Are you missing important emails?

man with laptop and email concept

One of the most important communication goals for MAR volunteer leaders and professional staff is ensuring that our communications reach you. We use a number of different platforms to send our members all the information needed to participate in MAR’s advocacy and information services. Meanwhile, we realize that spam and junk mail filtering are important. In fact, 80% of all global email volume is spam. Unfortunately, filters also can block critical information you need for business. So here are some simple steps to balance your need for critical business information versus spam filtering, and to help MAR keep critical business information flowing your way.


MAR emails typically come from either an MAR staff professional or one of our general mailboxes. MAR emails always originate from the domain.  So a first step is to “whitelist” our domain with your email provider.   Add us to your contacts list wherever possible.  There are several guides to whitelisting individual email addresses and domains for most major email providers and devices.

  1. Microsoft Outlook/Office
  2. Gmail
  3. Other providers

We’d ask that you add MAR staff professionals and the following addresses to your Contacts:,, plus the addresses of Staff you regularly correspond with.

Email Providers 

Another important issue that we’re trying to address are the personal email providers which a relatively small percentage of our members use to do business. Personal email providers like AOL, Verizon, RoadRunner, Adelphia or newer free accounts tied to companies like Comcast and AT&T are certainly handy for personal messages. Their spam and junk-filtering systems are very aggressive, and it’s difficult to deliver email to those addresses if you’re using a large-volume commercial service like the ones MAR, the National Association, and even many of our local Associations use for important messages like legislative Calls for Action or e-newsletter industry updates. Most of our delivery failures come from a small number of members who use personal email providers for their business. Among members using their own domain or a company email address, failure rates are much lower.

There are lots of great options out there. The simplest is probably Gmail, which is free and extremely reliable. It takes only seconds to sign up for a free account, and you can easily set up forwarding from your old email addresses to the new inbox so you’ll never miss a thing.

Even better is to set up a branded email address – something customized and easy to remember. NAR offers an email package for its .realtor domains, at an additional cost of $60 per year.  You’ll need to claim set up your .realtor domain first, if you haven’t already.

GoDaddy, a popular web hosting company is currently offering a great price on its email and Office packages – you can get a professional domain, custom email, AND the full Office 365 suite with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and more to use on up to 5 devices for $9.99 a month.

There are lots of other options out there, but the important thing is to consider the value email communications hold to your business. If you, like us, miss an important email because your spam filter got a little overenthusiastic, what could the consequences be? For us, it was a day lost reconfiguring the website. For you, it could be an important committee meeting, pictures of a loved one, or even a great offer on one of your listings. Isn’t it worth using the best possible tools at your disposal to manage your business communications, especially when they’re so affordable?

Massachusetts Real Estate Market Starts Strong in 2017

Front Porch Of Resedential Home With Autumn Decorations

The 2017 real estate market started strong with the most closed home sales in a January since MAR began recording the data in 2004. Continuing buyer demand pushed closed sales up more three percent over last year. Single-family median prices also saw a hike over last year. Condominium sales and median price closed up in January as well.

Read more in the full January 2017 Closed Sales Release.

Highlights from the release:

      • January single-family home sales went up 3.2% over last year (3,400 sales in 2017 from 3,294 sales in January 2016)
      • January single-family median prices went up 7.4% year-over-year (to $354,000 in 2017 from $329,700 in January 2016)
      • January condo sales went up 4.1% and median prices went up 6.5% (to $330,000)
      • Inventory in January went down -33.6% to 11,259 and condominiums available down -29.1% to 3,211
      • SF listings added to the market in January went down -1.8% over last year. (4,167 from 4,242 in 2016)
      • Condo listings added to the market went up 9.9% over last year. (1,805 from 1,642 in 2016)

Buyer Demand Keeps Pending Sales Strong in January


Ongoing buyer demand pushed pending home sales up in January more than 10 percent compared to the same time last year. Realtors® confidence both in the market and in home prices was positive in January.

January Pending Sales:

Single Family January 2017 January 2016 % Change
Sales 3,600 3,254 10.6%
Median Price $354,000 $329,700 7.4%
  • Pending sales have been up 46 of the last 47 months
Condominium January 2017 January 2016 % Change
Sales 1,524 1,278 19.2%
Median Price $330,000 $310,000 6.5%
  • Pending sales have been up 16 of the last 17 months

Realtor® Market and Price Confidence Indexes:

Confidence Index January 2017 January 2016 %Change
Market 69.63 66.98 4%
Price 75.19 73.32 2%
  • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index was up for the 10th straight month
  • Measured on a 100-point scale, a score of 50 is the midpoint between a “strong” (100 points) and a “weak” (0 points) market condition

Read the full January 2017 Future Indicators Report.

