Page 1

A COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP IS SIMPLY THE BEST WAY TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS Contact Us “



A COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP IS SIMPLY THE BEST WAY TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS Darlene Sodano,CRS
Richard Coughlin, CRS
Sheryle Degirolamo, CRS Lisa Parenteau, CRS Sarah Walker State President Finance Leader Education Leader Membership Leader Administrator
Darlene@SodanoRealEstate.com
Rick@CoughlinHomes.com Sheryle@Sheryle.com
LisaParenteau@LeadingEdgeAgents.com Sarah@MARealtor.com Contact Us
The New England Region is an active Council now made up of Connecticut, Maine,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont CRS designees and
members who are working on their designation. We always have room for volunteers
so if you are interested in becoming a more active CRS, let us know. Get Involved
Get best-in-class training with your choice of classroom courses, e-learning, webinars and events. CRS Designees
also get exclusive listing in the CRS Referral Network, including our “Find A CRS” online directory and the new
Qualified Consumer Leads program. Not to mention, complimentary subscriptions to Inman Select (a $199 value) and our award winning magazine,
The Residential Specialist.
Like us on Facebook – Search “ New England RRC”
New England Region RRC website
crs.com//local-rrc/newengland-region
BSR_July_August18_0619.indd 2 6/19/18 10:22 AM

A COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP IS SIMPLY THE BEST WAY TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS


July/August 2018 1
Inside this issue of Bay State REALTOR ® More from MAR
CRS.....................................IFCPROS.................................................3NAR’s Green Designation....................5VHT....................................................9MassHousing..................................11NAR.................................................17NEREN............................................17RMS .....................................19
Embrace Home Loans ......................19A-Z Moving & Storage, Inc...............21 ASAP Environmental....................... .21 United Casualty.............................. 21SWAT................................................21Osterman Propane...........................23Weichert.........................................IBCMLS PIN.......................................... BC ADVERTISER DIRECTORY MAR SPONSORS
CHARITABLE FOUNDATION PARTNERS LEGAL NOTES 10 »
MAR President Rita Coffey Responds to the Boston Globe’s Home Energy Editorial – MAR President Rita Coffey responded to the Boston Globe’s editorial, which touted home energy audits as a way to prevent sticker shock for homebuyers. Although MAR supports energy efficiency, Rita argues that a mandatory energy audit would stigmatize the homes for sale and even entire neighborhoods in Massachusetts. Read the full response to the Boston Globe editorial by visiting » Massachusetts Association of Realtors ® Facebook
A COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP IS SIMPLY THE BEST WAY TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS Darlene Sodano,CRS
Richard Coughlin, CRS
Sheryle Degirolamo, CRS Lisa Parenteau, CRS Sarah Walker State President Finance Leader Education Leader Membership Leader Administrator
Darlene@SodanoRealEstate.com
Rick@CoughlinHomes.com Sheryle@Sheryle.com
LisaParenteau@LeadingEdgeAgents.com Sarah@MARealtor.com Contact Us
The New England Region is an active Council now made up of Connecticut, Maine,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont CRS designees and
members who are working on their designation. We always have room for volunteers
so if you are interested in becoming a more active CRS, let us know. Get Involved
Get best-in-class training with your choice of classroom courses, e-learning, webinars and events. CRS Designees
also get exclusive listing in the CRS Referral Network, including our “Find A CRS” online directory and the new
Qualified Consumer Leads program. Not to mention, complimentary subscriptions to Inman Select (a $199 value) and our award winning magazine,
The Residential Specialist.
Like us on Facebook – Search “ New England RRC”
New England Region RRC website
crs.com//local-rrc/newengland-region 2 From the Editor
‘I Want My MTV and More…’
REAL ESTATE @ WORK 4 4 On the Hill
Transfer Taxes Explained; 33rd Annual Realtor ® Day on Beacon Hill 6
Do Your Facebook Ads Discriminate? Erica Christoffer 8 Social Media
Ask a Millennial: How Do Facebook's
Recent Privacy Scandals Affect Me and My Business? Leslie Fowle 10 Legal Realtor ® Up In Smoke Michael McDonagh 12
Notes From the MAR Legal Hotline 14
Broaden Your Horizons:
Cultivating Professional Relationships Through Cultural & Lifestyle Groups
Leslie Fowle 18 P resident’s Message
Association "GPS" Rita Coffey 19
Calendar; Corinne Fitzgerald Honored 22
Infographic: Student Debt Delaying Millennial Dwelling Decisions 23
MAR Charitable Foundation Awards 12 Spring
Housing Grants 24 Insider
GRI: Behind the Letters Sarah Walker FEATURE 14 MEMBER VOICES 18 REALTOR ®
INTEREST GROUPS p14
ASSOCIATION GPS p18GRI: BEHIND THE LETTERS p26 Broaden Your Horizons
BSR_July_August18_0619.indd 3 6/20/18 10:17 AM

