BOARDROOM Report: April 2015

John Jordan | April 1, 2015

Communications and Member Services

Director of Communications Mary Prenon provided the report from the Communications Council, advising that a new HGAR Member Perks Program has been launched. Enrollment is free and the program provides access to exclusive offers and discounts from popular merchants. Approximately 400 people have already signed up. Prenon further advised that the Young Professionals Network will be hosting a free breakfast workshop “How to Make Money Using Real Estate Websites” on March 17, 2015 at 9:30 am at the HGAR offices in White Plains. Finally, Prenon reported on two scheduled events, Members Day scheduled for October 19, 2015 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown, and the 2015 Fair & Affordable Housing Expo, which HGAR is co-sponsoring on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at the Westchester County Center.


Education Council Chairman Chris Scibelli reported that there are currently 144 registrants signed up for online courses and this number predates the hard launch and any e-mail marketing for the new online product and that additional promotions are to come. It was also noted that a full 22.5-hour C.E. course curriculum will be offered in Putnam County and participation is encouraged in order to make these classes available in the future in this location.

Legislative, Political and Legal Issues

Legislative Council Chair and Vice President John Lease reported with respect to legislative activities. The New York State Association of Realtors has launched a Call to Action to its membership in regards to a proposal now being considered by New York State regulators that will require the installation of fire sprinklers in all new one-and two-family homes and townhomes built in New York State. Lease also reported that two RPAC events coming up are “A Welcome Spring” networking event to be held on March 26, 2015 at The Beechmont Tavern in White Plains and a Yankee game on June 24, 2015. Lobby Day will be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 and he encouraged Directors to attend and bring another member for the day.

Professional Standards

J.P. Endres reporting on behalf of the Professional Standards Committee provided a status report of current, pending and settled Ethics and Arbitration matters noting a total of 9 arbitration and 15 ethics matters are still pending and 2 arbitrations and 5 ethics were resolved since last reported to the Board of Directors.

WCR and CID Reports

CID President John Barrett reporting on behalf of the Commercial and Investment Division indicated that CID will be holding a breakfast regarding the new retail project known as the Loop Hudson Valley on March 26, 2015 at The Harness Track in Goshen, New York. The speaker at last month’s CID event was Jonathan Stein of the Lighthouse Landing Project, the recently acquired GM development site in Sleepy Hollow. Mr. Stein’s company, Diversified Realty Advisors of Summit, New Jersey, is partnering with SunCal of Irvine, California for a mixed-use project to include residential rentals, condominiums, office space and retail space.

Carol Christensen reported on behalf of the Women’s Council of Realtors – Empire Westchester Chapter. The Women’s Council will be holding a program, “So…You Think You Can Sell Houses?” to be presented by Don M. Cummins III, Esq. on March 16, 2015 at the Knollwood Country Club. In addition, rather than the annual Fashion Show, the Council will be hosting The Midtown Men in Concert to benefit The Wounded Warrior Project. The show will be held on April 9, 2015 at The Tarrytown Music Hall.

Multiple Listing Service

HGMLS President Leah Caro addressed several HGMLS projects. She and CEO Richard Haggerty reported that direct feed agreements have been entered into with Zillow, which include the now subsidiary Trulia network of sites. CEO Haggerty also reported that has thus far been unresponsive. A Lockbox PAG has been appointed and will be chaired by Mark Boyland. Gary Connolly, Director of MLS and Information Systems, reported regarding the Matrix MLS Platform that is coming up to its one-year anniversary. CoreLogic is continuing to catch up and issues continue to be resolved. ListingBook has a new version called “ListingBook AI.” Training sessions on the new product will be held on Monday March 9th, Tuesday March 10th and Wednesday March 11th in Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties. Jeffrey Marzo, Director of Technology, reported that the ranking report was also revised for brokers/managers. Additional search criteria have been added, the speed to produce the report has been increased and Participants can now sort the results.

Management, Financial & Membership Reports

CEO Richard Haggerty provided an extensive presentation regarding the proposed permanent relocation of the White Plains offices of the two corporations from 60 South Broadway to a new site in downtown White Plains. The presentation included a virtual tour of a proposed layout and office design for the new location. CEO Haggerty reported that our current landlord, Urstadt Biddle Properties, had executed a letter of intent to lease the proposed space and would now commence to negotiate a final lease agreement. Provided that UBP is successful in negotiating a lease, a new Lease Amendment would provide for a building substitution. All other terms of the current Lease Agreement would remain in full force and effect. UBP has agreed to pay for all expenses relating to the build-out including new furniture, the physical move, letterhead, decorating and painting, etc. In addition, the current Lease Amendment provides that UBP will pay for any unforeseen costs. Numerous structural changes to the new premises would be needed to make the space work for HGAR & HGMLS including the installation of windows and skylights; all of which would be done at UBP’s expense.

Don M. Cummins III, Esq. then set forth a proposed resolution to be adopted that was emailed to all Directors prior to the meeting along with a proposed build-out letter from MKDA, Inc.—HGAR & HGMLS’s architects. The resolution was passed authorizing the execution of a lease amendment with UBP providing for the permanent move of the HGAR/HGMLS offices in White Plains pending an agreement on all terms of the lease amendment with UBP, including the extensive details of the work letter connected to the build out of the new space.

HGAR President Drew Kessler then presented the Leadership Committee of HGAR for the 2015 term and its appointees, as follows; Diane Cummins, Chairperson; Past Presidents Nancy Kennedy and Katheryn DeClerck; and Jennifer Mallory, Eydie Lopez, Myriam Ramos and Eileen Barrett, Members.

HGAR President Kessler then presented the Finance Committee of HGAR for the 2015 term and its appointees, as follows; Pamela Jones, Chairperson; HGMLS Treasurer Louise Colonna; Katheryn DeClerck, Don Mituzas, Jerry Lott and Gail Fattizzi, County Representatives; David Moore, Education Council Designee and Marcene Hedayati, John Lease, Diane Cummins and James Renwick, Members at Large.

Secretary/Treasurer Pamela Jones presented the Treasurer’s Report on behalf of HGAR including the bank and investment summaries for February 1st and the Directors approved receipt of the Cash Report.

Please welcome the following new members in your area.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth