put in place is being followed and that any policy changes you’ve made organization-wide are being correctly implemented. 

While improvement is often incremental, it’s important to ensure that adequate progress has been made according to the process you’ve outlined. Remember, it’s your role to be helpful, not to enable or excuse unprofessional or problematic behavior. Make sure you’re doing what’s best for everyone, not just one or two individuals.

Beverly Jacobo is the agent success manager at Doora Properties.

7 Ways to Help Your Agents Without Enabling Bad Behavior

Date: November 15, 2023 | Location: Greater Boston Area
Pick Up Scheduling Dates: October 2 - October 20
Contact: Gentle Giant Moving Co. at 1-800-442-6863 

GBAR and Gentle Giant Moving Company have partnered to help fill the furniture bank at Household Goods of Acton. Please participate in our furniture drive where we will have moving trucks collect items from you, which will then be donated to families making the transition from homelessness into permanent housing. The families will “shop” at the Household Goods of Acton warehouse and select the items that will suit them best in their new home. To schedule a pickup, please contact Gentle Giant Moving Co. at 1-800-442-6863 - at prompts press 3 and then 0 for the receptionist. The dates of calling to schedule a pickup are October 2 through October 20. You must provide Gentle Giant with an explanation of items you are donating so that they are able to efficiently plan the truck route. The people who receive the donated furniture move the furniture themselves into their new home. They often move into second-floor walk-up apartments. Our goal is to give them furniture that can fit up the stairs and into their new home, so we will not be able to accept oversized furniture.

Acceptable items include:

Couches/Love Seats | Futons | Upholstered Chairs | Nightstands |TV Stands | Dining/Kitchen Tables & Chairs | Dressers | Small Bookcases | Counter-top Microwaves | Toasters | Coffeemakers

**All items must be in clean and usable condition. Please no over-sized items.
No rips, tears or stains. Please no glass or stone. Also no drafting or gaming.

For additional questions or to help determine if an item will be acceptable, please contact Gentle Giant Moving Co. at 1-800-442-6863.

Furnish the Future: Gentle Giant Furniture Drive Nov. 15!

What steps can a listing agent take to verify that the person contacting them is really the owner of the property? 

There have been an increasing number of reports in Massachusetts relating to fraudulent sellers. Often, these scams are attempted on vacation properties or vacant properties because the legitimate owners may not be routinely physically present at the property. Some indicators of a potentially fraudulent seller are:

• They say are out of state/country and cannot meet in person;
• Refusal to engage in a video conference;
• Insistence on selling the property fast;
• Willingness to sell below market value.

If faced with a situation where perhaps the lead seems too good to be true, or there are some red flags, a diligent listing agent should:

• Seek advice from their broker;
• Request identification from the seller(s);
• Do a records search – do the names match?
• Insist on a video call;
• Do an internet/social media search for the seller(s).

If the seller is legitimate, they will likely be agreeable to the efforts to verify their identity and ownership status of the property. In those situations where the person is attempting to perpetrate a fraud, taking these additional steps will likely act as a sufficient deterrent to the scammer. 

Failure to engage in proper due diligence by the listing agent could result in significant damages to the listing agent, the brokerage, the owners of the property, and the buyers.
Courtesy of the MAR Legal Team.
Red Flags & Tips for Dealing With Property Scammers


Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Andi Blackwell

You can create a safer, more positive culture in your office, even if you're not the one who's actually in charge

It’s an unfortunate fact of modern life that many people no longer feel safe, even in their own neighborhoods and workplaces. The events and discussions of the past few months reflect a growing anxiety and an ongoing lack of trust in the people and institutions we used to feel were on our side. Bad behavior can happen anywhere — at a conference, in the office and at the highest levels of the industry.

For almost 100 years, it’s been established that safety is a basic human need, second only to food, water and shelter. In a world with increasingly stressful headlines and market changes, here are three ways you can create a culture of safety in your office, even if you’re not in charge.

1. Explore and practice self-regulation

 Self-regulation is an important component of emotional intelligence. It allows you to be more aware of yourself and others, and can help you to optimize your behavior in reaching your long-term goals. Most importantly, self-regulation allows you to manage your thoughts, feelings, and actions, even when faced with a difficult situation, or traumatic event. 

Two common strategies for self-regulation are mindfulness and reframing. In this context, mindfulness is not a meditation, but rather an awareness of being present in the moment without judgment.

Imagine hearing an agent on the phone with frustration in their voice. When you’re being present without judgment, you don’t jump to an assumption that they are frustrated with you or the deal. You understand that people are complex beings with much going on. It may have nothing to do with you.

Reframing is a strategy that allows you to reinterpret the situation you’re in to change your emotional response. In every situation we walk into, we bring the sum of all of our experiences. As real estate agents we brag about our experience as a good thing, but it can also carry with it assumptions, frustrations and emotional history.

