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GBREB Foundation raises record amount for student scholarships in 2017

On June 2, 2017, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board Foundation held its annual scholarship breakfast where almost 50 college scholarships were awarded to students from the Greater Boston area.  The scholarships are “Last Dollar In,” scholarships designed to complement and provide additional resources to a student without affecting the financial aid they receive from their school. 

Ron Druker was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his passionate commitment to education, the arts and improving the quality of life for people in the Greater Boston area.  John Barros, the Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston was honored as a “First One,” which an award is recognizing that he was the first person in his family to attend college.  In addition, 15 students received summer internships in the real estate field at a host of commercial and residential real estate companies in Boston.   

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board Scholarship Fund was established in 2012 with the goal of helping economically disadvantaged young people attend and graduate from college by providing them with scholarship assistance and financial aid counseling. In order to accomplish their mission, GBREB partnered with uAspire, a Boston-based organization that has been helping students from low-income families find an affordable path to a postsecondary education since 1985.

Now in its fifth year, the GBREB Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in 'last dollar' scholarships that are granted for the purpose of filling the gap between students' financial aid and the costs of college beyond tuition – such as room and board, computers, books and supplies to graduating seniors in the Greater Boston area. Scholarships of $1,000-$5,000 are awarded to students each spring based on financial need, academic achievement, leadership, extra-curricular involvement, and short written essays, and are guaranteed for two years. These scholarships can sometimes be the determining factor as to whether or not a low-income student will attend college.

The GBREB Foundation Scholarship Fund Leadership Breakfast, first held in 2015, was envisioned as a way to honor the students receiving the GBREB Foundation scholarship awards as well as the donors who contributed to the fund. Now held annually, the breakfast simultaneously recognizes Massachusetts business, government, education, nonprofit and community leaders with the uAspire First One Award, given to those individuals who were the first in their families to graduate from college and make noteworthy contributions to their field and society at large.

GBREB Foundation


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With less than a month left before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) expires, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to reform and reauthorize the program for five years. But because the bill—which is backed by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)—still needs Senate approval, it’s unclear whether the long-sought five-year extension will be passed before Dec. 8, when the NFIP is set to expire.

"Realtors® know first-hand what happens when the NFIP expires, and it isn’t good for consumers, businesses or our communities" said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. "We appreciate the leadership that members of Congress have shown passing sound reforms, which will strengthen the program, protect property owners and deliver good results for taxpayers."
The NFIP is responsible for providing the vast majority of flood insurance policies in over 20,000 communities nationwide. Without it, most consumers would be unable to purchase the flood insurance that’s required on mortgages in a flood plain. In the past, NAR has shown that 40,000 home sales are lost every month when the program is unavailable.

Flood insurance is required for any property that’s in a flood zone and has a federally related mortgage. Any loan backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA, the VA, or the Rural Housing Services is a federally related mortgage.

H.R. 2874, the "21st Century Flood Reform Act," reauthorizes the NFIP for five years, while taking steps to reform the program. These reforms include:

Authorizing $1 billion to elevate, buy out or mitigate high-risk properties
Capping flood insurance premiums at $10,000 per year for homeowners
Removing hurdles to the private flood insurance market, which often offers better coverage at lower cost than the NFIP.
Providing for community flood maps and a homeowner’s ability to appeal their flood designation
Better aligning NFIP rates to match a property’s true risk, particularly for in-land and lower-value properties
Improving the claims process for flood victims
Addressing repeatedly flooded properties, which account for 2 percent of NFIP policies but 25 percent of claim payments

For more information, visit NAR’s NFIP website.
House Passes Five-Year Flood Insurance Extension
As 2017 beings to come to an end, it is a great time to reflect on the past year and all we have been able to accomplish at GBAR. We want to invite all our of members to join us for our Installation of 2018 GBAR Officers & Directors and Holiday Party, on Thursday, December 14th from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Boston-Newton Marriott in Newton. At this annual event, we install the 2018 Board of Directors, and President Marie Presti and recognize and celebrate the accomplishments and hard work of this year’s directors, committee leaders and members.

