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Newton Centre Realty, Inc v David Jaffe

Newton Center Realty, Inc. V David Jaffe
Massachusetts Appeals Court
No. 19-P-1082
Argued 3/3/20-Decided 6/23/20

On June 23, 2020 the Massachusetts Appeals Court decided a case of first impression in the Commonwealth regarding brokerage fees.  The question addressed was does the death of a seller terminate a real estate brokerage agreement between the seller and a broker.

Facts: 
In 2017 a seller entered into three exclusive brokerage agreement to sell two residential properties in Brookline and one in Newton.  The agreements were on standard GBREB forms.  Under each agreement the broker was entitled to a four percent commission.  The seller died and the seller’s son sold the properties independent of the broker, but within the exclusivity period of the agreements that had been properly executed.  The broker sued the Sellers estate and was unsuccessful at trial.  The case was brought up on appeal. This issue had not been decided under Massachusetts law.  

Decision: 
The agreements here created a principal-agent relationship that entitled the broker to a commission if Shirley’s (the Seller) properties were sold within the exclusivity period.  They did not confer an interest in the property.  Accordingly, Shirley’s death terminated the agency relationship, and the broker was not entitled to recover contract damages from Shirley’s estate.  The Superior Court judge properly dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. 
The Appeals Court upheld the lower court ruling that the death of the seller terminated the agency relationship, and the broker was not entitled to a commission.
 



Broker Fee Appeals Court Decision
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Earn Your At Home With Diversity Certification!
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Article Courtesy of: Inman News 
By: Brandon Dolye

Thriving in a shifting market is all about making adjustments. Here's how one Utah-based real estate group doubled production by adopting gamification — yes, in the midst of this pandemic.
 
The pandemic has been tough on all of us. Some of us couldn’t even show homes. All of us made adjustments. But not everyone took a production hit. Some teams are still on track with their original goals. Others are actually doing better this year compared to last year.
 
I love the saying that’s become common in a lot of Facebook groups I follow: “Yea, there was a 50 percent reduction in transactions during the pandemic — but there was also an 80 percent reduction in competition!”

Surviving the pandemic was about adjustments, but thriving in the pandemic? Is that even possible? 

I saw a lot of cool things from teams in my network, and a lot of lessons to be learned for when markets shift, and times become uncertain. One of the coolest was from a team just north of Salt Lake City that actually doubled its production in the midst of massive uncertainty. (I have the numbers to prove it!)

How Utah Life doubled their production during the pandemic

Before we dig into the numbers, here’s what you need to know about Utah Life Real Estate Group. They have 20 total team members — around 14 full-time agents, a couple part-timers and a handful of administrative staff.

They run a full team model and provide coaching, systems and accountability for all of their agents. A lot of their coaching is around mindset.

Also, they are extremely driven by numbers, goals, and achievement. They are the team around which the idea and concept of Sisu was born. A lot of the screenshots showing their numbers and production are taken from their Sisu dashboards. 
Utah Life has some very cool graphs, which make it super simple to see just how much they crushed it during March and April. 

Take a look at this chart of their signed units. This is impressive, especially considering that they lost one of their top producers in November of 2019.



This is a chart of their under-contract units. Compared to same months in 2019 and 2018, their under-contract units increased in April and March of 2020.


Use of gamification to drive real estate sales

Gamification has become popular in sales because you can tweak the system to produce the exact results you’re looking for.

A lot of other industries rely heavily on their compensation plans and promotion paths to do this — a careful concoction of payments, promotions, recognition and accelerators that align incentives across a sales team and make things work. 

This, of course, happens in real estate as well, but to a lesser extent. Almost all of our teams and brokerages are 100 percent commission-based contractors. It’s harder to create a culture where incentives are aligned, but here’s where gamification comes in. Gamification can help you align incentives, tighten your culture and drive key metrics that you know will create results. 

In this case study, Utah Life focused heavily on a few different leading indicators such as conversations and appointments set. See the huge spike in conversations on their graph above, which pretty much fueled everything. I believe the point system was as follows: 
Conversations: 10 points each.
Appointments: 100 points each.
Client placed under contract: 500 points.
Daily exercise: additional 30-point bonus.

Where this system breaks

You’ll want your most OCD team member running your gamification. That person who’s got your CRM system dialed in to the last one and zero? That’s exactly who should run a system like this. 
They’ll love it, too, because this is the type of thing that actually drives adoption with all of your systems. Didn’t happen in the CRM? It didn’t happen at all. Here’s where teams go wrong: 

You rely on your agents to enter 100 percent of the data. For obvious reasons, there won’t be a lot of enthusiasm around this. Tie it to your CRM so that your agents can stick to their current processes.
You don’t have a live scoreboard. Can you imagine going to a basketball game without a live scoreboard? There would be no drama. No excitement. And a lot less competition pushing everyone to do their best. If you can, get a 24/7 live scoreboard. This alone should create a 30-percent boost in production.
See this case study with Glassdoor sales team on page 125. They increased their booked meetings by more than 50 percent while going from little to 100 percent CRM adoption. Not real estate sales, but similar concepts apply. Make it fun, visible and fair. 

The competition doesn’t have to be inside your team only

One thing that I thought was really cool about the contest was that the competition was not only internal. Too much internal competition can be unhealthy. There’s a fine balance.

But you probably know other real estate teams that are around your size and level. You network with them on Facebook, or maybe they compete in another market that’s not super close to you. 

Creating competition with other teams can be an extremely fun and healthy way to drive results. You can put up a prize (for example, $500 to the top agent) but set stipulations that the losing team has to front the prize money. Have fun with it!

