Blogging

2012_Blawg100_HorizBadgeFav-2Readers, I need your help again. Last year, I was honored to be selected on the prestigious American Bar Association Top 100 Legal Blawg List. This is kinda like the Oscars of legal blogs. Sort of a big deal…Anyways, I would love to receive the honor again this year! I would gratefully appreciate your vote.

VOTE BY CLICKING HERE

Our URL is www.massrealestatelawblog.com. My twitter handle is @richardvetstein.

A few of our other favorite legal blogs are:

Thank you very much!!!  –Rich

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ABA Journal Names This Blog In Top 100 Blog List

by Rich Vetstein on November 26, 2012 · 0 comments

in Blogging

The Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog Selected To American Bar Association Journal’s Top 100 “Blawg” List

I’m honored to receive a major accolade in the legal blog publishing world:  Top 100 Blawg by the American Bar Association Journal (click the link for the full listing of Top 100 Blogs). This blog was the only real estate blog chosen out of hundreds of entries. Thank you to my dedicated readers, friends, and especially my wife and Mom, who voted for me numerous times under assorted aliases!

I’m flattered for the recognition and to be part of such a distinguished group of legal writers. The ABA has a nice quote about the Blog from a well-known industry professional:

“An excellent example of how to explain complex real property law and property use law to both interested law professionals and the lay public,” Ruth Dillingham, special counsel at First American Title Insurance Co. in Hyannis, Mass., wrote us. “Everyone cares about real estate.” Another reader praised the blog for keeping the state’s legal community up to date on the Eaton v. Federal National Mortgage Association case.

Now that the editors have made their picks, the ABA Journal is asking readers to weigh in and vote on their favorites in each of the 6th Annual Blawg 100′s 15 categories. Click here to register and vote. (You need to register with the site in order to vote — to prevent cheating). Voting ends at close of business on Dec. 21, 2012.

Some of my favorite fellow nominees are:

CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Board) Monitor 
The New York Personal Injury Law Blog 
SCOTUS (Supreme Court) Blog
iPhone J.D.
Litigation & Trial by Max Kennerly, Esq.

~Rich

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I thought it would be a good idea to list my Top 10 favorite websites, blogs and other internet sites for real estate. These include law blogs, local and national real estate sites, and even marketing blogs. Feel free to bookmark this post!

1.  HousingWire

This is one of the best national sites for staying up to date on current real estate economic data, mortgage trends, Fed policy, and regulations.

2. Wall Street Journal Developments

You can’t go wrong with the Wall Street Journal, right? Some of the best real estate reporters and commentators contribute to this site. A must read on your Google Reader list.

3. Massachusetts Land Records

This is the main portal into the vast majority of the Massachusetts Registries of Deeds. From here you can look up the deeds, mortgages and liens on virtually any property in the state. If you need a guide to searching the online registry of deeds and a full listing of every registry, read this post.

4. Charles Gate Realty’s Boston Real Estate Blog

I really love this frequently updated blog by the team of tech savvy agents at Charles Gate Realty. It’s also a great resource for rentals which is often ignored in the blogosphere.

5. Agent Genius

An online real estate magazine with a robust editorial staff, covering a wide range of topics, including tech and social media, business news, and also good op-ed pieces.

6. (tie)

SmarterBorrowing.com

Maintained by well-known mortgage banker, Brian Cavanaugh of RMS Mortgage, this is one of the best mortgage lending blogs out there, frequently updated with current news on the mortgage market.

The Massachusetts Mortgage Blog

Written by the extremely knowledgeable David Gaffin of Greenpark Mortgage.

7. Boston.com Real Estate Now Blog

This is Boston.com’s popular real estate blog managed by buyer’s agent, Rona Fishman, and reporter/writer Scott Van Voorhis. The blog has a very active group of trolls commenters who frequently stir up lively debate. Disclaimer: I contribute a weekly post to this blog.

8. Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

The very experienced group of attorneys at the venerable real estate firm of Rackemann, Sawyer are one of the few large firms who blog, and thankfully they do, because they have a wealth of knowledge and information to share. The blog is managed by Donald Pinto, who’s one of the best real estate attorneys in the Commonwealth and a really good guy.

9. Centers & Squares

Real estate agent bloggers and wanna-be’s, pay close attention. This is how you blog. This is a great and frequently updated blog all about “the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont.” Written by Elizabeth Bolton, Realtor.

10. Inman Next Agent

Must read for keeping up with the latest in real estate technology, marketing, and social media. Contributors includes the well-known social media evangelists, Chris Smith and Katie Lance.

