SPOTLIGHT ON: 2022 HGAR Realtor of the Year Gail Fattizzi
Mary Prenon | December 13, 2022
Gail Fattizzi is no stranger to the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. The Regional Manager of ERA Insite Realty Services has served on more than 85 association committees over the past 20 years and attended more than 150 association events. She is the current President of the Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation and was the 2020 HGAR President.
She launched HGAR’s first Leadership Accelerator Program in 2020 and has held many leadership positions with the HGAR Board of Directors. She’s always “in the know,” and is never easily surprised—that was until she was honored with the 2022 “Realtor of the Year” award at the 106th Annual Member Appreciation Day at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel in October. “I did not see that one coming,” she admitted. “I was totally surprised and was trying to stop crying long enough to get a photo taken!”
Fattizzi, an Associate Broker, has worked with ERA Insite for the past 10 years, and during some of that time she juggled another business—the Westchester Real Estate Group—created in 2003. She is usually based in ERA’s Pleasantville office, but also travels to the firm’s other locations in White Plains, Bronxville, Yonkers and Bethel, CT.
Never one to rest on her laurels, Fattizzi is already gearing up for 2023 as she heads into her second year as HG Realtor Foundation President. “We were able to reach our goal of $100,000 this year, and I hope to duplicate that or go even further for 2023,” she said. “Every year we’re supporting more non-profits and we hope to add more volunteer projects as well.”
Fattizzi’s 2023 goal for volunteering is 20 projects. Over the past few years, HGAR members have volunteered at the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley in Cornwall, Furniture Sharehouse in White Plains, the Castle Hill YMCA in the Bronx, Green Chimneys in Brewster and dozens of others. “We always see new volunteers, which is great because it shows more of our members want to get involved,” she added.
Reflecting back on her 2020 presidency in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fattizzi admitted it was challenging. “It was such a foreign obstacle and something that no one knew how to deal with, but somehow we did,” she recalled. Fattizzi credits former NYSAR President Jennifer Stevenson for holding weekly calls with every president and CEO of every New York State Realtor association during the first two months of the pandemic. “It was a great support system.”
Another unexpected result of the pandemic was the explosion of the suburban real estate market, as people across the nation made an exodus from major metro areas in search of more space. “I remember, it was really shocking to see New Yor City shut down like that,” she said.
A native of the Big Apple, Fattizzi grew up in the Bronx and Brooklyn, and attended school in Manhattan. “I remember things like ice skating lessons at Riverdale skating rink, going to lots of live concerts and sporting events or frequent trips to the Bronx Zoo, the Brooklyn Aquarium and Botanical Gardens,” she recalled.
At the time, real estate was not even on her radar screen. “At first I wanted to be a flight attendant, but at the time, I wasn’t considered tall enough,” she quipped. However, it was her love of animals that led her to a career as a vet tech. “We always had dogs and my brother had a menagerie of animals in his room—hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, fish and even an occasionally injured bird.”
After graduating college, she spent the next eight years working with animals. While at a Manhattan veterinary practice, actress Polly Bergen was constantly sending in her cats with intestinal issues. “Her housekeeper would bring them in and finally the housekeeper told the actress, ‘Either the cats go, or I go’.” As a result, Fattizzi ended up adopting one of the cats.
While she loved and still loves animals, Fattizzi also loves outdoor activities and yearned for her weekends off. Plus, dealing with animals in distress was taking its toll on her. “It’s a very emotionally draining profession and after eight years, I decided to look for a ‘real job’ with better pay and hours,” she admitted.
Fattizzi eventually landed a job as an office manager for Preferred Realty in Bedford and got her own real estate license six months later. She handled their advertising, as well as inbound and outbound relocation services. The firm was part of the Better Homes and Gardens network and Fattizzi later moved on to serve as the executive director of the BHG Westchester Group.
Following the sale of BHG’s franchise, she assumed the role of executive director of the Westchester Real Estate Group, a network of small and medium sized independent brokerages. The Westchester Real Estate Group operated with many of the same benefits as being part of a franchise including collaborate marketing, referrals, events and more. As industry mergers and acquisitions continued, the group eventually disbanded, and Fattizzi remained with ERA Insight.
Besides her business acumen, Fattizzi is known for her attention to detail, especially for grammatically correct writing, as well as punctuation. “My dad was a sportswriter, and I spent my childhood correcting my spelling, grammar and pronunciation,” she acknowledged. “I hated that as a kid, but I later thanked him. It’s why my proofreading skills are so good today.”
In addition to her foundation efforts for 2023, Fattizzi will continue to serve on the Board of Directors for Furniture Sharehouse in White Plains, which provides furnishings and household goods for individuals and families in need.
In her free time, she loves to hike, and her latest passion is pickleball. She also loves to travel and her favorite places include the Caribbean, Italy and Greece.
Unfortunately, with her busy schedule, she has little time to care for animals and does not currently own any animals. “Maybe when I slow down or when the right dog walks in the door, I’ll adopt again,” she said.