These 10 MA towns experienced the highest increases in sales and price in December

Top-ten_blog_purpleWorcester County experienced a boom in median price increases over last year in December, with two towns topping the list. Closed home sales increases were spread across the state.

Closed Sales Percent Increase
1. Wellfleet + 175.0%
2. Ashland, Mansfield, Merrimac + 150.0%
3. Westfield + 140.0%
4. Kingston + 120.0%
5. Rutland + 116.7%
6. South Hadley + 111.1%
7. Longmeadow + 109.1%
8. Marshfield + 94.4%
9. Wilmington + 94.1%
10. Seekonk + 92.3%


Median Sales Price Growth Median Price Percent Increase
1. Douglas $338,000 + 64.9%
2. Belchertown $307,000 + 43.6%
3. Spencer $215,000 + 38.7%
4. Sudbury $774,500 + 36.3%
5. Bourne $375,000 + 35.1%
6. Gardner $190,000 + 34.2%
7. Westwood $755,500 + 33.7%
8. Tyngsborough $399,900 + 32.5%
9. Norwell $840,000 + 30.5%
10. Dracut $365,000 + 29.8%

*A minimum of ten homes must have been sold in each town during December 2016 to make this list.

All data used in the rankings is compiled from the Berkshire County Multiple Listing Service, Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS®, Inc. and MLS Property Information Network, Inc.

Massachusetts Home Sales Flat in December After a Strong Year

Front Porch Of Resedential Home With Autumn Decorations

December closed out with single-family home sales essentially at the same pace as last year. Eleven of the 12 months of the year saw an increase in home sales over 2015. Median prices were also up for 10 straight months as home values reached new highs. Condominium sales were down in December, after a year of mostly increases. Overall, 2016 was a positive year for home sales in Massachusetts as both year-end single-family and condominium sales and median prices were up over 2015.

Read more in the full December 2016 Closed Sales Release.

Highlights from the release:

      • December single-family home sales remained essentially flat over last year. (4,779 sales in 2016 from 4,805 sales in December 2015)
      • December single-family median prices went up 3.6% year-over-year (to $355,000 in 2016 from $342,500 in December 2015)
      • December condo sales went down -2.5% and median prices went up 4.6% (to $338,500)
      • Inventory in December went down -35.5% to 11,447 and condominiums available down -31.3% to 3,164
      • SF listings added to the market in December went down -12.7% over last year. (2,453 from 2,810 in 2015)
      • Condo listings added to the market went down -11.0% over last year. (940 from 1,056 in 2015)


Pending Home Sales and Market Confidence in Massachusetts Housing Market both up in December and for 2016


Holiday cheer wasn’t the only thing in abundance in December as both the number of homes put under agreement and prices were up in the final month of the year. This was also true for condominiums put under agreement. This trend was mirrored in the year-end totals for 2016 compared to 2015. Realtors’® confidence in the market was positive again in December as their confidence in prices was down slightly.

December Pending Sales:

Single Family December 2016 December 2015 % Change
Sales 3,430 2,993 14.6%
Median Price $356,950 $342,500 4.2%
  • Pending sales have been up 45 of the last 46 months
Condominium December 2016 December 2015 % Change
Sales 1,198 1,075 11.4%
Median Price $340,000 $323,767 5.0%
  • Pending sales have been up 15 of the last 16 months

Year-End Pending Sales:

Single-Family 2016 2015 %Change
Sales 59,707 54,384 9.8%
Avg. Median Price $352,839 $341,142 3.4%


Condominium 2016 2015 %Change
Sales 22,473 21,262 5.7%
Avg. Median Price $319,527 $330,435 3.4%

REALTOR® Market and Price Confidence Indexes:

Confidence Index December 2015 December 2014 %Change
Market 59.76 66.95 12%
Price 70.43 69.70 -1%
  • The Realtor® Market Confidence Index was up for the ninth straight month
  • Measured on a 100-point scale, a score of 50 is the midpoint between a “strong” (100 points) and a “weak” (0 points) market condition


Confidence Index 2016 2015 %Change
Market 73.69 68.20 8%
Price 72.18 73.82 -2.3%


Read the full December 2016 Future Indicators Report.