Honorable Mentions

Cambridgeville

Another standout blog from the Cambridge-Somerville area. Realtor Lara Gordon is a smart, witty writer who keeps her blog frequently updated with urban gems such as the worst places for bike crashes (Harvard Square, of course!), the Somerville Foodie Crawl, and her own photos of the new Charlestown-Cambridge footbridge (I wish more agents did this).

Living in Sudbury

Formerly a global marketing guru at ESPN, Realtor Gabrielle Daniels is the epitome of sass and sharp real estate writing. OMG, you must read her post, Translating Real Estate Ads: 101. Some Descriptions Will Have You ROFL.

Western Mass Living

Our sole entry west of I-495, Lesley Lambert has been blogging and tweeting forever, mixing posts about the Berkshire County lifestyle with a peek into her personal “Dancing Queen” passion.

Curbed Boston

This is a nationally syndicated blog with a local feel. Recent posts include the opening of Southie’s Gate of Heaven Gym, a new Mexican joint in Brookline and new fixer-upper in Inman Square.

Well, that’s my list. Feel free to add your favorite sites to the comments, and we can expand this list!

_________________________________

Richard D. Vetstein, Esq. is a Massachusetts real estate attorney who is passionate about staying up to date on real estate issues, nationally, regionally and locally.

 

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Top 100 ABA Legal Blog Voting Starts

by Rich Vetstein on August 18, 2011 · 0 comments

in Blogging

The editors of the American Bar Association Journal are working on their prestigious annual list of the 100 best legal blogs and they are seeking your advice. You are welcome to vote for multiple “blawgs” so make sure to include them all. Submissions are due before September 9, 2011.

We would be honored if you voted for us! Our URL is www.massrealestatelawblog.com.

Vote here (http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/blawg100_submit/)!

A few of our favorites are:

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Agent Reboot Boston Conference Recap

I’m thrilled to be writing the guest post for the Inman Future of Real Estate Marketing Blog highlighting the Agent Reboot Conference in Boston held yesterday on October 13, 2010. From the buzz surrounding the conference here at the Hynes Convention Center, it’s clear that Boston area agents are embracing the power of social media, and that Boston is well on its way to becoming the next “Hub” for social media savvy agents!

Click here for a full recap of the Inman Agent Reboot Social Media Conference.

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Did I get your attention? Shameless, I know.

Every year, the American Bar Association Journal puts together a Top 100 Blawg (Law + Blog = Blawg) List. If you enjoy this Blog, we would be eternally grateful if you would vote for us in this contest. Click HERE TO VOTE. Please spread the word too, if you are so inclined.

If we get in the Top 100, we are going to have a celebratory soiree at John Harvard’s Brewhouse, and you’re invited!!! You can bank on it!

We also recommend voting for these fellow law blogs:

Massachusetts Family & Estate Planning Blog–Danielle G. Van Ess, Esq.

Massachusetts DUI OUI Attorney Brian Simoneau

Massachusetts Alcohol Licensing Blog

Massachusetts Estate Planning Blog–Leanna Hamill, Esq. (winner 2009)

Northwest Condo & HOA Law Blog

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Welcome back Guest Blogger, Realtor Gabrielle Daniels Brennan, from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Sudbury, MA! Gabrielle and her mother-partner, Carole Daniels, just launched a fantastic blog, Living In Sudbury (www.liveinsudburyma.com), which our company, HubConnected, designed and created.

Having grown up in Sudbury and now settled there with her family, Gabby’s knowledge of the Sudbury and surrounding market is unparalleled. Plus, she re-defines “concierge” service, going so far as to ensure that her buyers meet their neighbors ahead of time, get local nannies, and find the right preschool. Gabby is writing today about the mutual respect buyers and sellers should have for each other during the real estate process.

Home Buyers And Sellers, You CAN Just Get Along!

Once upon a time there was a newlywed couple house-hunting in the suburbs. They held hands as they strolled into each house, they conversed with their real estate agent about every detail of their wedding and giggled like sixth graders whenever they spoke the words “husband” or “wife.”

Then, they found the house of their dreams. The dreams that mirror “happily ever after” — it was the house they imagined having babies (2 boys and 2 girls – the girls would be twins of course and would share a room painted with Benjamin Moore’s Cotton Candy).

The happy couple told their real estate agent that they wanted to make an offer for asking price, closing the exact day that the sellers wanted to close. They had enough money from their wedding gifts and unfortunate passing of Great Grandpa Charlie to pay for the house in cash. The husband dabbled in construction, so every item that appeared as a result of the home inspection would be “no big deal.”