While real estate remains a field of heightened stress, using self-regulation strategies means your emotional state won’t be at the whim of every phone call. You can also learn how to use these new strategies to assist others when they are in a dysregulated state. By being a more regulated and present individual, you can contribute to the general peace of an office.  

2. Advocate for clear safety policies both inside and outside of the office

Is it safe for an agent to meet someone alone at a vacant house? In what circumstances may it be? If your office does not have established best practices for safety, advocate for that to change. Safety policies are not a guarantee, but having these policies in place shows that the agents’ lives are as important as their livelihoods. It also provides an opportunity for an ongoing conversation that will continue to be needed.

Best practices for safety aren’t just needed outside the office. Eighty-one percent of women and 43 percent of men report experiencing some sort of sexual harassment or assault in their lifetime. Seventy-one percent of Black Americans have experienced racial discrimination or mistreatment. Nearly half of LGBT workers will have experienced workplace harassment in their life.

So what do you do to maintain safety within the office? All Realtors are subject to Code of Ethics 10-5 regarding hate speech, but many agents say enforcement is still needed. Most agents are independent contractors that don’t benefit from Title VII federal protections, but no one would argue that a real estate office should be a place where discrimination is accepted.

That said, each office or agency should seek legal advice to craft an office policy regarding discrimination and how to enforce it with integrity to secure the trust of their agents. Independent contractors should also remember they are always able to seek an office whose policies conform to their values.

3. Encourage different business perspectives in the office

Real estate is an industry where there is no one way to be successful. Inman’s articles are filled with agents who have created successful businesses via a wide variety of marketing techniques. Yet there are agents who believe you have to do a specific activity “to be successful.”

We now know that consistency is the key to a successful business. It is not the activity you pick, it’s doing it consistently, often enough and long enough, to reap the rewards. That is why it is extremely beneficial to bring different business perspectives into your office and embrace the many paths to success.

One agent may not feel safe door knocking but can flourish on social media. Another agent may not be comfortable with the lack of privacy on social media but is very successful with open houses. Allowing and encouraging a variety of different methods provides different avenues for agents to build their businesses while also meeting their needs of safety.

Agents in offices can request information and speakers on different marketing practices. If that’s not something their office provides, another way would be to create a mastermind with like-minded agents. 

These three points are just a few ways you can contribute to a culture of safety. Of course, we are all aware that there are no guarantees when it comes to safety. Each agent still deserves to build a life and a business where they can feel safe. As a basic need, it is frankly essential for the individual, and therefore the office, to thrive.

Andi Blackwell partners with her husband as real estate agents at eXp Realty (and they still love each other). She’s a third-generation agent and Certified Trauma-Informed Coach who focuses on teaching classes and finding ways to improve agent and client outcomes. 

3 Ways to Create a Culture of Safety in Your Office
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Nick Schlekeway

The best real estate agents and the people who operate at the highest levels of the industry are not tactical, they are strategic

Last week I wrote about the first pillar to success, personal development. Today, I’m going to talk to you about the second pillar to success, strategic planning. I use the word “strategic” for a very specific and important reason.

Real estate tends to be a very tactical and very short-term industry. People in our industry, unfortunately, seem to have a hard time looking out into the future.

The best agents and the people who run this industry are not tactical, they are strategic. They make decisions based on what they want to happen in the next five years, not the next five months. They look far beyond the next closing or the next sales cycle. They look to the future they want to create for their lives, the vision they see for their family, and the multi-generational wealth they are going to build. 

You’re a business owner, not a salesperson

Salespeople work on transactions, business owners work on their business, and they have a strategic plan for doing just that. While there is certainly nothing wrong with being in sales, most of us got into this industry and went 1099 so that we could build a business. OK, so what is your plan? A dream without a plan is just a damn wish.

The best strategic plan is the one that you understand and that you can follow. It is also the one built on proven models that have been tested in real life. Let’s pause right there because this is critical. Not only do you not have to come up with your own plan from scratch, you shouldn’t. Do not reinvent the wheel, and do not think that you are so special you cannot learn from the mistakes of those who have come before.

The starting point for your plan is to go find people who are doing what you want to do and talk to them about how they got there. The same information is found in books and podcasts covering the habits, systems and stories of successful agents. 

Here are some (not all) of the most important items to include in your planning:

It’s absolutely critical that you understand some kind of budget, some kind of forecasting. You don’t have to have a spreadsheet with 20 tabs on it, but you have to have some idea of the following:

• How much money you’re going to spend on marketing
• How much money you have available to pay your bills
• How much you want to have available to invest in income-producing assets each year

Most importantly, for real estate agents (especially new ones), how much money do you need to set aside for taxes? The tax man cometh, and one way or another, you always have to settle up with The Man.  

