PRESIDENT'S CORNER: April is Fair Housing Month

Ron Garafalo | March 2019

Hello friends. As I enter my third month as HGAR President, I want to start with a very big thank you for all the support I have received. Our HGAR staff has been simply amazing in working with me, our committees and all of our members in so many ways. They are truly the best, and as I have said before, they deserve so much thanks for all they do for us every day.

I want to also thank so many of you who have told me that you support the goals I have this year for our association. The first of which is to raise the bar of the level of professionalism in our industry, which to me means to always do what is in the best interest of our clients, to be honest and fair with the public and to treat each other in a kind and professional manner. As I have previously requested, I again ask you to join me in taking NAR’s C2EX.

My second major initiative is to reach our RPAC goal. We are off to a great start and I thank all of you that have contributed and those that will do so in the future as well.

I also want to congratulate and thank all of our committee chairs and committee members for all they have done so far, and in their future planning efforts for the organization. These volunteers are working hard to assist all of us to make our association as great as it can be.

April is Fair Housing month, I ask all of you to remember that as Realtors we do not discriminate against any protected class and we encourage and promote fair housing for all. Fair Housing is not only a class that we take every two years. It is how we do our job every day, how we work, and something we fight to protect. Dorothy Botsoe and Eydie Lopez, your Fair Housing and Cultural Diversity Committee Chairs, have scheduled a Fair Housing event that you don’t want to miss. On Monday, April 29th Dorothy and Eydie have arranged to have Fred Freiberg, executive director for the Fair Housing Justice Center, and Sally Santangelo, executive director of CNY Fair Housing, to share their vast experience on this most important topic. I heard both Fred and Sally speak at the NYSAR meetings in Albany last month and they were exceptional. Great job Dorothy and Eydie.

I am writing this month’s column as I sit in my hotel room in Cannes, France. I am here attending the MIPIM Conference, which is one of the largest international real estate events in the world. I, along with HGAR’s ┬áRichard Haggerty, Theresa Hatton and John Barrett are here representing HGAR and NYSAR at the event. I tell you this as I believe it exemplifies how great our association is and how we continue to grow and expand opportunities for our members.

This is the first year that we have a presence at this event attended by tens of thousands of people involved in all aspects of real estate.

As you know, our MLS will soon be joining the Long Island MLS, in a joint venture, to become an MLS with almost 40,000 members that will provide all of us with more data to enable us to serve our clients better.

Our expansion into Manhattan continues to grow. We are gearing up for another successful year in Albany as we attend Lobby Day. Please join me and your fellow HGAR members as well as hundreds of Realtors from New York as we head to our state capital on Tuesday, May 7th, to continue to support homeownership. If you haven’t gone before, please consider going this year; I assure you, it will be well worth your time.

Our Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation continues to raise money to support local charities. On April 4th, our Foundation is hosting its “Runway for Hope 2019 Fashion Show.” I hope to see you there as I make my first walk down the runway as one of the models (you should be laughing now just thinking about that).

Lastly, by the time this column is printed, the spring market will be upon us. I wish you all continued success throughout the year. As the market heats up, we must continue to work in the most professional manner possible, and remember that we are Realtors and the foundation in all we do comes from our following of our Code of Ethics.

I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.

Ron Garafalo
Ron Garafalo is 2019 President of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc