Real Estate In-Depth | August 2017

Boardroom Report
Boards of Directors 
Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc. 
June 7, 2017
HGAR offices, White Plains, New York

Hudson Gateway Association General Activities

HGAR Secretary-Treasurer Pamela Jones presented the Treasurer’s Report on behalf of HGAR including the bank and investment summaries for June 1st, and the Directors approved receipt of the Cash Report. Secretary-Treasurer Jones also reviewed in detail the third quarter and fourth quarter HGAR Financial Statements, which were subsequently approved for filing by the Directors.

Governance Work Group Chair Ron Garafolo provided an update on Strategic Planning as relative to the charge given to the Governance Workgroup. He reported that the Workgroup had completed its task of creating an onboarding process for new Directors. At their next meeting the Workgroup will focus on the structure of the Board of Directors.

Communications Workgroup Chair Gail Fattizzi provided an update on Strategic Planning as relative to the charge given to the Communications Workgroup. With the assistance of Advanced Development Services (ADS), six focus groups were recently conducted with HGAR membership encompassing all HGAR locations; more than 40 individuals participated. Some of the items the members wholeheartedly supported included the Matrix popups on HGMLS and the amount of communications that HGAR delivers to them via print and electronic means. Most in attendance, however, stated that they wish to better control the delivery methods by which HGAR communicates to them. An “Opt-In/Opt-Out” feature would, therefore, be preferential to them. Another item that came up was that members would like the opportunity to be more involved in HGAR while still maintaining their geographic identity. Originally planned was a member-wide survey to follow up on the focus groups. However, that is being held in abeyance for now as the results of the focus groups will first be shared with the Governance Workgroup.

HGAR CEO Richard Haggerty addressed a recent proposal from ADS for continued support for the Strategic Planning Initiative. The HGAR Executive Committee recommended an allocation to be made of $10,000 from HGAR to continue to support the Strategic Planning Initiative. An equivalent allocation will be requested from the HGMLS Board of Directors to be approved for disbursement at its next HGMLS Board of Directors meeting. After discussion the HGAR Directors approved the requested allocation. CEO Haggerty then reported on the HGAR Staff Training Initiative, advising that there recently were staff interviews at all HGAR locations conducted between ADS and HGAR staff.

Director of HGMLS and Information Services, Gary Connolly reported that significant audiovisual equipment upgrades had been made in the various HGAR offices.

President Botsoe provided an update on the recent “Teas with the President” events throughout the HGAR region. President Botsoe indicated that there will soon be new blogs written about her recent “Tea” events held in White Plains and Yonkers. She also encouraged interaction with HGAR membership through the blogs themselves, once posted. There will be a “Pizza with the President” event on July 11, 2017 in Mahopac at the Four Brothers Restaurant.

CEO Haggerty spoke of the upcoming NAR sponsored “Broker’s Edge” Summit at the Convene Conference Center in Manhattan. Any HGAR member is welcome to attend. The fee is $49 for members. The motivation behind the event is to grow the Realtor brand in Manhattan.

President Botsoe reported on the “Global Real Estate Summit” co-hosted by HGAR and the Staten Island Board of Realtors will take place on October 2. The location will be the Marriot Marquis in Manhattan and the fee will be $95 per person, which includes breakfast, lunch and a cocktail party. NAR CEO Dale Stinton has agreed to have NAR be a sponsor for this event with a $25,000 sponsorship.

Communications and Member Services

Communications Council Chair Debra Budetti provided an update on behalf of the Communications Council, advising that there will be a Defensive Driving Course at HGAR White Plains offered on June 13 and 15. Additionally, the next Broker/Owner/Manager meeting will be on June 12 at the Trotter’s Museum in Goshen. There will be a subsequent Broker/Owner/Manager meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown on June 19. The next “Breakfast with Benefits” event will be on June 21 in Goshen and will be sponsored by California Closets. A “Welcome to Summer” networking event will be held on June 21 at Billy Joe’s Ribworks in Newburgh. There will also be Affiliate Socials on June 26 in White Plains and June 29 in Goshen. Lastly, HGAR Members Day will be held this year on October 30 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown. Forty-two (42) exhibitor booths have already been sold to that event.