PRO$ Edge


2 Bay State REALTOR ® {from the editor}
‘I Want My MTV and More…’ BY ERIC BERMAN
I remember the knock on the door when I was a kid. Cable was just coming to our town and the company was going door-to-door signing families up. The representative at the door gave me and my brother each our first “I want my MTV” buttons. I have to say, that was pretty cool. Of course, it was the new world that cable TV opened up to us that was truly incredible – including MTV!
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MASSACHUSETTS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ® JULY/AUGUST 2018 VOL. 95, NO.4 PRESIDENT
Rita Coffey, CRB, LMC PRESIDENT-ELECT
Anne Meczywor, ASR, CBR, CRS, AHWD TREASURER
Kurt Thompson, CRS, CBR, LMC
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Paul Yorkis, CBR, LMC, SRES, EVP AND CEO
Robert Authier, CAE, e-PRO ® , RCE
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR/ EDITOR IN CHIEF Eric Berman, RCE ART DIRECTOR Sharon Womble PRODUCTION MANAGER Eric MacDougall ADVERTISING SALES
Julie Lewis (508) 612-4841
(Publication No. 703-610) ISSN: 0891-5539 Published by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors ® ,
Mailing Address: 333 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA 02451-1139(781) 890-3700The Bay State REALTOR ® magazine is
published bi-monthly (Jan./Feb., March/April, May/June, July/August, Sept./Oct., Nov./Dec.), as a member service. Subscriptions are $2.50 per year for members and are paid out of member dues. Non-member subscription rate is $40 per year. The comments and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, or policies of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors ® .
Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Periodical postage paid at Boston, MA.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:Massachusetts Association of Realtors ®
333 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA 02451-1139
What cable TV did before the internet was allow viewers to find TV networks
that met their interests. No longer did we have to choose to watch the big three networks and some local channels. As a soccer player, this meant access to numerous games from many countries and not a condensed one-hour game (“Soccer Made In Germany” if you were wondering) on my local PBS station.
When it comes to real estate, there are plenty of opportunities to connect
with your interests, like obtaining a professional Realtor ® designation. These
designations focus on topics ranging from more general real estate business to very specific niches such as working with seniors. If you’ve been a Realtor ® for
any amount of time, you’ve most likely seen other Realtors ®
with sets of letters after their names.
However, there are opportunities out there to connect with other Realtors ®
that are not solely based on business specialty. While the Young Professional Networks across the country have gained in popularity over the past decade, there are several real estate groups that have existed for numerous years which are based on cultural and lifestyle connections. The feature story in this issue, Realtor ®
Interest Groups on page 14 written by Leslie Fowle, looks at these
groups and some of their histories, and talks to Realtors ®
about what they get
out of participating. Internet Privacy:
On May 25, did you get a bunch of emails from different online accounts you
might have with the letters “GDPR?” If you don’t remember, go back and look, those emails are probably there. What “GDPR” stands for is “General Data Protection Regulation” and it is a new law in the European Union. It was created because the EU wants to protect its citizens from potential problems like that which happened in the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica situation. Keeping this theme in mind, this issue has three different articles that will help you figure it all out.
Do Your Facebook Ads Discriminate?
– page 6 – by Erica Christoffer of Realtor ®
Magazine provides advice on ensuring your Facebook ads don’t violate fair housing laws. Ask a Millennial
– page 8 – by Leslie Fowle, looks at some of the steps you can
take to protect your privacy on Facebook.
Notes from the Legal Hotline
– page 12 – by Catherine Taylor, Esq., answers a
couple of questions about privacy updates for Realtor ® websites. CRS The PRO$ Edge Oil heat.
Buyer Resources for a Seller's Market
Your clients may be looking
for more information to help them feel confident that an
oil-heated listing is the perfect
property. To help your buyers
overcome their hesitancy to put
in an offer on an oil-heated home or to give them the support they need during the home-buying
process, here are some excellent resources:
Discover Heating Oil Massachusetts -
This website is a wealth of information
about heating oil in Massachusetts. Your clients can learn about the advancements in today's heating oil, get familiar with high-efficiency heating oil equipment and much more. Have your clients visit
discoverheatingoilmass.com. Equipment Rebates -
Thanks to the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Associa­
tion (MEMA) and the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), homeowners in the Bay State can secure equipment rebates for up to
$600 when they install
a new high-efficiency heating oil system and new storage tank. The process is
very simple and rebates are easy to secure. Rebate coupons can be downloaded at
discoverheatingoilmass.com/equipment-rebates
or homeowners can contact
their oil dealers to secure a rebate. Rebates will be available while funds last.
Materials that Answer Their Questions -
PRO$ makes some excellent
materials available for homebuyers, like the Homeowners Guide to Heating with Oil,
the Guide to Heating Oil Storage Tanks and the Improving Energy Efficiency in
Your Oil-Heated Home
brochure. To order these free materials for your buyers, visit oilheatpros.com/ma today!
1 5 Minutes Could Make All the Difference ..... \ The best Realtors ®
look for every possible advantage they
can to close more business. One of the best resources in
Massachusetts is the
Partnership for Realty and Oilheat Success (P RO $).
We're a nonprofit educational program
working with Massachusetts Realtors ® to help them
overcome objections and close more business. When you
or your office broker schedule a brief, IS-minute training session for one of your weekly sales meetings, we'll share insights into marketing oil-heated homes, recommenda-
tions for dealing with tank issues, and the inside scoop on
Bioheat. To schedule your in-office training session, visit
oilheatpros.com/ma today!
MEMA, Mass-Full-page-PRO$ Ad-July-August-14977B.indd 1
Know more, sell more. Talking Points for Todays Oilhea
You do 't ave to be an oil heat expert
to sound like one. Get familiar with these
talking points and position yourself as the Realtor ®
best suited to secure oilheat
listings in your market:
Today's oilheat is considered an
ultra-low sulfur fuel. This means that
it burns even more cleanly, with less system emissions and a reduced likeli­hood of system issues than before.
Oil heat systems are extremely
efficient. In fact, the technological advancements of the last few decades have cut heating oil usage nearly in half! Bioheat ®
is a blend of regular heating oil and biofuels, like soybeans and
sunflowers. Bioheat has become very popular and offers a cleaner, greener. renewable home heat source for Massachusetts homeowners.
For more tips and talking points, visit ilheatpros . r / ma . MA I FFF A" PR O $
PARTNERSHIP FOR REALTY AND OILHEAT SUCCESS ™ MI E IM I A
Paid for by the National Oilheat Research Alliance
and the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association 5/29/18 9:50 AM I
BSR_July_August18_0619.indd 4 6/19/18 10:25 AM