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
What are your KPIs and how are you going to use them to drive progress? The most obvious KPI for anyone in sales is prospecting phone calls, but some others include:
• content pieces delivered (newsletter, social media, podcast, etc.)
• buyer/seller consultations
• open houses
• one-on-one meetings with high-net-worth individuals
• CMAs or equity updates for people in your farming area

The most important KPI to understand and to track is for every agent to understand how many leads they need to generate each month in order to hit their sales goal for the year, with an understanding that those leads are a result of the activities listed above.  

Speaking of goals, what are your goals for the month, the quarter, the year, and the next two to three years? Yes, sales goals, but also goals for how many listings you want to take vs. buyers, average sale price, specific markets to break into, specific people or groups to start working with, etc.

Your goals should be the benchmarks you need to hit in order to continue progressing in your strategic plan. All of it should be driving you to the future you want to create. Your vision.  

What sales systems do you need to create or rip off and implement in your business to increase efficiencies or customer service? I highly recommend ripping them off since we work in an extremely simple industry, and you likely won’t be able to think of anything that has not already been thought of and implemented by someone else. 

When it comes to systems like preparing a listing for market or moving a buyer through the sales funnel, someone is already doing it at a high level. Just copy them. 

Strategic assets
What strategic assets do you need to acquire in order to execute the long-term plan? This could be your own office space, it could be a specific tool or technology asset, it could be a strategic lead generation asset like building the organic SEO on your website so that it generates five leads a month or building the reach of your social media to the same purpose.

It could be the purchase of all of your own staging furniture (and a designer to place it), or it could be hiring a marketing director to take your marketing to the next level. What are the strategic assets you need to acquire that will help catapult you? 

A quote to ponder
“Strategic planning is worthless – unless there is first a strategic vision.” — John Naisbitt

A good plan should be simple and easy to follow. For me, this means it needs to fit on one or two pages. Maybe you need, or like, a bit more detail, but I would be cautious about getting into the weeds. While we should know where we are going, we never know exactly how we are going to get there, and the route always takes unexpected twists and turns.

One of the biggest tragedies of this industry is the number of agents who failed simply because they were either too ignorant or arrogant to follow the map that successful agents have already drawn. Create your own map and enjoy the rewards.

Nick Schlekeway is the founder of Amherst Madison, a Boise, Idaho-based real estate brokerage.

Why Having a Strategic Plan is the Secret to Peak Performance
Tucked into this year’s Massachusetts state budget was a new statute, codified as Chapter 239, Section 15 of the General Laws, protecting tenants facing an eviction for non-payment of rent while an application for emergency rental assistance is pending. In essence, the law makes permanent a temporary measure which expired earlier this year. 

“Emergency rental assistance” is defined to mean financial assistance provided to a residential tenant under the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program or any other program administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, a municipality or a nonprofit entity using public funds to cure a rent arrearage or subsidize moving costs, including the payment of a security deposit.  

A judge presiding over a residential summary process eviction action must grant a delay for such period as the judge may deem just and reasonable if, either at the time the answer is filed by the tenant or on the date the trial is scheduled to commence: (1) the tenancy is being terminated solely for non-payment of rent; (2) the non-payment of rent resulted from a financial hardship; and (3) the tenant demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the judge, that an application for emergency rental assistance is pending. The judge may, however, elect to consider any meritorious counterclaim brought by the tenant.

No eviction may be ordered until the tenant’s application for emergency rental assistance has been approved or denied. 

Court administrators will be required to file monthly reports with legislative leaders, including data on how many delays have been granted, the average duration of the delays and how many landlords and tenants have been represented by legal aid services. 

As always, members are advised to consult their own attorneys for more information.

Philip S. Lapatin
Holland & Knight LLP
August 9, 2023

New Law Delays Residential Evictions

GBREB, Massachusetts Housing Coalition and the Massachusetts Homebuilders and Remodeler’s Association Take Action to Oppose 2024 Rent Control Ballot Question

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board, Massachusetts Housing Coalition (MHC) and the Massachusetts Homebuilders (HBRAMA) and Remodeler’s Association recently took the first step in opposing a 2024 ballot initiative to bring back rent control. 

Before a question can be put before the voters, it must take clear several procedural steps. One of the first steps is a review by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to determine if complies with Article 48 of the Massachusetts Constitution. As part of that review, GBREB, MHA and HMRAMA recently submitted a legal memorandum outlining concerns that the question did not meet the constitutional muster to move forward. 

Attorney General Andrea Campbell then has about a month to decide which of the over 40 questions on a wide variety of topics should advance.  

The ballot question process is independent of legislation currently pending at the State House to bring back rent control including the recent home rule petition in Boston filed by Mayor Michelle Wu.

Click here to see an explanation of how a voter referendum is added to the ballot in Massachusetts.

Please visit for more information.

