Wednesday October 7th 2015

Stalk Us!

We want your feedback on the 2015 MAR Conference & Tradeshow

Connect_facebook-headerThank you for attending the 2015 MAR Conference & Tradeshow.

We have started planing for 2016 already, and your feedback is greatly appreciated so we can continue improving the convention.

Take the survey here.

For participating in the survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift card. We appreciate your time in advance and again thank you for being a part of the 2015 show and look forward to having you back in 2016.

Make sure you visit the MAR Conference & Tradeshow website to download handouts from some speakers and sessions so you can review all the information you learned throughout the year.


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The Wednesday Word: MAR Government Affairs Team Testifies on Beacon Hill


On Tuesday, September 29th, David Wluka of Wluka Real Estate joined Justin Davidson, MAR Legislative & Regulatory Counsel, and Patricia Baumer, GBREB Director of Government Affairs, to testify in support of H1107: An Act to expedite multifamily construction. The panel testified before the Joint Committee on Housing and stressed the importance of the legislation. If passed, H1107 would help increase the supply of housing in Massachusetts by making it easier to build multifamily housing, cluster developments, and Accessory Dwelling Units (also referred to as in-law apartments).

H1107 would promote multifamily construction by requiring municipalities to permit multifamily development in zoning districts suitable for such development, and by establishing a minimum density for those developments. Multifamily construction is important as a means to provide affordable housing in the Commonwealth.  Current state law allows municipalities to adopt a zoning law permitting multifamily housing construction in nonresidential zoning districts with a special permit but does not require municipalities to permit multifamily development by right.

An additional provision of the bill that helps increase the supply of housing is that it would allow for cluster developments by right in residential zoning districts. In comparison to a conventional subdivision, cluster developments benefit communities by preserving land for open space and recreation, reducing infrastructure costs, and protecting environmentally sensitive land.

Finally, the bill would promote affordable in-fill housing by requiring that Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) be permitted by right in all single-family residential zoning districts. ADUs provide units that can be integrated into existing single family neighborhoods to provide low-priced housing alternatives that have little to no negative impact on the character of the neighborhood.  Current state law does not require that zoning ordinances and bylaws permit accessory dwelling units in residential zoning districts, whether by right or with a special permit.

Passage of H1107 would allow for these three provisions-multifamily housing by right, cluster developments by right, and Accessory Dwelling Units by right- all of which would help increase the supply of housing in the Commonwealth. For more updates on the status of this bill as well as the other legislation MAR is working on, be sure to check the MAR Government Affairs website and other editions of The Wednesday Word.

(Please note: This blog post was prepared by MAR Legal Staff: Michael McDonagh, General Counsel; Ashley Stolba, Associate Counsel; Justin Davidson, Legislative & Regulatory Counsel; and Christine Howe, Public Policy and Finance Coordinator)

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Sandra Berkenbush Wins the 2015 Good Neighbor Award


The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) announced today that Sandra Berkenbush of Stone Ridge Properties in Newburyport was named MAR’s 2015 Good Neighbor Award winner for her work on behalf of Cruise for a Cure, an annual dinner cruise on the Merrimack River that raises money for cancer research. The Good Neighbor Award recognizes REALTORS® for their community activism. The award was presented at MAR’s Professional Awards Reception, which was held in conjunction with the Association’s 2015 Conference and Tradeshow at the Hilton DoubleTree in Danvers.

In 1991, Berkenbush’s 11-year-old daughter was being treated for osteosarcoma at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) at Children’s Hospital. She was so thankful for her daughter’s recovery that in 1994 she launched Cruise for a Cure to raise money for the Claudia Adams Barr program, supporting scientists at the DFCI who are conducting basic cancer research. This past spring, DCFI awarded Berkenbush with a Lifetime Achievement award for donating $250,000 through her work with Cruise for a Cure.

Cruise for a Cure has grown since its inception, from raising $4,000 annually to an average of $15,000 today. In addition to creating the event, Berkenbush is responsible for coordinating donors and sponsorships, organizing lead-up events and completing all the paperwork and banking. Each year, Berkenbush makes sure to handwrite thank-you notes to everyone who participated in the Cruise.

In addition to Berkenbush, Susan Callahan of Century 21 Commonwealth, Billerica, Mark Harris of Signature Associates Inc. Real Estate, Pittsfield and Leonette Strout of Keller Williams Realty, Beverly were awarded 2015 Good Neighbor Award Honorable Mentions.