Education Council Chair Eydie Lopez provided a status update on behalf of the Education Council, reporting that the Council recently met on May 24 at the HGAR offices in Goshen, with some Council members participating via Zoom technology. HGAR hosted a Tech Edge event on June 6 at its White Plains office. More than 100 Realtors attended the event that provided relevant information about how to incorporate new technologies into their real estate practice.

Legislative, Political and Legal Issues

Legislative Council Co-Chair John Kope provided a brief report, advising that the recent HGAR “Lobby Day” on May 23 in Albany was a great success. Realtor issues were presented to local State Senators and Assembly members within HGAR’s region, followed by personal office visits at the State Capitol. Director of Governmental Affairs Phil Weiden reported that NYSAR continues to lobby for first time home buyer’s legislation that would permit individuals and couples to set aside tax-free monies for their first home purchase.

RPAC Chair Barry Kramer reported that HGAR has raised more than $121,000 thus far for RPAC. He indicated that the goal for the year is $201,103. There will be a Make-Over event held at Neiman Marcus in White Plains on June 8, benefitting RPAC. Additionally, there will be a rescheduled “Day with the Yankees” RPAC fundraiser on July 26 at Yankee Stadium. August 24 will see a RPAC event at Billy Joe’s Ribworks in Newburgh and on September 18 there will be a County Board of Legislators event.

Professional Standards

Director of Legal Services and Professional Standards Administrator Leon Cameron provided the report on behalf of the Professional Standards Council. The HGAR Grievance Committee last met on May 5, 2017. At that meeting, four Ethics Complaints were forwarded on for a hearing. Additionally, one Request to Arbitrate filed was deemed to be Mandatory Arbitration.

Cameron then presented Ethics Decisions designated as 216-E and 217-E, and after review and discussion the Directors confirmed by individual vote the two ethics decisions.

Multiple Listing Service

Gary Connolly, Director of HGMLS and Information Services, provided an update on HGMLS initiatives. With respect to the launch of HomeSnap, in the first month there have been about 2,500 members sign up. Connolly explained that HomeSnap is more of a visual tool for the benefit of members and their clients, whereas GoHGMLS is a smartphone app that enables members to edit their listings. Instanet, the new document management program, will be launched in early July.

HGMLS President Zurlo then spoke of a recent HGMLS rule change concerning lockbox access. HGMLS Rules and Regulations Committee began discussions earlier in 2016 about prohibiting one-day access code to current HGMLS Participants and Subscribers who do not pay for the Supra e-key access system. Access to listed properties must still be made to cooperating brokers and agents through other reasonable means.

Empire Chapter WCR Report

Women’s Council of Realtors President Sarah Hughes provided an update on behalf of WCR, advising that the recent “Runway for Hope” event at Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle on May 31, co-hosted with the Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation, was a great success. WCR will also be hosting a luncheon on June 19 at Juliano’s Caterers in New Rochelle with the mayors of New Rochelle, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Peekskill, Ossining and White Plains.

Commercial and Investment Division Report

John Barrett presented a report on behalf of the Commercial and Investment Division. CID hosted a panel on the local retail market and its implications for licensees practicing commercial real estate. The panel consisted of: Steve Sayers, general manager, The Westchester; Peter Kempner, principal, The Kempner Corp. of White Plains; Jonathan Gordon, president and CEO, Admiral Real Estate of Bronxville; Scott Auster, managing director, Grid Properties of New York City and James Aries, senior vice president and director of acquisitions for Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. of Greenwich, CT.

Director Barrett also indicated that the next meeting of the Commercial Investment Division will be held on June 22 at HGAR in White Plans. The session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will feature Seth Pinsky, executive vice president at RXR Realty, who will discuss the firm’s major development projects in New Rochelle and Yonkers, as well as multifamily sector growth in the New York City suburbs. At 10:30 a.m. Anthony R. Davidson, Ph.D., MBA and Dean of Fordham University, School of Professional and Continuing Studies, will discuss a new partnership between the Fordham Real Estate Institute and the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors to offer professional and real estate designation programs to the HGAR membership.

Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation

President Botsoe then provided a brief update on the Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation, Inc. She stated that the next “Pub Night” will be at River Market in Tarrytown on June 20, 2017. Eydie Lopez reported that the Make-A-Wish Black and White Masquerade Ball will be held at the Falkirk Estate in Central Valley on September 28.