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GBREB Volunteers and Metro Housing Boston Team up to Help With Rent Relief Efforts

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board and Metro Housing|Boston are teaming up to help building owners and tenants who are having trouble paying rent and mortgages due to the pandemic.  They will be hosting an event on Saturday, October 16 to help those in need to complete and submit applications for assistance. GBREB and Metro Housing will host the event for property owners and individuals who have made an advance appointment and have all of the necessary documents. They will meet with a trained Realtor® volunteer who will assist them in preparing and electronically submitting the application.

If you need help but cannot attend the workshop, visit  to get connected with regional agencies that can help you apply for funds and stay in your home.   In addition, DHCD has also provided a list of frequently asked questions  for owners about accepting state rental assistance. 
Teaming Up With Metro Housing Boston
Article Courtesy of: Inman News

From disconnected tools to lack of database privacy, here’s how your tech might put your brokerage at risk.

We all know that technology alone isn’t enough to recruit and retain top agents and teams to your brokerage. Certainly, other factors such as agent splits, broker leads that support agent growth, quality of training and support, culture, and vibe are all important. But what has become abundantly clear, over the last few years especially, is that technology can positively influence every one of those factors.

After working with hundreds of thousands of agents across the industry, we have a pretty good understanding of what drives agents to your brokerage, and what drives them away. Some of these reasons are simple to solve, some are foundational. But no brokerage can ignore the top 6 tech reasons agents might hang their license elsewhere:

1. Too much disparate tech.

On average, agents use 10-15 different tech tools to power their business. That’s 10-15 different logins, 10-15 different passwords, and 10-15 opportunities for incomplete data to flow from one tool to another (assuming there is data flow). Consolidate these tools (yes, these platforms exist) and give your agents one place to get business done.

2. Everything is manual.

Providing no easy way to automate and streamline your agents’ busy day hurts both of you. Effective lead follow-up and staying in contact with their SOI is critical—without it, you’re supporting a productivity killer. Make sure your tech provides trusted and engaging lead follow-up and ideally behavioral automation to keep your agents WAY ahead of their competition.

3. It doesn’t offer true team functionality.

Teams are here to stay, and sometimes they are the lifeblood of a brokerage. Do you support teams with the tech they need to operate independently, but still connected to your brokerage ecosystem? If they have to look elsewhere for the tech they need, you stand a good chance of seeing them walk away. Your tech platform should be designed with a true sub-account structure for teams and team-specific functionality for branding, database independence, and independent lead routing. While this was tough to find in the past, technology has evolved and platforms like kvCORE offer teams everything they need to optimize and scale under the brokerage umbrella.

4. The database doesn’t offer privacy.

One of the less talked about but critical features that many brokerages gloss over is the real insecurity agents and teams feel if their hard-earned SOI contacts are not kept private. If they fear their database could get shared, or lost if they leave the brokerage, you can be assured they won’t adopt your technology. Make sure you offer them database independence.

5. There’s a mobile gap.

To power your agents’ businesses, you need to meet them where they are: on their smartphones. Your tech needs to feature full CRM functionality on every type of mobile device, plus look for added benefits like those you find in the kvCORE mobile app, like auto-dialers, integrated open house apps, and more.

6. There’s no balance between ease of use and training.

If agents aren’t adopting your tech solution and you think it’s solely because agents aren’t doing training, think again: the best technology doesn’t need hours on end of training. It should be easy to use and so intuitive that agents start seeing results with little to moderate help. Make sure you seek out the best tech partner that brings you the perfect blend of user-friendly tech (check their adoption stats) as well as stellar training and support (check their customer satisfaction stats).

Is your technology killing adoption and retention or does it offer real value to your agents? You’ll know if your agents are happy and recruiting other agents to join your brokerage.

At Inside Real Estate, we’ve seen agents flocking to brokerages using kvCORE, and more importantly, getting real bottom-line results—higher productivity and more listings. Take a look at thousands of user reviews that make it the #1 rated real estate brokerage platform in the industry, and grab a demo of kvCORE to see what you might be missing with your current technology. kvCORE boasts a 76% adoption rate vs. the 20% industry average.
Top 6 Tech Reasons Agents Leave Your Brokerage
Article Courtesy of:    

Discrimination and Fair Housing issues, both real and alleged, can take many forms. It is, or should be, a topic of concern for all real estate professionals.  The topic is prevalent in today’s news with stories of racial bias in property appraisals resulting in inappropriately low valuations for Black and minority owned properties. Concerns of bias and discrimination are not unique to the appraisal profession and have roots in real estate that go back decades. Few local or federal laws were in place to allow equal access to home ownership or funding for many decades. The Fair Housing Administration was established in 1934 but did little to create greater opportunity for home ownership. Its guidelines relied on local ordinances and real estate boards to determine how loans would be made, all but formalizing the red-lining of minority neighborhoods and communities. The consequences of red - lining were enormous, affecting public housing policy and even relocation of neighborhoods for highways and other government projects. 

In 1968, the federal government enacted the Fair Housing Act, though initially with no enforcement capabilities. The Act prohibits discrimination in most housing due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability, and a substantial list of prohibitions is noted. More can be found about the Fair Housing Act here.