The luncheon is open to all GBAR members. So, whether you have served on a committee, or would like to support members of next year’s board, please register online or contact GBAR staff to reserve your seat or a table as space for this event is limited. This is a wonderful last opportunity of the year to network with your REALTOR® colleagues and industry affiliates and to celebrate another successful year at GBAR.
Celebrate The Holiday Season with GBAR
This year, we are delighted to award several of our members with REALTOR® Emeritus status. This is a highly-distinguished level of membership status awarded by the National Association of REALTORS® to individuals who have held membership in the REALTOR® organization for a minimum of 40 years. Less than 3,000 REALTORS® nationwide have received this honor. The following GBAR members will receive their certificates at next month’s Installation event:

-Nancy Evancho, Congress Realtors®, Natick
-Jerry Mazzola, Congress Realtors®, Natick
-Phyllis Reservitz, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lexington
-Raymond Watts, A Different Agent, Wellesley

We also had four members who earned their REALTOR® Emeritus status earlier in the year and were recognized at our Annual Award Breakfast in June.

-Elaine Costello, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Milton                  
-Joanne Damish, Joanne Damish Real Estate, Walpole                                       
-Priscilla Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Associates, North Reading                                     
-Nancy Ledger Quinn, Berkshire Hathaway Home Service, Maynard            

Congratulations to you all!
GBAR Names New REALTOR® Emeritus Recipients
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has published its 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report which features real estate trends and survey statistics from the past year. This is the 36th edition of the report, and is the longest-running source for national housing data regarding the demographics, preferences, motivations and experiences of recent homebuyers and sellers.
The report found that 34 percent of buyer were first-time homebuyers, which is down from the 2016 mark of 35 percent. This figure is the fourth-lowest since NAR began this report in 1981. The report also showed that down payments have decreased for first-time buyers, to 5 percent down from 6 percent as the age of first-time buyers remained flat at 32 years old.

The dreams of many aspiring first-time buyers were unfortunately dimmed over the past year by persistent inventory shortages, which undercut their ability to become homeowners,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a press release issued by NAR “With the lower end of the market seeing the worst of the supply crunch, house hunters faced mounting odds in finding their first home. Multiple offers were a common occurrence, investors paying in cash had the upper hand, and prices kept climbing, which yanked homeownership out of reach for countless would-be buyers.”

The report indicated that 87 percent of buyers used a real estate agent when purchasing a home, and an all-time high of 89 percent of sellers used an agent when listing their property. As a result, for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sales hit an all-time low share of 8 percent in 2017.

The full report is available for purchase on the NAR website, with a discounted price for NAR members. NAR also posted downloadable highlights from the report as well as an infographic for buyers and a sellers infographic.
NAR 2017 Home Buyers and Sellers Report Indicates Inventory, Affordability Issues, Increased Agent
As a listing broker, can you require that a cooperating broker attend all your showings?

The Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR) Brokerage Counseling Hotline has received several questions regarding open houses, procuring cause, and a listing broker’s ability to condition the terms under which a cooperating broker may be entitled to compensation offered on the MLS.
Under the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) model MLS rules, the provisions of which are followed by many- if not most- MLSs, the unilateral offer of compensation to other members is “unconditional except that entitlement to compensation is determined by the cooperating broker’s performance as the procuring cause of the sale.” Thus, by attempting to require certain actions or conditions on the part of paying a co-broke commission (such as you must accompany the buyer on all showings) the listing broker is then conditioning the offer of compensation and therefore creating a stipulation that, while not illegal, would be inconsistent with the rules most MLSs follow and therefore make the listing unavailable for submission.  

