Letter from the Executive Director for July 2018

July is the start of the summer break, during which staff continue to work but members are given a break from continuing education. We’ll review the results of our event season and look at the work to be done this summer.

We had a strong finish to our 2017-2018 event season. Judge Winik and his numerous staff presented in Cambridge to a record 50 attendees. This event followed brilliant presentations in Worcester (Judge Horan, Clerk Magistrate Moudios and team), engaging conversation in East Longmeadow (Amaad Rivera, Allison Werder, Tanya Neslusan, and Don Flannery, all candidates for state office), and deep analysis in Waltham on solar (Jamie Leef of Sunbug Solar). Partner associations also held great events in Southbridge, Fitchburg, and Pittsfield, and the Marlborough group started summer early (why not?).

Altogether, counting all monthly events, MassLandlords played a minor or major role in 55 events since September, 2017. We logged a total of 2,204 attendees, which if no one ever came to any event twice would mean 2,204 unique owners. On the other hand, if the same crowd repeated exactly every month, it would mean about 220 deeply engaged owners. Of course the truth is somewhere between those two extremes. Many attendees have been going for decades, while others came in for just a single interesting speaker or topic.

Not all events use the feedback card system, but from those that do, we received 437 positive cards, 24 neutral, and six negative cards. Our net approval rating can therefore be considered around 92%.

Events represent a substantial investment in our association’s time and in our member’s time. Which is why one of the projects we may work on this summer is tracking and crediting member businesses with event attendance as continuing education.

We are also hoping to develop a legal information (not advice) helpline.

If the summer goes very well, we may also redevelop our message boards. We are looking for a 1990’s usenet email capability with a modern web interface, which (perhaps for good reason) does not seem to exist. It’s unclear which compromise we will make. Single sign-on, access to other geographic regions, and simplicity of use for the less technologically inclined are two of several important factors that we would need to balance. Cost is a factor.

We may also seek to redevelop our directory. Possibly this can be done with no software infrastructure, with just business process. Angie’s List is free and thorough, and therefore dominant over MassLandlords.net/directory. But we have some key advantages over Angie’s List that could be leveraged to produce a unique member offering.

We’ll update you through all the usual channels as we progress.

Thank you for your support as we build the first professionally staffed trade association for landlords in Massachusetts. Tell a friend, we’re doing great things.

Douglas Quattrochi
Executive Director
MassLandlords, Inc.