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Kevin Sears Receives Massachusetts REALTOR® Distinguished Service Award

Kevin Sears_MAR-Sec-Tres_200dpiThe Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) announced today that Kevin Sears, a a Broker and Partner of Sears Real Estate in Springfield, has been named recipient of the MAR Milton H. Shaw Distinguished Service Award for 2015.  The award was presented at MAR’s Professional Awards Reception, which was held in conjunction with the Association’s 2015 Conference and Tradeshow at the DoubleTree Hilton in Danvers.

First awarded in 1984, the Milton H. Shaw Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to one REALTOR® member or staff executive who has demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities and volunteered countless hours of personal time to serve on state association committees and participate in MAR activities.

On the national level, Sears has served the REALTOR® organization as a Federal Political Coordinator to Bay State Congressman Richard Neal (D-Springfield). He served as a Trustee of the REALTOR® Political Action Committee of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) from 2007 to ??? and served as a member of NAR’s Board of Directors in 2008 and 2009, and participated in NAR’s home build to support Habitat for Humanity’s Operation Home Delivery, an initiative to construct new homes for hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast. He also served on NAR’s REALTOR® Political Involvement Committee from 2003-2008. Sears graduated as a member of NAR’s 2007/2008 inaugural Leadership Academy class.

On the local level, Kevin was a director and chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for the Realtor® Association of the Pioneer Valley (RAPV) in 2006 and has been a member of the committee since 1994. A past president of his local association, he also is a former treasurer and secretary of the RAPV, and a past chairman of its Finance and Strategic Planning Committees. Additionally, he was a member and former chairman of the RAPV’s Communications Technology Task Force, and has served on the association’s RPAC Sub-committee since 1994.

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Robert Nahigian is 2015 Massachusetts Real Estate Educator of the Year

Robert Nahigian Photo New PicThe Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) announced today that Robert Nahigian, state-certified continuing education instructor and broker/owner of Auburndale Realty Co., in Newton, has been named 2015 Massachusetts Real Estate Educator of the Year. The award was presented at MAR’s Professional Awards Reception, which was held in conjunction with the Association’s 2015 Conference and Tradeshow at the Hilton Doubletree in Danvers.

Nahigian writes, designs and teaches real estate courses and programs for state and local REALTOR® associations across the country. On the national level, Nahigian became faculty of CoreNet Global, the Association for Real Estate Directors of the Fortune 1000 in 2012. He was also appointed a “Visiting Assistant Professor” for REALTOR® University’s Masters Program.

Nahigian has been appointed to the National Association of REALTORS®’s Commercial Speaker’s Bureau. He is also a Senior Instructor with the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®.

At the state level, Nahigian also serves on the Massachusetts Real Estate Licensing Board’s Education Subcommittee to develop specific commercial real estate courses for CE licensees state-wide. He has exclusively developed and revised nine commercial courses for Massachusetts licensees and recently developed a CE approved course on Logistics/Supply Chain Real Estate Decision. In 2011, he was named Massachusetts Real Estate Educator of the Year.

Nahigian is accredited by the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR), the Counselors of REALTORSR® (CRE) and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS).

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Eileen Jonah-Daly Named 2015 Massachusetts REALTOR® of the Year

21144_JONAH_DALY_E_12_0021_The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) announced today that Eileen Jonah-Daly, a REALTOR® at Annmarie Jonah REALTORS® in Lynn is the Massachusetts REALTOR® of the Year for 2015. Jonah-Daly was presented the award at MAR’s Professional Awards Reception, which was held in conjunction with the Association’s 2015 Conference and Tradeshow at the DoubleTree Hilton in Danvers.

The state’s REALTOR® of the Year is selected annually from among the nominees of the 15 local associations of REALTORS® and more than 20,100+ REALTORS® in Massachusetts. Judging for the award is based on service to the local community, business accomplishments, and service to the REALTOR® organization on the local, state and national levels.

Jonah-Daly is the 2015 President of the North Shore Association of REALTORS® (NSAR). She serves on the NSAR Finance and Budget and Orientation Committees, and was a member of the NSAR Board of Directors from 2011 to 2013.

At the state level, Jonah-Daly serves on the Board of Directors and is a member of Government Affairs, FPC, and Forms Committees.

On the national level, Jonah-Daly is the Federal Political Coordinator for Congressman Seth Moulton.

Jonah-Daly has been a REALTOR® since 2005.

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