This afternoon at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Suffern, the membership of the Rockland County Board of Realtors voted overwhelmingly to merge their organization with the Westchester-Putnam and Orange Associations. This was the second thumbs up in three days, as Westchester-Putnam had a similar yes-vote on Monday. Orange will vote on Tuesday.
You might ask why this is significant to the public. What do consumers care about all this inside baseball stuff? They still have to pay their X% when the house sells no matter who licks the stamps on the stationary. Perhaps. But then again, the public really does not understand the importance of a vibrant and healthy trade organization, it’s impact on the industry, or the benefits to the consumer. And it is our fault for not getting the word out.
I was in the multi-association work group that explored and shaped the merger initiative. One of the themes of our meetings was that bigger is not automatically better. And it was that sentiment that made us want to make sure that our work made us better first, bigger second. The leadership, by laws, and operations of the new Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors will be more efficient, better serve the members’ needs, and more attuned to addressing the challenges that face our industry.
We will have a larger pool to choose leadership our ranks. Quality leadership sets the tone for the organization. We will be more tech savvy, more forward thinking, and more in touch with what consumers want and need.
We will have improved buying power to keep costs down for the products and services our members use to conduct business. Costs savings means stronger companies with more resources to market their listings.
We will have a continued high bar for our professional standards. The Realtor Code of Ethics is not PR- it governs the standards and practices of members for fair play, advocacy for our clients, the consumers, and keeps the playing field level and fair.
We will eradicate the mythical boundaries that hinder the mobility of buyers to move from points south to points north. It is well known that wealth in our region often flows from New York city, which borders Westchester county. One association is far better than three for facilitating that commerce.
A bigger organization that is more solvent means a better organization that can focus on fair play and good business. And that is good for consumers. That is why I am excited.