Both sets of parents came to see the house and everyone oooh’ed and ahhh’ed instead of bringing up the fact that the kitchen wasn’t updated, or that the family room was a little smaller than what they had thought it would be, or that the garage was under the house. The parents all talked about how happy they were and they never said anything that remotely sounded like “YOU paid ____ for this??? Our house cost $37,000 when we bought it …” And then the sellers threw a welcome party for the buyers before they moved in – just to make the proper introduction to the neighborhood.

I’m sure you are thinking that this story is a work of fiction. Nope. Well, aside from the buyers volunteering to pay the asking price and the gushing in-laws, the concept of a truly pleasant real estate transaction doesn’t have to sound so foreign. Without compromising the financial objective of either party, the real estate transaction can be pleasant and satisfying to all parties involved.

The decision to buy or sell a home is as much a personal transaction as it is business. It’s an exciting one, and a process in which I truly love being involved. And although it’s certainly not as straightforward as a show on HDTV about finding the right house, it doesn’t have to be challenging. As much as buyers would like to say that they won’t buy with their hearts, that is crazy – of course they will. It’s a home. It’s where you live. It’s where your heart is. Your life is not one big business transaction.

Everyone remembers the details of their real estate transactions. Even if they bought or sold their house 12 years ago, they will tell you exactly how the buyers or sellers acted, the items negotiated during the home inspection, the credit they received, what they negotiated during the purchase & sale agreement, and the details that still make them happy or cringe.

They may not remember the date they bought their house, but they will remember everything about the closing.

I have been involved in scores of real estate transactions. When multiple persons are involved in the decision-making process for a major life event, so much can get lost in translation and people don’t always behave in a way that they, let’s say, would be proud of if a TV crew were following them around. In addition to the number of family members and friends who know EXACTLY what is best for you, there are many people involved in a real estate transaction — buyers, sellers, two real estate agents, two attorneys, possibly two paralegals, one mortgage broker, one appraiser, at least one inspector, and, sometimes, the nosy neighbor.

If my intention with this piece were to promote the value of experienced real estate agents, this would be the part where I emphasize that it is the role of the real estate agent to quarterback the entire team involved to ensure that everyone wins.

In general, buyers are excited to buy a house. When an offer is made, it is the beginning of negotiations with the seller with the goal of consummating the sale of the home.  In today’s market, prices have adjusted and many sellers are having an understandably difficult time grasping the reality of the market.

Because of the resources available in 2010, today’s buyers are also the most knowledgeable, well informed and cautious. The market value of a house is what a buyer is willing to pay. Without giving up any money on the sale side and overpaying on the buy side, there are so many ways in which to make the real estate transaction one that is not so painful.

My thoughts below may seem pretty uncomplicated, and that is my objective. It is easier to have a smooth and seamless transaction than it is to have one that feels more like an act of Congress. It is a business transaction, but the basis of the transaction is emotional. You certainly don’t have become new best friends, but cordial is always appreciated.

1. MUTUAL RESPECT. The tone of the entire transaction is set with the first round of communication between both parties.

*   BUYERS: Be respectful of the sellers and their real estate agent. This does not translate into paying more. It shows that you will be a pleasure to deal with. Appreciate your sellers. They have cared for and maintained the house you fell in love with.

SELLERS: Appreciate your buyers. They love your house enough to buy it. If you receive an offer the first day on the market, it is because your house was priced right and the buyers know the market. Don’t be greedy, it will backfire.

2. DON’T TAKE THE MARKET PERSONALLY

*   BUYERS: If a seller decides not to accept your offer, it has nothing to do with what great people you are and how many friends you have in common. It’s usually about the financial picture.

*   SELLERS: Most likely, you didn’t overpay for your house.  You paid what the house was worth when you bought it. It’s exactly what the buyers want to do now – pay what the house is worth in today’s market. I’m certainly not suggesting that you don’t get frustrated or upset if you are taking a loss or not netting what you had planned, just don’t take it out on your potential buyers. What you “want” and “need” to get for your house is irrelevant. Buyers will pay what they feel it is worth and their mortgage company will lend based on what they feel it is worth.

3. WORK SMART. CHOOSE YOUR REPRESENTATION CAREFULLY.

*   Work with real estate agents and attorneys with whom you are comfortable and have trust. This isn’t the time to cut corners and do someone a favor. You deserve to have the best people on your team.