PRO$ Edge


CRS The PRO$ Edge Oil heat.
Buyer Resources for a Seller's Market
Your clients may be looking
for more information to help them feel confident that an
oil-heated listing is the perfect
property. To help your buyers
overcome their hesitancy to put
in an offer on an oil-heated home or to give them the support they need during the home-buying
process, here are some excellent resources:
Discover Heating Oil Massachusetts -
This website is a wealth of information
about heating oil in Massachusetts. Your clients can learn about the advancements in today's heating oil, get familiar with high-efficiency heating oil equipment and much more. Have your clients visit
discoverheatingoilmass.com. Equipment Rebates -
Thanks to the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Associa­
tion (MEMA) and the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), homeowners in the Bay State can secure equipment rebates for up to
$600 when they install
a new high-efficiency heating oil system and new storage tank. The process is
very simple and rebates are easy to secure. Rebate coupons can be downloaded at
discoverheatingoilmass.com/equipment-rebates
or homeowners can contact
their oil dealers to secure a rebate. Rebates will be available while funds last.
Materials that Answer Their Questions -
PRO$ makes some excellent
materials available for homebuyers, like the Homeowners Guide to Heating with Oil,
the Guide to Heating Oil Storage Tanks and the Improving Energy Efficiency in
Your Oil-Heated Home
brochure. To order these free materials for your buyers, visit oilheatpros.com/ma today!
1 5 Minutes Could Make All the Difference ..... \ The best Realtors ®
look for every possible advantage they
can to close more business. One of the best resources in
Massachusetts is the
Partnership for Realty and Oilheat Success (P RO $).
We're a nonprofit educational program
working with Massachusetts Realtors ® to help them
overcome objections and close more business. When you
or your office broker schedule a brief, IS-minute training session for one of your weekly sales meetings, we'll share insights into marketing oil-heated homes, recommenda-
tions for dealing with tank issues, and the inside scoop on
Bioheat. To schedule your in-office training session, visit
oilheatpros.com/ma today!
MEMA, Mass-Full-page-PRO$ Ad-July-August-14977B.indd 1
Know more, sell more. Talking Points for Todays Oilhea
You do 't ave to be an oil heat expert
to sound like one. Get familiar with these
talking points and position yourself as the Realtor ®
best suited to secure oilheat
listings in your market:
Today's oilheat is considered an
ultra-low sulfur fuel. This means that
it burns even more cleanly, with less system emissions and a reduced likeli­hood of system issues than before.
Oil heat systems are extremely
efficient. In fact, the technological advancements of the last few decades have cut heating oil usage nearly in half! Bioheat ®
is a blend of regular heating oil and biofuels, like soybeans and
sunflowers. Bioheat has become very popular and offers a cleaner, greener. renewable home heat source for Massachusetts homeowners.
For more tips and talking points, visit ilheatpros . r / ma . MA I FFF A" PR O $
PARTNERSHIP FOR REALTY AND OILHEAT SUCCESS ™ MI E IM I A
Paid for by the National Oilheat Research Alliance
and the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association 5/29/18 9:50 AM I
BSR_July_August18_0619.indd 5 6/19/18 10:26 AM

