GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: New Challenges, New Opportunities

Richard Haggerty | September 19, 2018

In February of this year we announced in the pages of Real Estate In-Depth that HGAR and HGMLS had executed a formal memo of understanding (MOU) with the Long Island Board of Realtors, Inc. (LIBOR) and its subsidiary, the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, Inc., to create a regional MLS. As I said in my column that month, talks between the leadership of HGAR and the Long Island Board of Realtors, Inc. (LIBOR), along with their multiple listing service leadership, had commenced in June of the previous year concerning the possibility of forming a regional MLS to serve the New York metro area. The group agreed to explore a structure that would achieve several key objectives prompted by evolving broker expectations mandating that MLS’ adjust their strategies to satisfy member needs for more accurate and robust data across larger geographic areas.

We’ve come a long way since February, with both groups working diligently to hammer out the details of an agreement that would create the framework for a new regional MLS. Hours and hours of thoughtful and productive discussions have resulted in an extensive operating agreement that has now been approved by both the HGAR and HGMLS Boards of Directors, as well as the LIBOR and MLSLI Boards of Directors. The foundation of the new MLS has now been laid and we are ready to start the construction!

While the execution of the operating agreement is very exciting news from my perspective, this is just the beginning and much work has yet to be done. The individuals who will lead the initial charge have many challenges ahead of them, but they are a group of extraordinarily talented and experienced individuals who are excited by both the challenges, as well as the opportunities the new regional MLS will present.

This initial Board of Managers will include six representatives from Long Island, four from Hudson Gateway, and three Managers not connected with either organization who will be selected at a later date based on their knowledge and expertise. The initial 10 individuals who will serve on the Board of Managers for the new MLS are: Renee Zurlo, Leah Caro, 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 for operations for the MLS of Long Island, will serve as the CEO of the new MLS. I will serve as president and chief Ssrategy officer…ew-opportunities/of the new MLS.

I do not anticipate that HGMLS participants will see significant changes in the short term. Members will still use their existing MLS vendor to access listing data. However, we have already instructed our vendors to develop real time data sharing between the two systems so that Matrix users will be able to access and search Long Island data, and vice versa for the MLSLI participants.

As I indicated in my article in February, the creation of a regional MLS does not involve the merger of the parent associations. HGAR and LIBOR will continue to operate as separate entities, each with an ownership position in the regional MLS. However, I do think the launch of this new regional MLS is a very brave and innovative move by both Hudson Gateway and Long Island that will have tremendous long-term benefits for the Realtor community and the consumers they serve.

Richard Haggerty