It would be easy to assume that only the most egregious instances of discrimination and bias exist in the real estate industry today. While those are the events that make the headlines, such as the recent appraisal bias allegations, real estate agents continue to be sued or receive complaints due to actions that seem far less severe. In fact, E & O claims alleging Fair Housing Discrimination are on the rise. Many of these allegations (remember that a Claim and lawsuit is only an allegation of wrong-doing) do not result from clear or deliberate acts of bias or discrimination – though those unfortunately exist in abundance. Many allegations seem more benign, less intentional, but still trigger serious consequences. Some professional services create more risk, including property management, leasing, eviction and “cash for keys”.  Many other complaints are triggered by careless comments and assumptions, and even attempts to be helpful. Examples include describing a neighborhood as “family friendly” to a single buyer; telling a handicapped person that they would be unhappy in a multi-level home; providing erroneous information on the acceptance of service animals on a property; failure to provide documents and communications in a person’s native language; failure to, or creating the appearance of, limited availability or opportunity to buyers of color, sexual orientation, etc. As in so many circumstances that result in problems for agents, moving away from verifiable fact and information about a property, and venturing into opinion and conjecture is both avoidable and potentially catastrophic.

Most Errors & Omissions policies for real estate firms offer Fair Housing and Discrimination coverage, though it is typically a separate and specifically-defined coverage with liability limits that can be different (less) from the policy’s main liability coverage. To trigger a Fair Housing Claim, the allegation must allege a violation of some federal, state or local regulation or law related to equal housing opportunity, Civil Rights violation or the Fair Housing Act. Because Fair Housing coverage and resulting Claims are limited in both policy language and liability protection, a clever Plaintiff attorney would also most likely bring suit against some other aspect of the agent’s actions and policy coverage.  A conscientious agent would be wise, and considerate, to avoid this double jeopardy.
Fair Housing, Discrimination and Errors & Omissions Insurance
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Santiago Arana

Listing not getting enough traction? Well, the good news is that there's a buyer out there for every home. Sometimes, all you need to do is freshen up the photography, copy and marketing. Here are a few tips to consider
Even in a sizzling market, there are some homes that, for whatever reason, just don’t seem to resonate with buyers at first glance. However, I am a big believer that there is a home out there for everyone and an owner for every home.

So, when the tough gets going, you have to get creative and breathe life back into your lingering listing to find the right buyer. Here, you’ll find five ways to refresh the listing and your approach to the sale process, without you or your client having to spend a fortune.

1. Set the stage

Having the right staging in a home is crucial to capture the hearts and minds of buyers, and if a listing is languishing on the market, it might be time to reevaluate the space.

When potential buyers walk in, they need to see how they would live in the space — where they would relax and watch television, cozy up with a good book or enjoy a meal with their family.

Selling a lifestyle is possible with staging, but it has to be the right staging. For example, you can’t have oversized furnishings in small spaces or small pieces in large spaces. You should also be mindful of mixing the styles of furnishings so much so that it creates too much of a juxtaposition that it is unsightly.

The staging also has to be functional and seasonally appropriate for the climate. As a note, if the home is empty and not staged, you can always use a virtual staging program to create the desired effect for images and marketing material. The same principles will apply to virtual staging as physical staging. (I personally like the Spotless Agency virtual staging services.)

2. Up the curb appeal

Once your interior staging is in order, take a look outside to make sure your listing is checking all the boxes in the curb appeal department. If the grounds need some TLC, encourage your client to invest in a gardening service or to pick up their weed whacker and rev up the lawnmower for a family day in the yard.

Having an overgrown or unkept garden does not create a great first impression and can signal to the potential owner that there is a lot of work associated with the upkeep of the home.

Additionally, look athow the exterior paint, driveway condition and even mailbox are maintained. Sometimes, adding a fresh coat of paint to the exterior, fixing broken pavers, power-washing or replacing a broken mailbox can give an instant improvement to the first look of a home.

Of course, all this work does come with a price tag, so make sure you are able to set realistic goals and expectations with your client.

3. Level up your listing photos

Now that your listing has had a refresh on the inside and the outside, it is ready for its close-up. If you have made significant changes, you will need to have a full reshoot of the home. If not, make sure you capture the best elements of the updates to add to your marketing materials and MLS profile.

Buyers are shopping so much online these days that the first thing they see of the house is typically the listing photos. Make sure you have a full set of good-quality photos that showcase the best parts of the home on hand.

If you want some advice, ask fellow agents to review the images of your listing for their feedback, and check in with your marketing team, if possible. You can also ask fellow agents to show you listings that have sold quickly and take a look and see how your images stack up against theirs.

4. Whip up copy with flair

Now that your images are perfect, it’s time to take a look at the listing copy. Once the images have captured potential buyers’ attention, they will want to read about the home and all the amenities and features it has.

Make sure your listing copy is easy to read with no typos and that it includes all the special elements of the home. Be descriptive where you can so long as word count allows.

