Letter from the Executive Director for March 2021: Test De-risked

In February we improved our website, prepared for the 192nd legislative session, and de-risked the Certified Massachusetts Landlord Level Two™ test of basic competence.

Our web development team have been moving forward with closeout of a project started in 2020 and interrupted by COVID-19. A number of site useability improvements have been made:

We now show service offerings all the way down the sidebar of long pages. We hide the newsletter sign-up for logged in visitors, since you are already on our newsletter in that case. Search now works on mobile. In all search results, we show the article meta description instead of an arbitrary excerpt. The site menu now permits mobile users to access submenus. Finally, we have better differentiated the “header 2” on our page for readability with spacing above and a line below.

Our preparation for the 192nd legislative session had us draft three consensus-oriented bills. First, we want to create a right to counsel in civil asset forfeiture cases. Second, we want to create a universal housing guarantee (e.g., rent will be paid no matter what). Third, we want to apply the open meeting law to the legislature and eliminate the copyright notice on laws. We know that we have little ability to advance a landlord-oriented proposal on its own, so we have tried to find areas of common ground with renter advocates and others.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of bandwidth in Massachusetts politics to create new collaborations or hear new ideas. It reminds me of a cartoon once used in a training class on process improvement. A logger chopping down a tree with an axe shouts to the person behind him, who is offering a chain saw, “I’m too busy to talk!”

But all is not lost. We don’t need permission to launch our certification program, and that is exactly what we are doing. In February we declared mastery over the software and algorithms needed to launch the Level Two test of basic competence. We will be using adaptive testing. Unlike a classical test, in which a passing score might be 70% of all questions, an adaptive test requires a minimum attainment in key areas, and can declare an examinee “passed” or “failed” with comparatively far less time.

We offer an impressive array of services and member benefits, with a real eye to technological advancement. If you have not recently visited the member home page, now is an excellent time to do so. Become a Certified Massachusetts Landlord Level One. Take advantage of all that we have to offer.

Thank you for your support in our mission to create better rental housing.

Stay safe,

Douglas Quattrochi

Executive Director

MassLandlords, Inc.