Richard Haggerty | June 25, 2015

Instead of one theme for my column this month, I decided to briefly address a series of items that are on the front burner of the Association.

As you review this edition of Real Estate In-Depth you will note the extensive coverage of our Lobby Day efforts in Albany on June 9th. Almost 40 members made the trek north in buses and cars to make sure that our voice was heard on matters that affect our industry and real property rights. I won’t delve into the details that you will find in other stories in this issue but I’d be remiss not to acknowledge the seven leaders of our Association who spoke so eloquently on our behalf.  Drew Kessler, Leah Caro, Barry Kramer, Jennifer Maher, John Lease, Pam Jones and Russ Woolley were all outstanding and we owe them a debt of gratitude. Also, thank you to all the HGAR members who attended Lobby Day this year!

In addition to Lobby Day efforts, we made our annual visit to Washington DC in May to meet with our federal legislators. Visits with Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney proved to be very productive as both are supportive of our issues such as preserving the mortgage interest deduction and maintaining the roles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in real estate transactions.

As we enter the summer months we continue to actively negotiate on space to permanently relocate the HGAR offices in White Plains. The process has not been without its challenges but I believe that once we move into the newly built-out space, it will be a great home for HGAR for years to come. One of our most important requirements is adequate parking for the members, and the space we are working on should fit the bill. I hope to have positive news on the transition to new space in the near future.

One big project that we will be preparing for during the summer months is a transition to one lockbox system. Currently HGMLS participants on the west side of the Hudson use Supra lockboxes and participants on the east side of the Hudson use Sentrilock lockboxes. A committee has met to review proposals and I anticipate that we will convert to one system for all users. Stay tuned for more information, but as of right now I expect that we will commence with the lockbox conversion in October.

My last item is bittersweet. We have had the pleasure of having Don Cummins serve as our Director of Legal Services for HGAR for almost five years now. He has been a tremendous asset for the Association and a great friend to all of us at HGAR. Don will be leaving HGAR this month to take a position as office manager for the Coldwell Banker office in Yorktown. While we will miss him, we have the benefit of having Don become one of our Realtor members. I know you will join me in wishing Don the best of luck in his new position.

Richard Haggerty