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

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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.

Keeping Busy Keeps You Successful

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The real estate market is booming and you are going a mile a minute with customers and clients.  Then why am I seeing so many members at the abounding real estate events across the state?

We, as staff working for Realtors®, attend many local and statewide events to promote Realtor® value and benefits. Just in the past two weeks, we have participated in an event at a local Realtor® association, a company’s continuing education event and a business rally presented by the local chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. Earlier in the year we participated in a large company conference and another local association event and have scheduled to join at least three more local association events.

And we saw and will see so many of you there!  You are busy as can be but still want to attend the variety of real estate related events going on around you.  But I can answer the question why – because you see the value in networking and learning from experts and each other.

Building Relationships
Real estate is a profession of relationships, we all know the importance of relationships with your clients and customers, your community and your fellow Realtors®.  Without success in relationships there is little success in business.  So the best way to foster the relationships with each other, form your referral base and learn about the benefits of being a Realtor® is to attend Realtor® events.

Education is Key
Last week at the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professional’s Business Rally, a Q & A took place with a local top producer. When asked what advice she had for fellow agents regarding success, she replayed with a simple, confident answer: Education.

Luckily you have many  networking and education events to choose from and I encourage you to check with your local association and MAR for upcoming events.  Many local associations host one day conferences, networking events and more.  And when applicable, MAR attends local events as I’ve described above so that you can firsthand see the value and benefits the local, state and national Realtor® associations have to help you in your profession.  MAR also hosts an annual conference and our Young Professionals Network hosts at least one or two regional networking events a year.

The MAR events calendar has many event listings and so does your local association’s website.  I know many of you are finding the local and state events because we see you there, so keep looking and keep busy so you can keep growing your business.

What’s in a Designation?

GRI 102 was full of fresh faces this March 2017.

There is a plethora of designations that Realtors® can earn throughout their career. The Graduate Realtor® Institute (GRI), Accredited Buyer’s Representative® (ABR), Seniors Real Estate Specialist® , and NAR’s Green Designation (GREEN) just to name a few. These programs can seem overwhelming—and let’s be honest, time-consuming—when your time is valuable.

But, if you look over the course outlines, you may see the value is well worth the time. For example, MAR launched the 2017 GRI courses in January and we had both new and seasoned agents signing up for the first course, eager to know the rest of the schedule because this designation covers so many different aspects of the real estate business. GRI covers essentials like risk management, negotiation, financing the sale, technology and much more.

Then, there are the designations than hone in on specific topics and specialties. The ABR designation is one of them. This program is designed for real estate buyer agents who work directly with buyer-clients at every stage of the home-buying process. The SRES helps Realtors® meet the special needs of maturing adults when selling, buying, relocating, or refinancing residential or investment properties. Lastly, NAR’s Green Designation is designed for agents looking to learn about energy efficiency and sustainability in real estate.

However, there are even more to choose from! Check out the full list of designations at the NAR website.

One of the best things that come with designation courses, besides the continuing education credits, are the great networking opportunities. You get to meet top-notch instructors and fellow agents.

So, in the future before passing on taking a designation class, take a minute to look over the material and keep these perks in mind. You may be missing out on your own personal growth and at the end of the day, isn’t it all about the education?

Ten Realtor® New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year from MAR! I thought that a good theme for my January blog post would be, what else…the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. As CEO, I get a lot of questions from Realtors® about how they can get more involved, be more attuned to what’s going on in the industry, and how they can boost their business. Here are the answers I give them, in a single post. If you take all these steps, I assure you and your business will have the best year yet.

10. ANTICIPATE change. There are some possibly big challenges (and opportunities) ahead this year. Mortgage interest deduction. Flood insurance. Taxes. Energy. First-time homebuyer savings. Student debt effects. The Realtor® “R” should also stand for “read”. Schedule time on your calendar to read the latest industry news and forecasts from reliable sources, rather than just scattershot Tweets and Facebook posts.

9. GET AHEAD of your state continuing education or Realtor® Code of Ethics training requirement by getting it done early this year. No kidding.

8. SUPPORT your community with at least one charitable endeavor this year. Remember, you’re in a relationships business. Join your fellow Realtors®  in assisting association programs like the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brother-Big Sister, homeless shelters, food drives, holiday gift drives and many other programs. Add a fourth leg to the above “balance” table with service to the community this year.

