HGAR, LIBOR Boards Sign Key Agreement To Create New Regional MLS Next Year
John Jordan | September 2018
WHITE PLAINS—The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and the Long Island Board of Realtors have announced that their efforts to create a consolidated new regional Multiple Listing Service that would benefit approximately 40,000 subscribers had cleared a significant milestone.
The two largest Realtor associations in New York State reported that their respective Boards of Directors and the boards of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (HGMLS) and the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, Inc. (MLSLI) each recently signed an extensive operating agreement that establishes the foundation of the yet-to-be-named new regional MLS.
The new regional MLS will be the largest operating multiple listing service in New York State, once operational sometime in 2019.
Officials with HGAR and LIBOR estimate that the new regional MLS would service approximately 40,000 subscribers and would include listings from the existing HGMLS service area, as well as from the MLSLI region that serves Nassau and Suffolk counties and the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
The creation of the new regional MLS will have no impact on HGAR and LIBOR, who will continue to operate as separate Realtor associations.
HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty, while saying that the operating agreement is exciting news for both HGAR and LIBOR, cautioned that more work must be done to bring the regional MLS into service.
The operational agreement calls for the formation of a Board of Managers that will consist of six managers from LIBOR, four managers from HGAR and three managers with affiliations outside of both organizations. Leah Caro, Broker/Owner of Sterling Park Realty in Bronxville, will serve as the chairperson of the regional MLS Board of Managers.
The other nine members who will serve on the Board of Managers for the new MLS are: Renee Zurlo, Nancy Kennedy, Mark Boyland, Linda Lugo, Frank Dell’Accio, Tom McCarthy, Mike Mendicino, Ralph Bove and Eddie McGowan. Jim Speer, the current senior vice president of operations for the MLS of Long Island, will serve as the CEO of the new MLS. HGAR’s Haggerty will serve as president and chief strategy officer of the new regional MLS.
“I think the launch of this new regional MLS is a very brave and innovative move by both Hudson Gateway and the Long Island Board that will have tremendous long-term benefits for the Realtor community and the consumers they serve,” Haggerty said.
Caro said the creation of the regional MLS is part of a national movement to better service MLS subscribers. “It’s become much more common on the national stage for MLSs, even large MLSs, to consolidate, creating regional MLSs. It not only offers subscribers and participants economies of scale to help them save money, but also gives them further geographic reach for their clients,” Caro said.
She added that the creation of the regional MLSs by the two respected Realtor associations seems to be a natural merger, particularly in light of HGAR’s new chapter in Manhattan.
Linda Lugo, vice chairperson of the Board of Managers for the newly formed MLS, said, “I look forward to working with the recently appointed Board of Managers for the new MLS, all of whom are a great representation of both organizations. The regionalization has created a structure that is designed to allow for efficient and swift decision making, which will contribute to the success of the new company.”
MLSLI President Michael Mendicino said of the regional MLS initiative, “A few of the benefits regionalization can provide include: economic efficiencies that would reduce the need for brokers and agents to belong to multiple MLSs; greater geographical reach and more accurate and robust data to share and improved product and services (economies of scale) that will provide members with best in class business tools that will ensure their success.”
Another benefit will be the creation of a seamless flow of data for brokers and agents in the enlarged marketplace.
MLSLI’s Speer noted, “The major reasons we are doing this regional MLS is to increase the footprint that we currently have so that all of the participating offices—from both the MLSLI and HGMLS—will be able to reach additional consumers.”
He added that the regional MLS will also be looking to eventually expand further both to the east and west, as well as into adjoining states, to create an even larger service footprint.
HGAR and LIBOR announced in February 2018 that they were in negotiations to create a regional MLS. Those talks first began in mid 2017.