4. HICCUPS

*   Every transaction has their “thing” – something that needs to be clarified, negotiated, extended, explained. Know this ahead of time so when your own situation arises, you know that it’s normal and just needs to be dealt with.

5. NEIGHBORS

*   SELLERS: Keep in mind that the buyers are now going to have your former neighbors as neighbors.

*   BUYERS: Keep in mind that your soon-to-be neighbors are your sellers’ current neighbors.

PeopleSudbury Wayland MA Real Estate Homes like to talk, especially about real estate.

At the end of the day, it’s about common decency. It’s about mutual respect between the buyer and seller of the same house. As much as this is a business transaction, it is even more a personal one.

Gabrielle Daniels Brennan and her mother, Carole Daniels are The Daniels Team of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Sudbury. You may contact them by phone at 508-277-6956 (Carole cell), 617-320-8150 (Gabrielle Cell), or by Email to gabrielle.daniels@nemoves.com

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It’s been a year since we launched this Blog in its current form, and it’s been an amazing year. I remember getting giddy over 30 hits in one day; now we get thousands. Good times.

The fun part about having a Blog is analyzing the statistics, which can be a bit addicting, like when I used to play Strat-O-Matic baseball at overnight camp. So here are some stats crunching from the last year:

  • 274,873 total page views
  • Busiest month: April 2010: 49,145 page views. See below for why.
  • Busiest day: April 15, 2010–4,500 hits. This was tax day, and most people were searching about the Mass. flooding tax extension.
  • 2.9 average pages per visit
  • 20% bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave the site after only one page visit–the lower, the better)
  • 2:24: average time on site (shows you only have a limited attention span for readers–keep posts short and to the point).
  • 83% of visitors are new to the Blog
  • 79% of traffic came from search engines; remaining 21% came from link referrals (Facebook, Twitter) and direct traffic
  • Visitors came from as far away as Australia, Brazil, China (got around the censors), India, and Malaysia.

Top Posts For The Year

  1. New Strict FHA Condo Lending Rules Sure To Chill Sales
  2. The Catch 22 Impact Of The New Fannie Mae Condo Rules
  3. There’s Nothing Standard About the Massachusetts Standard Purchase & Sale Agreement
  4. Short Sales Get Boost From Obama Treasury Guidelines

Blog Platform: WordPress; Theme: Thesis

But Have You Generated Business From Blogging?

Of course, the million dollar question is whether blogging has resulted in leads and business. Without divulging actual numbers, I can say emphatically HELL YEAH! In fact, I estimate that leads generating from this Blog account for at least 40% of all new business development for my firm, the Vetstein Law Group, and to our sister company, TitleHub Closing Services.

It’s an investment in time mostly, but I love to write, I’m a bit of a techie, and I love learning about new things in my industry. If that appeals to you, consider starting a blog, like many of my Realtor and attorney friends have done or are considering now. Plus, the real estate business is very much oriented to online marketing and social media.

I can help you get going.

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This is another post in our ongoing series on Social Media For Real Estate Professionals. We are now providing Social Media Solutions for real estate agents, mortgage brokers and other real estate professionals through our affiliated company, HubConnected LLC. Please contact us for more info.

A hyper-local real estate blog is a blog targeted at a single town, city, neighborhood, or even a subdivision/gated community. By focusing on, and providing content for, one (and only one) geographic area, a hyper local real estate blog can outperform a more broadly targeted website/blog for lead generation and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Why Hyper-Local Blogs Work For Real Estate

The real estate market is extremely saturated with agents who all have static websites and blogs which appeal more to the masses. Using a hyperlocal strategy can help set an agent apart from the sea of agents that are just blogging generally and don’t have a focused SEO strategy.

Today, consumers using search engines are increasingly searching for hyper-local, specific search terms, such as “Brookline, MA places to eat shop” or “Needham MA tennis courts”. A hyper-local blog, if properly managed, can rank high for these hyper-local search terms, even above the restaurants, stores or tennis facilities the consumer was originally searching for. If the consumer clicks on your hyper-local blog, and a trust relationship is created, BINGO, you’re in business and have created a relationship that may result in a lead or referral.

Finally, hyper-local blogging helps build relationships with not only potential buyers and sellers, but other members of the local business community that might provide referrals and other business opportunities. A hyper-local blogger can write restaurant reviews, promote referral partners, the schools, road construction, you name it. A hyper-local real estate blogger can quickly become THE local expert about their community–and that’s exactly where a real estate agent wants to be.

If you are interested in learning more about hyper local blogging, a good place to get started is at HyperLocalBlogger.com.