7. LEARN something new this year. Courses leading to GRI, CRS, CRB, CCIM and the like are structured ways to learn profitable skills while adding marketable designations to your business card. (Go to the National Association of Realtors® designation page to learn about all the designations that are offered).

6. ATTEND something new this year.  Again, real estate is a relationships business–even more so across market areas. This industry abounds in networking opportunities, including the state and national Realtor® Conventions, NAR’s Legislative Conference, MAR’s Day on Beacon Hill, local association events, and a variety of other industry events. If you’re already a frequent flier, then make this your year to “bring a friend.”

5. ADVANCE the industry a few more steps forward. Look for committee volunteer notices around June and sign-up. Talk with your local Association Executive about being a town monitor or joining an SPC (State Political Coordinator) or FPC (Federal Political Coordinator) team (we love our acronyms). We know the importance of maintaining balance between your family, business and your industry responsibilities. Just remember that all three support your career balance.

4. REACT. Actually spend the five minutes it takes to respond to Realtor® Call for Action messages this year. Although we reserve these alerts only for the most critical issues facing your livelihood, a paltry 10-15% of Realtors® take time to respond with messages to their legislators. C’mon, we can do much better than that in 2017.

3. INVEST in RPAC. At least $25 fair share investment…but doesn’t your career success indicate a step-up to Major Investor this year?

2. ENGAGE your audience. MAR has done a lot in the past few years to step up our social media and online presence. We are committed to the mission of providing you with the latest news about the industry and data on your community. The good news is, you can share that information with your followers to establish yourself as the expert in your area. For example, share the local market updates in your town or the monthly statewide home sales data to impress your audience and educate your clients. Give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to get the latest.

1. COMMENT below. Let us know what you’re planning on in the new year to boost your business, expand your network, give back and reach out this year. We look forward to reading your resolutions!

Continue Your Real Estate Education with New Online Courses

ContinuingEd_blogtitleMAR is excited to announce two new online continuing education courses.

There are now nine total courses that MAR members can access for free through the Learner Library.

Learn more about the new online courses:

Investment Property Basics (RE29RC07)

This online course gives step by step tools and investment forms that students can immediately work with. Investment Property Basics also reviews the intricacies of net operating income in simple, useful terms, and dissects capitalization rates and how they are developed. Overall, the course can help REALTORS® enhance their revenue stream.

International Real Estate and Brokerage Practices (RE71C11)

This course will assist REALTORS® with negotiating, greeting and folding under pressure with international real estate buyers and sellers in Massachusetts. It will explore how brokerage and professional services are delivered in other countries and the differences of compensation methods. Agents can better understand buyers, sellers, tenants or landlords from other countries and learn how international real estate brokerage compensation methods differ from the U.S. model.

To access MAR online CE courses:

Create Leaner Library account here.

If you already have an account, login here.

How Education Can Build Your Business, GRI Graduates Explain

With every new year comes new education classes, events, and networking opportunities for REALTORS®. The Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) is a series that is always being updated with the latest trends, tech tools, and real estate information from every platform, every year. In 2015, Massachusetts had over 15 members finish all six two-day classes and now they can call themselves REALTOR® Institute Graduates.

As you’re planning your new education schedule for 2016, keep this question in mind: What can these classes do for you and your business? The following grads asked themselves the same question and after completing the program, can answer confidently what the GRI series has done for them.

bryan-grad“Consumers are very savvy when they are buying or selling a home these days. I have a renewed confidence in my abilities as an industry professional and feel prepared to go out and compete and cooperate.” – Bryan Szelza, Jamaica Plain



y.s Kim-GRAD“Earning the GRI has given me the know-how needed to succeed in this fast-changing real estate market and has equipped me to serve my seller/buyer clients at the highest level of excellence. “- Y.S Kim, Framingham



DavidBoyle-GRAD“During the classes, we had real-life discussions about certain topics and out in the field, I have encountered some of those same scenarios. Now, with the knowledge and confidence learned at GRI, I am able to tackle these issues correctly and appropriately. I would recommend taking the GRI courses to anyone either just entering the industry or if you have been doing real estate for a long time.”- David Boyle, Groton

arruda-grigrad“Primarily it’s helped my business because I now have a significantly higher level of confidence when it comes to dealing with daily questions.”- Mathew Arruda, New Bedford