And the Winners Are…

Good Neighbor Award winner Kelly Catallo and 2016 Realtor of the Year Michelle Haggstrom holding their awards at the Professional Awards Dinner

We’re not quite gearing up for the Oscars yet, but awards season is approaching for Realtors®. All year long, many of you go above and beyond. You participate on countless local, state, and sometimes national committees and task forces. We don’t have to remind you how time consuming or demanding these commitments are, but the industry does want to remind you that your work is most appreciated and meaningful to the Realtor® community.

The Awards Dinner is one way to honor your commitment and recognize the many members who have made their volunteer work a priority. This year, the event takes place after the MAR Board of Directors meeting on September 14 at the Double Tree Hilton in Milford, Massachusetts. It will be there that the much-anticipated Educator of the Year, Good Neighbor, and Realtor® of the Year winners are announced.

Kelly Catallo, Broker/Owner of Cosmopolitan Real Estate INC., was the Good Neighbor winner in 2016. Catallo was honored for her work founding the Running of the Leprechauns 5K in Medford, raising over $50,000 for the Boston Children’s hospital..

This year, Catallo reflects on what receiving that honor was like for her at the Awards Dinner in 2016. Like many who hear they have been nominated for an award, Catallo was shocked. “When it sunk in,” Catallo said, “this very warm feeling of love enveloped me. I was so very honored. I do what I do because it’s what I can do. Being able to bring people together to bring awareness and support for our community, while having fun, for something so important as the Boston Children’s Hospital is so spiritually fulfilling. Being honored by my peers was like getting a great big bear hug!”

Similar to many of you, Catallo is a busy person. There’s business, family and fun. But time, she says in reflecting on her precious volunteer work, is not something we have; it’s something we create. “Don’t let the opportunity to be a valuable, contributing member of your community pass you by, create the time—be it an hour a week or 10 minutes a day. You owe it to yourself.”

Take the time to appreciate yourself and your fellow Realtor® members this September at the Awards Dinner. We hope to see you there!

“The Greatest Show on Earth” | MAR Conference & Tradeshow

Cropped image of magician opening red stage curtain

The iconic 146-year-old circus Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey announced that their final performances will take place this month. Recently, the CBS Sunday Morning Show featured company members to discuss what it takes to plan “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

This has us at the association reflecting: What does it take to be the greatest show on earth? How much sweat, stamina, and knowledge goes into planning an event like this? Members that participate on the MAR conference committee might have an idea.

Planning an annual event like the MAR Conference & Tradeshow is hard work. The time spent researching a venue and speakers for the event is immense. Then comes brainstorming as a group: What cutting edge information can we bring to the real estate world? What burning questions should our speakers address? In other words, how can we best provide for our members?

This kind of thinking is not only time-consuming, but requires a special kind of person to commit to the task. Still, conference committee members continue to demonstrate their skill and dedication. For example, in 2015 the planning committee selected Jan Hargrave, a body-language expert, to speak at that year’s conference. Jan was a hit! Members lined up to meet Jan and purchase her books. Afterwards, Jan was in high demand in the real estate industry. She came back for our conference in 2016 and spoke at the Jack Conway Convention and the Northeast Association of Realtors® Education Fair. Our committee team always has their eyes on the “next big thing” in real estate, and Jan was a prime example.

The committee is planning another exceptional event right now. The 2017 Conference & Tradeshow will be back at The Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth, MA on September 25 & 26.  The speakers are solidified, the website is launched, and registration is open. This year, along with providing a slew of national and local industry experts, the committee has several new networking opportunities planned (not to mention fun activities). In traditional New England style, we’ll be kicking off the first night of the conference with a clam bake on the beach. If you come the night before, head over to Lanes Bowl & Bistro where you can bowl and enjoy a dessert buffet.

Now that the scheduling and booking portion of the event is finished, it’s up to you. Sign up and enjoy another fun-filled and educational event that also includes the industry’s largest tradeshow. The opportunities are endless and we think it’s one of our “greatest” events yet.

Find out more about this year’s conference and sign up for the early bird price of $179.

New Year, New Surprises

Person silhouette standing in 2017 on the hill at sunset

The other day, a co-worker asked me if I had any New Year’s resolutions planned. After I told her that I hadn’t planned anything in particular, I realized that others didn’t ignore their New Year’s duties like I had.

This realization became clear when I looked at our planned ITI (Instructor Training Institute) course we have scheduled for January. We sold out all 18 seats and the students seem eager to start! When we originally scheduled ITI for this past summer, we didn’t have a single person sign up for the course. We waited and waited, until we finally decided to cancel.

What changed? This time of year is one of the busiest and even though the class is scheduled after the holidays, it can still be hectic for those getting back into their daily routines. But perhaps these students have the new year in mind? Perhaps they have resolutions planned for some type of life/education revamp?

If you’re stuck or ready to learn something new here are some programs and websites you can explore that can lead to interesting perspectives or possibilities in the new year:

1. MAR has planned three GRI (Graduate Realtor® Institute) courses for 2017 so far, starting in January. This is a comprehensive program that covers many real estate topics. The semester kicks off with GRI 302: Expanding Your Base on January 12 & 16, 2017.

2. is a website I use frequently. Even though a membership is required, this site seems to have courses and tutorials on everything! I’ve even taught myself how to edit videos in Final Cut Pro through Lynda. It’s worth the membership– especially if you want to learn something new easily and in timely manner.

3. Many members forget that any live webinar we’ve done in the past has been archived on the MAR website. The webinars cover a variety of topics from Board of Registration regulations to data breach and cyber crime information. This is a fantastic way to learn something useful in a timely manner too. Even better, it’s free if you’re an MAR member!