For example, offering a commission in MLS establishes a unilateral contract, which is accepted by the co-broke when they take the 1st step, then creating a chain of events, which establishes the procuring cause of the sale i.e. who is entitled to the commission. Though it may be true that accompanying one’s buyer to all showings of the property would certainly be helpful in establishing that the co-broke is procuring cause, failure to do so does not automatically mean that they are not procuring cause.  Members with questions or concerns regarding the rules of their MLS should review them for clarification. For more information, you can call the GBAR Brokerage Counseling Hotline at 617-399-7869. 
Procuring Cause and Unconditional Offer of Compensation

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2017 BOMA Boston TOBY & Industry Awards Winners

On Thursday, November 16th, BOMA Boston's annual TOBY & Industry Awards event took place at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. Over 550 guests were in attendance to celebrate the achievements of over 20 individuals and buildings. Thank you to all sponsors, and thank you all for joining us!

2017 TOBY winners:
Over 1 Million SF: 53 State Street, owned by UBS Realty Investors and managed by Lincoln Property Company.
500,000-1 Million SF: One Boston Place, owned by TH Real Estate and Invanhoe Cambridge and managed by CBRE | New England 
250,000-499,999 SF: 25 Mall Road, owned by PRIM Mall Road, LLC and managed by CBRE | New England 
100,000-249,999 SF: 38 Chauncy Street, owned by Hive Property Owner, LLC and managed by Synergy Investments
Corporate Facility: New Balance Headquarters, owned by NB Development Group and managed by Transwestern 
Earth Award: 101 Seaport Boulevard, owned by Union Investment Real Estate GmbH and managed by CBRE | New England 
Historical Building: 160 Federal Street, owned by Rockpoint Group and managed by Rockhill Management 
Medical Office Building, 800 Huntington Avenue, owned by LaSalle Investment Management and Managed by CBRE | New England
Mixed Use Building:  Rowes Wharf, owned by Morgan Stanley and managed by JLL
Public Assembly:  Warrior Ice Arena, owned by NB Development Group and managed by Transwestern
Renovated: Riverfront Office Park, owned by Deutsche Asset Management and managed by CBRE | New England 
Retail: Riverway Plaza, owned by CBRE Global Investors and managed by CBRE | New England
Suburban Low-Rise:  Westborough Executive Park, owned by Albany Road Real Estate Partners and Managed by Transwestern
Suburban Office Park Mid-Rise: Fifth Avenue @ City Point, owned by Anchor Line partners and managed by CBRE | New England.

Industry Award Winners:
Executive of the Year - John Durnan, BOMA Board of Directors
Lifetime Achievement Recipient - Jack Spurr, A.W. Perry, Inc.
 Property Manager of the Year – Low Rise: Cynthia Taylor, CBRE | New England
Property Manager of the Year – Mid Rise: Matt Callahan, Transwestern
Property Manager of the Year – High Rise: Clayton Wentworth, CBRE | New England
Property Manager of the Year – Suburban: Nicole Townsend, CBRE | New England
Engineer of the Year: Sean Hanson, CBRE | New England
Affiliate Member of the Year: Amy Benoit, Director of Sales and Marketing, 24 Restore
Affiliate Company of the Year: ACP Facility Services
Congratulations to all winners!

Thank you Platinum Sponsor

For more information or to register for the Awards Dinner, please visit our event website or contact Heather Dupont, 617-399-7863.

TOBY & Industry Awards Winner Announcement


Thank You For Attending...

On Tuesday, November 21st, REFA held its Annual Holiday Party in conjunction with an appreciation reception.  Members and colleagues enjoyed an evening of networking, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and drinks all in a relaxed and festive setting.

Celebrating with a Cause...
In the spirit of giving, REFA held a gift card drive benefiting REFA's 2017 beneficiaries: FamilyAid Boston, HomeStart & Rosie's Place - all organizations committed to helping end homelessness within the Boston area. 

Thank You For Attending: REFA President's Reception and Holiday Party


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