5. Consider a marketing makeover

If you have you’re on track with everything that’s mentioned above, but the listing is still not hitting the mark, it’s time to look at your marketing campaign.

Are you getting the home in front of the right set of potential buyers and are you telling the narrative of the home in a way that would resonate with them? These are the first questions I tell agents to think about when it comes time to evaluate a marketing campaign.

I always say that it’s good to be creative and to think outside the box when it comes to marketing. Perhaps all your listing needs is an eye-catching video, a different image on the front of the postcard or a refreshed headline in your e-blast copy.

If a listing is languishing on the market, try taking a look at the staging, curb appeal, listing images, listing copy and your marketing plan. As I mentioned earlier, there is a homebuyer out there right now searching for their dream home — your listing. You just need to make sure that they find each other using these tried-and-true techniques.

Santiago Arana is a managing partner at The Agency, in Los Angeles.
5 Ways to Bring a Stale Listing Back to Life--Without a Price Reduction
Join this webinar for an overview and the tops tips for using the refreshed RPR®!

From top to bottom we've given the RPR® platform an updated look and feel, including a new homepage design. We're confident that you'll find the new format a breath of fresh air. Here are some other major highlights:
    •  Create a social media campaign
    •  New property layout
    •  Streamlined searching
    •  New shortcuts
    •  Create target mailing lists
    •  Improved map features
    •  Better integration between Residential and Commercial features
    •  And more!

The simplified site will improve your efficiency so you can serve your clients and customers with less effort, and see better results.


Friday, October 22 at 10:00 a.m.
Free to Attend

Register Here!

RPR: Refreshed, Redesigned and Rebuilt for REALTORS®

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) and Metro Housing|Boston are teaming up to help property owners and tenants who are having trouble paying rent and mortgages due to the pandemic. On Saturday, October 16, we are hosting an event to help building owners and tenants complete and submit applications for assistance. GBREB and Metro Housing organized this workshop in response to the number of families and individuals living in areas served by the two organizations who earn less than 80 percent of median income, and have fallen behind on their rent or mortgage payments because of a housing crisis caused, at least in part, by COVID-19.

Landlords who own up to 20 housing units can apply directly for rental assistance on behalf of eligible residents. Tenants can also apply directly. These tenants and owners may be eligible for an emergency assistance payment for up to 18 months of rent, but they are either not aware that programs exist or if they are aware are unable to complete an application without being assisted.

This event is for property owners and individuals who have made an advance appointment and have all necessary documents. They will meet with a trained REALTOR® volunteer who will assist them in preparing and electronically submitting the application.

Event Details

Saturday, October 16, 2021
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Community Room at Metro Housing|Boston
1411 Tremont Street, Boston, MA (opposite of Roxbury Crossing MBTA Station)
*Pre-registration is required to attend this event*

Who Should Attend?

Tenants & Prospective Tenants
Are you behind on your rent or mortgage? You may be eligible for financial assistance to help pay for: rent or mortgage arrears, utilities arrears, and upfront moving costs. Attend this FREE workshop for help on how to properly complete the application for Financial Assistance.

Landlords/Property Owners
If you are a landlord or property owner applying for assistance on behalf of a tenant, the tenant must complete the Tenant Consent Form.

REALTOR® Volunteers
We are also seeking REALTOR® volunteers for this event, who will provide tenants with assistance in preparing and electronically submitting the application. A one hour virtual training will be offered prior to the event. If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact Elyse Libeskind at [email protected] or 617-224-9303.


According to a new city-wide mandate in Boston in effect on 8/27, this event will be a masked event - meaning that regardless of vaccination status, everyone will need to wear a face covering.      We will also be making every effort to space out from each other to encourage social distancing.   Should the event  not be able to be held for COVID-19 related reasons. the event will be postponed and rescheduled for a future date.   This event will not be held virtually.


Please register before Wednesday, October 13 by contacting Elyse Libeskind at [email protected] or 617-224-9303.


GBREB & Metro Housing Boston Financial Assistance Workshop

Education & Events

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Manageable Monday Closing And Settlement - Webinar
Oct 18, 2021
Roadshow Virtual Event Webinar With The Boom Team!
Oct 21, 2021
Live Zoom Meeting Webinar
Economic Expectations - Webinar
Oct 27, 2021
GBAR New Member Orientation- Agency Webinar
Oct 28, 2021
GBAR Webinar
RealTour- Rental Voucher Programs: Fact Vs. Fiction
Nov 03, 2021
Zoom Webinar
Real Estate Professional Ethics - Webinar
Nov 04, 2021
Live Webinar Course
Manageable Monday Lead Paint - Webinar
Nov 15, 2021
At Home With Diversity - Webinar
Nov 17, 2021 - Nov 18, 2021
Live Webinar Course
Real Estate Professional Ethics - Webinar
Dec 01, 2021
Live Webinar Course


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Manageable Monday Closing And Settlement - Webinar
Roadshow Virtual Event Webinar With The Boom Team!
Live Zoom Meeting Webinar
Economic Expectations - Webinar

For easy access to one of your top member benefits, check out our new RPR page!


Thank you to our 2021 Silver Partner Sponsor!