Here is an example of a hyper local blog for Glendale, CA. The Realtor, Kendyl Young, does an innovative series called 365 Things To Do in Glendale, CA where she posts something every day of the year.

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We created this cool video through the YouTube/Google Search Story creator. Not only is it a neat marketing tool, but for us, it really showcases how high we are ranking on Google these days. We are consistently on Google’s first page — and even #1 — for search results relating to all major topics of Massachusetts and national real estate law.

If you are a realtor, mortgage lender, or other real estate professional interested in contributing to our blog through guest posts and gaining some serious “Google Juice,” please contact us, and we’d be happy to discuss it.

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After months in the making, I am very pleased to announce the roll-out of TitleHub Closing Services, LLC, a cutting-edge closing settlement service that uniquely provides a full platform of legal and technology-based services. TitleHub’s mission is to transform the convoluted real estate closing process into an easy, customer-focused and technologically enhanced experience. In collaboration with my colleague Marc Canner, Esq., we have created a company that we believe will serve as the model for the next generation of residential real estate title and closing services.

Buyers, sellers, realtor and lenders will “stay informed” and “stay connected” to their transactions through:

  • Our innovative, content-packed website (www.titlehub.com) which serves as a great informational resource.
  • Our “E-Closings” system. This is a secure on-line document management system that allows borrowers and real estate professionals unlimited real-time access to obtain status updates of their deals and the ability to upload and download key transactional documents (recorded condominium documents, executed Purchase and Sale Agreement, Good Faith Estimate, HUD-1 Settlement Statement, etc). Click here for more information.
  • Exclusive partnership with the Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog.
  • Social media interaction. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Active Rain.
  • Seminar Series; We offer topical seminars to realtors and lenders to help them stay current with the complicated real estate legal landscape as well as seminars to learn new marketing, blogging, and social media techniques.
  • Paperless Solutions. We do have the ability to electronically record deeds and mortgages at registry of deeds which offer the service. In the future, we hope to be at the forefront of true e-closing paperless transactions, once there is broader lender and regulatory acceptance.

If you are a realtor or mortgage professional interested in TitleHub’s platform, please contact us at info@titlehub.com, and we’ll give you a demonstration.

The TitleHub Leadership Team
Marc E. Canner, Esq., President/CEO
Richard D. Vetstein, Esq., Vice President and Director of Marketing
Patrick T. Maddigan, Esq., Director of Operations & Business Development

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We Cracked The Top 100!

by Rich Vetstein on March 12, 2010 · 3 comments

in Blogging

As reported through PR NewsWire, the Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog is now ranked #95 of all legal blogs according to Avvo.com and Alexa rankings! As far as I can tell, this puts us Numero Uno in Massachusetts for all substantive legal blogs focusing on Mass. law.

Much thanks to all of you — our readers — who have made this blog so much more than I could have ever imagined. In the next few months, this blog will see more contributors, more guest bloggers, and will even get a bit of a design face-lift. So stay tuned…

More coverage here, herehere.

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Thanks to you, our readers, the Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog has quickly become the highest rankithumbs_upng legal blog focused solely on Massachusetts substantive law according to Avvo.com and Alexa.com rankings. As reported in BizJournals, the blog has proven very popular to home buyers, sellers, consumers, realtors and lenders due to its easy to read articles on timely topics affecting Massachusetts and national real estate law.

Much thanks to all of our readers!

Richard D. Vetstein

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Noted Boston legal marketing guru, Steve Seckler of CounseltoCounsel.com, and Richard Vetstein (that would be me) recently co-presented a free webinar for lawyers who are interested in blogging, called Creating a Memorable Blog To Market Your Law Practice.  The webinar is now up on the Web for all to check out and enjoy.  Click here to download.

While presented to attorneys, this webinar has great information for anyone interested in blogging for their business:Lastfm+for+Wordpress+logo

  • Why Blog?
  • What is a Blog?
  • WordPress vs. Professional Design Blog Firms
  • RSS Feeds
  • Widgets and Plugins Must Haves
  • Blog Design
  • Statistics
  • Good Writing Tips

Steve and I had a great time sharing our knowledge of blogging.

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Beginning with my introduction today by real estate broker extraordinare and Boston.com blogger, Rona Fischman, I will be guest blogging on Boston.com’s Real Estate Blog.bostonRealEstate

I will be answering questions on timely topics affecting Massachusetts real estate law, including home improvement projects, condominiums, landlord-tenant issues, and more.  I am thrilled for the opportunity.  Stay tuned for more.

Rich

link

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