Eric is the communications director at MAR and has been interacting with the news media about housing and real estate since 2001. He is a former has-been college soccer player at Northeastern University where he graduated with a concentration in public relations from its School of Journalism. He is married to professional cake baker and has an 11-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. When he’s not shuttling them around from place-to-place he tries to find time to get on his bike and pedal a few miles and raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Pan-Mass Challenge.
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. Continue reading →
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 ThatsNonsense.com:
“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.
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 www.NoEnergyGrade.com
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.
(Please note: The following blog post was prepared by MAR Legal Staff: Michael McDonagh, General Counsel; Ashley Stolba, Associate Counsel; and Justin Davidson, Legislative & Regulatory Counsel. Edited by Christine Howe, Legal Affairs & Finance Administrative Assistant)
To help prepare for the Blizzard Juno, it is important to remember what our responsibilities are regarding removal of snow and ice from our properties.
LANDLORDS AND TENANTS – Who is responsible for snow removal?
The usual rule is that it is the responsibility of the homeowner or landlord to keep means of entry and exit free of snow and ice. The State Sanitary Code provides that, “the owner shall maintain all means of egress at all times in a safe, operable condition and shall keep all exterior stairways, fire escapes, egress balconies and bridges free of snow and ice.”
If the residence has its private entry, the Sanitary Code allows the landlord to allocate the responsibility of maintaining such egress to the tenant. Be sure to review the lease to determine who is responsible to keep exclusive means of egress clear of snow.
PROPERTY OWNERS – Who is responsible for injuries?
In terms of liability, the 2010 SJC ruling of Papadopoulos v. Target Corp. expanded the duty of property owners to remove snow and ice from their property, and held that Massachusetts property owners have a duty to use “reasonable care” for the protection of visitors, and are thus legally responsible for the removal of snow and ice from their property.
Among the steps that every property owner should take are to:
(1) Review insurance policies to be sure that there is adequate coverage
(2) Determine whether contractors or others hired to remove snow and ice have insurance
(3) Be vigilant when there is newly fallen snow or when temperatures allow melting and refreezing
If complete clearing is not possible, warning signs may be appropriate. Clients that have specific questions regarding their duty to clear snow should consult with their attorney.
If you lose your heat, seal off unused rooms by stuffing towels in the cracks under the doors. At night, cover windows with extra blankets or sheets. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
Call your utility company to report any outage-related problem.
Call 2-1-1 for non-emergency storm-related questions.
Be a good neighbor. Check with elderly or relatives and neighbors who may need additional assistance to ensure their safety.