Rail-Trails, Smart-Growth, and…Realtors?

Engaging Your Local Real Estate Professionals into the Debate

This webinar explores how to engage Realtors and other untraditional allies to see the benefits of trails

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Event Details

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August 11, 2016

10:30 AM to 12:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:30 AM to 01:00 AM (Mountain Time)
12:30 PM to 02:00 AM (Central Time)
01:30 PM to 03:00 AM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers


Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
Learning Credits are NOT available for this webinar.

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Webinar Outline

Key Learning Points — Rail-Trails, Smart-Growth, and…Realtors? Engaging Your Local Real Estate Professionals into the Debate:

1. How to "Borg" some realtors to come to see the benefits of trails

2. How the MLS works and how to use it to advance trails in your community

3. Walk score for housing prices

4. Economic impact of livable communities with active transportation options


1. How to "Borg" some Realtors and other untraditional allies to come to see the benefits of trails

Back in the 1990s, there was an old television show called STAR TREK: The Next Generation where a recurring character, the Borgs were humanoids who were half human and half computer. If they touched you, you were “Borged”. You then did their bidding. But seriously, development of every trails is about the politics. Building allies. And in many places the best place to find allies is in places you might never thought of. You might not actually “Borg” people to become supporters, but getting allies from non-traditional sources is critical. I’ll teach you how to do this. “Resistance is futile.”

2. How the MLS works and how to use it to advance trails in your community

The Multiple Listing Service Property Information Network [MLSPIN] in Massachusetts is one of the most sophisticated in the U.S. I’ll teach you how to use it to build rail trails. In my earlier portion of the webinar, I’ll teach you how to get Realtors involved in trail development. Here’s where the rubber meets the road and how to get realtors involved.

3. Walk Score for housing prices

WalkScore.com measures the walkability of any address using a patented system. For each address, Walk Score analyzes hundreds of walking routes to nearby amenities. Points are awarded based on the distance to amenities in each category. Amenities within a 5 minute walk (.25 miles) are given maximum points. Study by CEO’s for Cities shows one point of Walk Score worth up to $3,000. I’ll talk a bit about how trails add to WalkScore values.

4. Economic impact of livable communities with active transportation options

Millennials are the drivers of not only real estate in the 21st century, but how communities are built. They wish to live in places where biking and walking are not unusual or dangerous. Trails advocates and REALTORS® attending this webinar this will learn why this fundamental shift is important, and most importantly how to help make their communities more walkable and bikeable. It has been said many times that the indicator of life in a coal mine is the canaries. If you don’t see them there and thriving you know it is time to get out. The same holds true for a community and or downtown area. If you don’t see walkers/bicyclists as being common-place, it is time to either get out, or fix the problem.


Webinar Partners


Craig Della Penna, Associate Broker, The Murphys Realtors, Trailside Team
Northampton, Massachusetts

Craig Della Penna is the Executive Director with Norwottuck Network, an Associate Broker with The Murphys Realtors, Trailside Team, as well as the Owner of Sugar Maple Trailside Inn in Florence, MA.

For 12 years, Craig marketed rail freight and operated New England’s largest and most successful railroad-owned, transloading facility—Railroad Distribution Services, Inc. For seven years, he worked for Rails to Trails Conservancy as their New England Field Representative focusing on the policy end of building rail trails as well as public outreach. Today he is a successful Realtor, the fist realtor in the US specializing in the sale of property near to rail trails.

Having given well over 1,200 lectures in 21 states and Canadian provinces, Craig is one of the countries most sought after motivational speakers on the economic development, tourism, and community development aspect of rail-trails, and their leveraging small amounts of public dollars to redevelop forgotten or derelict lands into treasured places. He is also the author of five books and numerous op-ed/guest editorials on the value of smart growth development, and rail-trails. In their 10th anniversary issue, THE RIDE MAGAZINE named him as the most effective advocate for rail-to-trail conversions on the eastern seaboard. He has also written the forward to three other books on rail trails and has been featured as a case-study in five books for, creative marketing, 21st century branding, etc.

He and his wife Kathleen, operate an award-winning bed & breakfast in a restored, Civil War era house where the restoration was so extreme, it was featured on HGTV. The house sits 8 feet from one of the earliest muni-built rail trails in New England. And within 150 miles of his house sits the densest network of former steam RR corridor in the US. He also is reassembling the longest rail trail in the Northeast. The Mass Central Rail Trail, which runs 100+ miles from Boston to Northampton, Mass. This directly connects with 17 other trails over the 104+ miles. And he publishes the most widely read, free monthly eNewsletter about trails.


Closed Captioning

We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.


While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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1,509 views • posted 02/05/2018