Real estate@work Transfer Taxes Explained



N E W S, T R E N D S, & T O O L S F O R R E A LT O R S ® real estate@work {on the hill}
The goal of these pieces of legislation is to create new revenue streams for municipalities. However, affordable housing and other community-wide responsibilities should be paid for by the entire community, not just those hoping to buy or sell a home. The proposed tax scheme is inequitable and discriminatory as it would single out a small segment of the population, specifically homebuyers and sellers, to pay for a community-wide need and responsibility. Because this is a neighborhood responsibility, the new tax
would subvert the voter approval process inherent in a Proposition 2½ override. An override gives voters the chance to decide for themselves whether to increase their own property taxes, rather than burdening those hoping to move into a community or relocate to a town. No matter how well-intentioned, transfer taxes would increase the bottom-line price of many homes by thousands of dollars. The imposition of this type of new sales tax on homes could have serious implications for the Massachusetts economy and
set the wrong precedent for the Commonwealth’s tax policies. Very simply, transfer taxes would increase the cost of home ownership and create an additional barrier of entry for an already expensive state. If adopted, this measure would set the wrong precedent throughout Massachusetts. Transfer taxes are just one example of the many types of legislation that MAR works on throughout the legislative session. Stay tuned for more updates as we head toward the end of this legislative session. 4 Bay State REALTOR ®
Transfer Taxes Explained
BY THE MAR LEGAL DEPARTMENT
The perception of a hot real estate market has some on Beacon Hill thinking that a new tax on home sales is a good idea. Transfer tax proposals are nothing new on Beacon Hill. Realtors ®
have been opposing bills that seek to create new real estate transfer taxes for decades. However, as
communities continue to see housing prices increase, some are looking for a way to cash in on those rising prices by applying a transfer tax to real estate transactions. 33rd Annual Realtor ® Day on Beacon Hill
"I really hope that we are able to get
this done between now and the end of session," said Governor Baker to the over 500 Realtors ®
in attendance. "We can't
leave this housing reform as unfinished business," Baker said. "The housing issue is too important to our economy, to our communities and to our future. And it's too important to the families that need homes." MAR members used this grassroots event as an opportunity to meet with their legislators to discuss the current state of the market and housing related issues.
To learn more about the 2018
legislative priorities, visit the
Government Affairs section of marealtor.com .
Governor Baker delivers the keynote address
Photo credit: Paul R. Horwitz – Atlantic Photo
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Do Your Facebook Ads Discriminate? How Misuse Can Occur


