Viewpoints

Crystal Hawkins Syska

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Are You Thankful?

November 18, 2021

Turkey Day, as I like to call it, is upon us. This is the time of year when many Americans sit down with friends and family to think about what they are thankful for and gorge themselves on tasty vittles. It also can be a very, very stressful time and can trigger deep sorrowful episodes…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: The Best Defense is a Strong Offense

November 15, 2021

I don’t think it would surprise anyone when I say that organized real estate is always subject to scrutiny and, sometimes, outright attack, and recently it seems that our industry is constantly under siege. During these periods it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and complain. However, if we are going to continue to effectively…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Sizing Up the Election Results

November 10, 2021

This year was a year for local, and in some cases state elections, across the country. Virginia and New Jersey both had governor’s races that had surprising outcomes. In Virginia Glen Youngkin, Republican, defeated Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat for Governor. McAuliffe was expected to win easily but issues of jobs, school policies and a tough…

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Crystal Hawkins Syska

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Municipal Building Files—What Gives!

October 20, 2021

One of the random calls I get from our members has to do with information being inaccurately reported on the MLS by agents. Whether it is the square footage, a finished basement being legal and more. Although this is not within the scope of my role, there is a process for that and HGAR staff,…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: The Power of Mentorship

October 18, 2021

As reported previously on Real Estate In-Depth, Gil Mercurio, the long-time CEO of this organization, passed away at the end of September. Gil had been my mentor for more than 30 years. His intelligence, humor, leadership instincts and generosity of spirit could not be matched. I experienced his generosity first hand at the very start…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Is Putnam County Headed Towards a Housing Crisis?

October 18, 2021

I recently read a prediction by a friend Steve Hawks of Platinum Real Estate on Las Vegas, who is extremely knowledgeable on all things financial and real estate related. He predicts that home prices are set to soar another 16% in 2022. His predictions are backed or inspired by the top bank in the country—Goldman…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Congress Debates Debt Ceiling, SALT, Infrastructure

October 12, 2021

Several legislative issues are before Congress for consideration and debate. These issues touch every facet of American life. The first issue that Congress must address is the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is a cap on the amount of additional indebtedness that the federal government can incur to pay its bills. When Congress raises the…

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Crystal Hawkins Syska

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: The Belief in What We Cannot See

September 21, 2021

“We Want You!” “Be All That You Can Be.” If you are a person of a certain vintage, you will remember these slogans on posters and billboards. They were advertisements to join the Army. Later on, commercials that were so gallant and emotional would do the same for the Navy. It struck me that our…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: The Resiliency of New York

September 20, 2021

At the beginning of this month I was asked by RISMedia to share my thoughts on the 20th anniversary of 9-11. I confess that it brought back painful memories. The terrorist attacks occurred during the NYSAR Fall Business Meetings and were held at Lake Placid that year. On September 10th, Ann Garti and I had…

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Jennifer Maher

Predicting and Adapting to the Markets of the Moment

August 23, 2021

Shutdowns, civil unrest, fears of war and terrorism, inflation, eviction moratoriums, supply chain breakdowns and workforce problems. These troubles are on the mind of most of the world today, especially business owners and property investors. It’s nearly impossible to predict what will happen economically and otherwise in today’s world. We would do well to simply…

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Crystal Hawkins Syska

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: To Boldly Go…

August 19, 2021

I just loved Star Trek as a kid growing up. Hey, to be honest, I still love Star Trek. On the right day of the week, you may hear me say something in Klingon or give you the Vulcan greeting. As a young African American girl, it was a big deal to see a person…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: It’s Not About Politics

August 9, 2021

Sometimes it can seem like politics has invaded every aspect of our lives. I suspect part of that feeling stems from the fact that we get so much of our news from the Internet, and sensational, provocative headlines get more open clicks. Also, the phenomena of celebrities commenting on the news being newsworthy is a…

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Crystal Hawkins Syska

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Fear and Blame in the Real Estate Culture

July 14, 2021

I had a chance meeting at lunch with a Mother and Daughter real estate team in Briarcliff Manor—Mary Jane Florent and Nancy Beard. Mary Jane was talking about the good old days of real estate. “It was just fun! People trusted each other and everyone got along. Now real estate is fear and blame.” That…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Change is Coming and with it Opportunity

July 13, 2021

With the Putnam County real estate market Booming for the past 15 months, I am excited for what I predict the impact will be. With new inventory down nearly 15% year-to-date over last year, sales volume up 31% and the average sales price grew by more than 18% to a whopping $483,201 up from $409,017.…

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Richard Haggerty

Gateway Perspectives: Perseverance Pays Off

July 11, 2021

Approximately 30 years ago, when I was the Director of Member Services and Professional Standards Administrator for the then Westchester County Board of Realtors, I vividly remember walking over to the Westchester County Legislative offices where the Board of Legislators was conducting a public hearing on co-op transparency legislation, which would require co-op boards to…

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Michael Oates

GUEST VIEWPOINT: Connect New York State’s Two Power Grids to Drive Economic Development in NYC and Statewide

June 23, 2021

The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) faces a major decision that could greatly impact all of New York’s economic recovery from COVID. Several energy and transmission developers are competing for a NYSERDA energy program with varying amounts of in-state investment. The choice is clear: Go big and choose New York jobs.…

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Crystal Hawkins Syska

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Section 8 or No Section 8 is Not the Question

June 16, 2021

On April 12, 2019 the Lawful Source of Income Non-Discrimination Act of 2019 was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Although that has been more than two years ago, it seems quite apparent that many in our industry have yet to wrap their minds around what it really means. Just the other day sitting…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Ann Garti: A 40-Year Tutorial in Leadership

June 16, 2021

To say that June 30, 2021 is going to be a bittersweet day for not just me, but for all of the members of HGAR, is an understatement, as that is the day that Ann Garti formally retires from HGAR. Ann’s career spans 40 years of service for the Realtor organization, and during that time…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: June Legislative Update

June 1, 2021

The Westchester County co-op transparency bill has finally had a public hearing. The number of speakers who came out in support of the bill outnumbered the naysayers by a 3 to 1 margin. The arguments against the bill were ones we had heard many times before and easily disputed. Opponents said that the bill, if…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Beware of the Endless Roller Coaster

May 19, 2021

As a kid I was not a big fan of roller coasters. They were scary and unpredictable, so they had no allure for me. As an adult I started to appreciate them a little more. The drama of the slow ascent that gradually reaches the peak and starts the downward plunge with increasing speed usually…

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