How I stay on Top of the News in Massachusetts

Newspaper and digital tablet on wooden table

How do we have time for reading when we’re too busy liking Facebook posts, snapping Instagram selfies or playing Candy Crush? (ok, not sure anyone plays it, but I continue to get invitations to join!) Of course, I’m being a little facetious when I say that, because when it comes to being busy, Realtors® are some of the busiest people I know!

So how do you keep up with goings on in Massachusetts if you’re busy dealing with clients, lawyers and appraisers etc.? If you were asking yourself that very question, let me give you an answer by sharing what I use to make sure I know what’s going on at Beacon Hill and around the state.

I subscribe to three different emails. Each accomplishes essentially the same thing and it really comes down to personal preference. I suggest giving each a try and picking the one you like best. And if there are others out there that I might have missed, please let me know in the comment section as I’m always on the lookout for new sources too.

The Daily Download
This daily newsletter is produced by CommonWealth Magazine, which is published by the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank typically identified as MassINC.

MASSterList is published by Jay Fitzgerald and Keith Regan, two seasoned political reporters who know their way around Beacon Hill politics. This newsletter is described as providing a wide-ranging summary of the latest news on Massachusetts politics, public policy, and government that is curated from a rich array of sources, both conventional and niche.

POLITICO: Massachusetts Playbook 
POLITICO describes itself as the national global news and information company at the intersection of politics and policy. The Massachusetts edition of the Playbook is written by Lauren Dezenski’s and is described as the “must-read rundown of what’s up on Beacon Hill and beyond.”

What are your Facebook ‘reactions’ telling you?

It’s been almost a year and half since Facebook introduced its expanded reaction buttons (February 24, 2016 to be exact). If you don’t know what I’m specifically talking about by name, you will when you see the buttons below:

As a user of Facebook, I felt these were a great addition to the news feed. The additional buttons give you more specific ways to react to a post. I’m not sure about you, but I always felt a little strange “liking” sad posts such as when a pet died, etc.

So why after more than a year am I bringing this up? I’m bringing it up because I feel there are good insights in those reactions that Realtors® can take advantage of when it comes to creating relevant content for current and future clients. And I don’t think many people are taking advantage of the information that is there.
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Do you love the ‘Like’ Button? If so, Proceed with Caution

Close-up of business group keeping thumbs up

Have you ever heard of “Like farming?” No? Neither did I until very recently (not that it’s new.) I thought it might be a good idea to spread the word on what this practice is and why you should be aware of it the next time you’re scrolling through your Facebook news feed.

What is “Like farming?”
Here’s a good definition from

“Facebook like-farming, in its simplest sense, is the process of attempting to get likes, shares and followers using exploitation, manipulation and/or deception.”

What this really means is that any time you like, comment or share something that you don’t quite know where it comes from, you’re at risk for being farmed.

Once these posts get a lot of “likes,” the scammers behind the posts are then able to start posting spam that shows up in your news feed or links to more malicious sites that might try and steal your personal and/or financial information.

What Can You Do?
The simple answer is really read what your scrolling past and understand where it comes from before hitting “Like.” Don’t fall for the emotional photos or posts that tug at your heart strings and ask you for something such as “help me reach one million likes” or “comment on this photo and see what happens.” The list goes on.

And finally, just because you like something doesn’t mean you have to “Like” it.

For more information, here are some good articles the explain the scam in greater detail.
Everything you need to know about Facebook Like-Farming by Craig Charles,
Don’t click ‘like’ on Facebook again until you read this by Kim Komando,
Why You Should Be Careful About What You ‘Like’ On Facebook by Amit Chowdhry,

MAR President responds to Boston Globe Editorial ‘Pass the home energy audit measure’

Yesterday (7/28/16), the Boston Globe published an editorial in favor of mandatory energy inspections and grades “Pass the home energy audit measure.”

While MAR supports the goals of the bill to bring more energy efficiency to the Commonwealth, the Association opposes provisions that call for mandatory energy inspections and grades prior to a home being listed for sale. Below is the letter to the editor submitted to the Boston Globe by MAR President Annie Blatz in response to the editorial. For more information on MAR’s position, go to

If only it were that ‘simple’

Annie Blatz, 2016 President, Massachusetts Association of Realtors® and Branch Executive at Kinlin Grover Real Estate, Cape Cod.

As a Realtor® for over 31 years and the 2016 president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®(MAR), I vehemently disagree with the Boston Globe’s editorial “Pass the home energy audit measure.”

Realtors® support energy efficiency and actively promote the voluntary Mass Save program to clients on both sides of a transaction. Common sense tells us to allow buyers to request the information that they find important, not mandate a one-size-fits-all program.

The Globe is correct that the consumer should be protected when buying a home. In fact, they already are. A buyer is free to have a home inspection, to request utility bills and have an energy audit done. No other attribute of a home is scored by the government.

What this bill will do is add another layer of bureaucracy and delays to an already complicated real estate transaction. This isn’t good for the economy or our inventory-starved state.

Finally, despite what the Globe believes, these requirements would negatively impact low- and moderate-income homebuyers. It’s not “concern-trolling” on our part, it’s the experience of over 22,000 members dealing first-hand with the unintended consequences of past “simple” requirements.

What’s being said in the media: Future Indicators Report















Here are the articles and posts that resulted in the release of our September 2015 Future Indicators Report. We’ll continue to update this post as more articles come in.

Wednesday, September 14, 2015

Real estate: Massachusetts pending sales, prices up

Massachusetts Home Buying Remains Strong through ‘Back-to-School’ Season in September

Thursday, September 15, 2015

Mass. pending home sales remain strong
Sentinel & Enterprise




What’s being said in the media: June Closed Sales


Here are the articles and posts that resulted in the release of our June 2015 Closed Sales Release. We’ll continue to update this post as more articles come in.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

June home sales soar in Bay State: Could mean a ‘big year’
Boston Herald

Mass. Realtors report growth in closed home sales
Morning Brief – Mortgage Professionals of America

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rising inventory lifts home sales 11.4% in June
Boston Globe

Massachusetts Home Sales Surge in June 2015, Prices Up Modestly
Boston Home Buyer Education Blog –

Massachusetts homes sales soar last month for best June in a decade
Fox Business News (via Associated Press)

Active Spring Market Pushed Massachusetts Closed Home Sales Up in June
RealEstateRama Blog

Massachusetts home sales in June hit highest level in 10 years
State House News Service