The exact specifications of one of the contests Utah Life ran during the pandemic was the Utah Life versus Bowen Adams Real Estate contest. You can also see their joint scoreboard in Sisu below.
Top agent got $1000, second place $500 and third place $250.
The contest ran for 10 days from April 20 to April 30.
Agents earned 500 points for units placed under contract.
Agents earned 300 points for signing a listing.
Agents earned 200 points for signing a buyer.
100 points for each attended appointment (buyer or seller).
5 points for each prospecting conversation.

On my team, personally, we’ve done monthly and quarterly competitions for things like most open houses, five-star reviews, showings, appointments or even just days of activity logged.

We set it up so anyone would have the opportunity to win something — not just the top producers. Prizes have included gift cards and team swag members could pick from. 

We’ve also done group goals where anyone who meets the goal is invited to lunch or happy hour and other team-wide goals that included a team outing for everyone. Before the pandemic shut us down, we were planning on doing “top golf”!

The three steps to making gamification happen


To sum things up, I think Utah Life’s success during this period boils down to a handful of key elements: 

1. They met daily on Zoom to go over numbers, offer quick training and keep the motivation high.
2. Their leaderboard was highly visible 24/7 via web and mobile apps. 
3. The contest was clearly defined and the numbers were simple to track — often, 100 percent automated from the CRM. 

I see a lot of team leaders and brokers pushing gamification, but this one was an eye-opener as to just how effective this strategy can be. 

Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — Re/Max Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.

 

Use Gamification to Boost Agent Production
GBAR

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CMCP for Emerging Professionals
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Check out the July edition of the MAA Insider- featuring highlights from past events, information on upcoming events plus local and national multifamily news.

Read the July MAA Insider.
MAA Insider - July 2020
MAA

REFA Members,

2020 has been an unexpected year, and REFA thanks you for your continued support of our organization. 
Click on the photo below to view a special video message from the 2020 REFA Board.
REFA Board Video
GBREB

Did you miss our July Newsletter? Read about upcoming BOMA Boston events, news, and educational opportunities!

Read the July BOMA Enews.

July 2020 E-News
GBREB

BOMA Boston is proud of our members by giving back to the community, always, but especially in these times. See below for some good stories during these troubling times.
If your company or a peer is doing something great to give back, feel free to email Courtney McHugh, cmchugh@gbreb.com to be featured on this page.


BOMA is proud of our Benefit Sponsors who generously donated their sponsorship dollars and dozens of members who purchased raffle tickets online for a combined total of $45,000 that we were able to donate to our charitable partner, Bridge Over Troubled Waters! Every year, Bridge Over Troubled Waters serves over 2,000 homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. Right now, with schools closed, many hourly jobs shut down, and some unsafe home environments, Bridge provides crucial shelter, food, resources and social services for the youth of Boston. Click here to view their website and donate!

Rockhill Management's highly anticipated Food Hall, High Street Place, was set to open in March between Federal Street and High Street in Boston.  Although the doors have not yet opened, several of the restaurant partner's are still there cooking meals for front-line workers during the COVID-19 crisis in hospitals in the Greater Boston area. Click here for the full story. 

In March 2020, Siena Construction completed a fast-track laboratory conversion project for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, providing an important addition to the scientific research challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Click here to view the full story.

BOMA Members from Progroup Contracting are raising funds to purchase Ipads for local hospitals with COVID-19 patients to ensure that they are able to connect with their loved ones. Click here to donate.

By purchasing meals through Feed the Frontlines Boston, you will help fuel the extraordinary efforts of our city's healthcare workers while also supporting our local restaurants and employees. With your support Viga Italian Eatery and Shed's BBQ can delivery healthy, fresh and free meals to Boston's amazing doctors, nurses and medical staff. Click here to take action!




BOMA Gives Back!
GBREB
GBREB NEWS

Newton Centre Realty, Inc v David Jaffe

Newton Center Realty, Inc. V David Jaffe
Massachusetts Appeals Court
No. 19-P-1082
Argued 3/3/20-Decided 6/23/20

On June 23, 2020 the Massachusetts Appeals Court decided a case of first impression in the Commonwealth regarding brokerage fees.  The question addressed was does the death of a seller terminate a real estate brokerage agreement between the seller and a broker.

Facts: 
In 2017 a seller entered into three exclusive brokerage agreement to sell two residential properties in Brookline and one in Newton.  The agreements were on standard GBREB forms.  Under each agreement the broker was entitled to a four percent commission.  The seller died and the seller’s son sold the properties independent of the broker, but within the exclusivity period of the agreements that had been properly executed.  The broker sued the Sellers estate and was unsuccessful at trial.  The case was brought up on appeal. This issue had not been decided under Massachusetts law.  

Decision: 
The agreements here created a principal-agent relationship that entitled the broker to a commission if Shirley’s (the Seller) properties were sold within the exclusivity period.  They did not confer an interest in the property.  Accordingly, Shirley’s death terminated the agency relationship, and the broker was not entitled to recover contract damages from Shirley’s estate.  The Superior Court judge properly dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. 
The Appeals Court upheld the lower court ruling that the death of the seller terminated the agency relationship, and the broker was not entitled to a commission.
 



Broker Fee Appeals Court Decision
GBREB

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Building Maintenance & Facility Operations Best Practices
10:00am
 
GBREB Leadership Conversation With Mayor Walsh
Free Webinar
3:00pm
 
GBREB Leadership Conversation With Mayor Walsh
Free Webinar
3:00pm
 
GBREB Leadership Conversation With Mayor Walsh
Free Webinar
3:00pm
 
GBREB Leadership Conversation With Mayor Walsh
Free Webinar
3:00pm