6 Bay State REALTOR ®
Do Your Facebook Ads Discriminate?
BY ERICA CHRISTOFFER, REALTOR ® Magazine
Some practitioners might not realize they’re violating fair housing laws. Here’s how to make sure your marketing is legal and ethical. Time to face it: Facebook has likely become an inextricable part of how you promote your listings and market your business. It’s also the app many of your clients and prospects turn to the minute they wake up. But now the social media behemoth is dealing with fallout from apparent data breaches and questionable ad targeting practices.
This erosion of public trust is the central reason CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in the U.S. Senate for 10 hours to address the outrage over data abuse by Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that collected private information without permission on as many as 87 million Facebook users. Revelations about the mind-boggling degree of access that brands of all kinds have to the activities of 2 billion users mean real estate pros need to be aware of how their own marketing could be affected. Allegations that Facebook enables housing discrimination by allowing real estate advertisers, including brokers and agents, to exclude certain audiences were the focus of a federal lawsuit filed in late March by the National Fair Housing Alliance and three affiliated groups. According to the complaint, “Facebook continues to enable landlords and real estate brokers to bar families with children, women, and others from receiving rental and sales ads for housing.” Zuckerberg's assertion did little to assuage critics. The fact that advertisers are still able to exclude people, within other categories protected under federal and state fair housing laws—such as gender and familial status—suggests that the problem is far from resolved. “Many targeting categories will implicate these protections—think about ‘brides,’ or ‘parents of 5- to 8-year-olds,’ or ‘consumers of halal food,’ ” says Rachel Goodman, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program. “Facebook has been aware of this issue since the spring of 2016. They have repeatedly expressed a commitment in the past to fixing this problem, but they have not yet brought their systems into compliance with the Act,” she says. Fair housing advocates took no comfort in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development decision last year to close its investigation related to Facebook’s ad platform after determining there was no finding for cause, according to HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan. In a phone interview, Sullivan said he could not
comment about the ongoing potential for fair housing violations on Facebook. “We do guide people to not market a property in such a way as to limit housing opportunities for certain protected classes,” Sullivan said. Goodman says increased scrutiny of platforms like Facebook is the only way to ensure they are complying with civil rights law. NFHA General Counsel Morgan Williams concurs on the need for vigilance: “We’re supportive of any changes that would end these problematic filtering mechanisms.”
How Misuse Can Occur
The problems stemming from the ad platform can emerge innocently enough, often by users with no intent to violate the Fair Housing Act, in part because of the ease of the technology. Let’s say a listing agent markets a “starter home” by using Facebook’s ad filters to target that listing to buyers ages 25 to 35. Or a female property manager who connects well with female renters decides to focus her Facebook advertising toward women. In both cases they’re likely breaking either a state or federal fair housing law and violating the Realtor® Code of Ethics.
BSR_July_August18_0619.indd 8 6/19/18 10:31 AM

Teaching Appropriate Ad Targeting The Future of Facebook Ads


July/August 2018 7
The federal Fair Housing Act includes seven protected classes today: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status. Many states, counties, and municipalities include additional protected classes, such as age and sexual orientation. The potential for illegal discrimination online goes well beyond Facebook—it can arise whenever you target a specific audience. “Real estate professionals have an obligation under the Fair Housing Act to not discriminate against any individuals within a protected class,” says Lesley Muchow, deputy general counsel at the National Association of Realtors®. While broadly marketing your listings, through print or digital platforms, is a helpful way to grow your business, targeted marketing that singles out a particular group is best avoided. “It’s unlawful to create a notice or statement that’s exclusive,” says Fred Underwood, director of diversity and community outreach programs at NAR.
Teaching Appropriate Ad Targeting
Brokers like Carrie Little, managing broker of CarMarc Realty Group in Chicago, are mindful of the need to market to a broad consumer audience and reiterate this message in agent training classes. “If you’re ever called on for a fair housing violation, you must prove you are marketing to all demographics,” Little says. If your marketing includes people photos, she says, include a broad spectrum of people.
When it comes to Facebook, Little will include all ages within a specific city radius and use filters sparingly, only targeting people based on very specific interests such as horse lovers or boat owners.Nathan Dadosky, a digital marketing expert in Greenville, N.C., has helped real estate pros generate leads using Facebook and Instagram advertising. When agents try to target an ad using discriminatory filters, he redirects them.
Selecting an age filter, for example, may not only be problematic in terms of the law, it also negatively impacts the advertising campaign because the agent is giving Facebook too many restrictions up front, he says. It’s best to cast a wide net for prospects that will narrow organically based on the interested audiences, he says. Facebook’s algorithm will find out who’s interacting with ads, because it knows users’ behavior and purchase history.
The Future of Facebook Ads
The scrutiny surrounding Facebook’s ads will likely result in more changes to the ad platform, Dadosky says. That might mean the removal of targeting criteria based on data collected from a third-party partner such as Acxiom Data Cloud. If that occurs, advertisers will no longer have access to targeting criteria such as “likely to move” or “recent mortgage borrower,” Dadosky says. But he insists that it “wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world” for those who advertise through the platform. He encourages agents to focus on building an organic, hyperlocal audience by consistently publishing quality content on both Facebook and Instagram that directs users to a high-quality website that’s fast and mobile-optimized. An example of quality content would be a “home of the day,” posted on Instagram, Dadosky suggests. It could include a collage with high-quality photos and hashtags naming the town and neighborhood. “You’ll attract the attention of people looking to buy and sell,” he adds. “It’s a strategy that takes time, but it’s arguably more sustainable.”
*Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine or REALTOR® Magazine Online, May 2018, with permission of the National Association of REALTORS®. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.
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