GBREB, Others Take Action to Oppose 2024 Rent Control Ballot Question
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By:  Ben Verde

With sales down and inventory low, agents are combing social media, calling expireds and seeking out people with major life milestones. In other words, they're meeting the moment with creativity

One of Mike Opyd’s agents had a problem.

Opyd is the owner of RE/MAX Next in Chicago, and recently told Inman that one of his agent was working with a client who owned multiple properties on a single block in Chicago. The client wanted more property in that location, but thanks to an exceedingly tight inventory landscape, nothing was for sale.

But that didn’t stop the agent. Instead, Opyd said, he called every single homeowner on the block until he ultimately found a family who had inherited a property from their father and were interested in offloading it. 

“Most people told him no,” Opyd said,”but he did find a property.”

The episode highlights how agents are having to go the extra mile now thanks to a limited supply of homes. And the supply truly is limited: According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest report, national unsold housing inventory fell to 1.08 million at the end of June, or the equivalent of 3.1 months supply at the current sales rate. For context, six months of supply is typically considered “normal,” or at least it was in the years before the pandemic.

That of course makes life harder for agents. But Opyd and other brokers who spoke with Inman for this story said they’re seeing real estate pros find success by trying new or different strategies. They’re combing social media, calling expired listings, and searching for people who have just hit major life milestones. In other words, brokers said that surviving or thriving in this moment requires creativity — and good old-fashioned hard work.

“In this market you’ve got to get creative,” Opyd said. “If you’re not getting proactive and you’re just relying on the MLS, you are putting your business in the hands of other Realtors.”

The range of activities agents are trying today runs the gamut.

Opyd, for example, said agents in his office have found new clients by exclusively calling the numbers listed with expired or canceled listings, then asking the owners if they were still interested in selling. 

“One of my agents found three or four different properties for clients just by simply calling expired or canceled listings, or even just people in a certain area,” Opyd said. 

For Compass agent Alex Platt in Boca Raton, Florida, the drop-off in inventory has completely changed day-to-day operations for his team. Whereas working with a buyer used to involve taking the client out to see multiple properties in a day, it now involves a significant amount of searching for properties that may not be publicly listed. 

“Right now, you might take a buyer client out to see five houses,” Platt said. “If they don’t like them, for the average agent your day might be just waiting for a new listing to come up — but we’re a little more proactive so we’ll be reaching out to off-market homes or sellers in a neighborhood trying to find something. Instead of the days being showing, showing, showing, it’s a little bit more searching and backend stuff.”  

Platt says his team has actually increased their transactions and dollar volume over the past year, which he attributes to their more proactive approach. 

“I think we’re excelling in a down market,” he said. “We’re getting a little more creative now and it’s really worked for us.” 

That down market is largely the result of high mortgage rates, which climbed rapidly last year as regulators worked to battle inflation. Homeowners largely responded by refusing to list their homes lest they lose their lower rates. Now, the rate-induced lack of inventory is expected to persist if the Federal Reserve continues its “higher for longer” rate strategy that will keep rates elevated and suppress home sales, according to Fannie Mae economists.

The National Association of Realtors’ existing-home sales report, released Thursday, puts the situation further into context, showing that not only is inventory down, but also that sales of existing properties fell 18.9 percent annually and 3.3 percent monthly in June. Prices climbed to a median sales price of $410,000. 

A report released Thursday by Redfin additionally found that home prices were up 2 percent from a year ago in mid July due to demand greatly outpacing supply in most markets. 

This low inventory environment has naturally resulted in increased competition as buyers scramble for the few available properties. And it’s taking a toll on agents working with buyers. Opyd told Inman an agent in his office wrote 170 offers throughout the Chicago suburbs in 2022. Only 30 of those offers were accepted.

“Agents are burned out at this point,” he said.

Against a backdrop of low inventory and reluctant sellers, Alexander Fromm Lurie — who leads The Lurie Team in San Francisco — suggested “mining for motivation” to track down people who are looking to sell because of a major milestone in their life such as a marriage, divorce, or new job. 

“Mining LinkedIn, mining Facebook, mining Instagram, mining the news, those are four areas to just be keeping your eye on,” Lurie said. “You can’t just sit behind your computer and expect people to call you. We have to be proactive as agents to understand who is really interested, ready and able to make a move.” 

The upside is that agents who hit the ground running during the down market should expect to be rewarded with more business than ever once the housing market rebounds, according to Lurie. 

“We are in a cycle and things will change, by putting in the work now — sure it will enable us to get through this time, but by putting in the work now I suspect that those who really do it in a comprehensive way, they will hockey stick out of this cycle — whatever that is, whether it’s a year from now, two years, three years,” he said. “They will hockey stick out of this with more business than they ever had before.”

Get Creative: As Inventory Drops, Agents Dust Off Trusted Techniques


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