Richard Haggerty | June 14, 2018

In many of her articles for Real Estate In-Depth last year, past President Dorothy Botsoe referenced the fact that “we are the world.” I think there is tremendous positive energy in that phrase, reflecting our diversity and the fact that our proximity to New York City creates opportunities to work with buyers and sellers from every corner of the world. This year HGAR is truly going global to create even more opportunities for our members to grow their businesses.

This past spring, the HGAR Directors approved the creation of a Global Business Council to explore educational and networking opportunities for our members in the global real estate community. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Council are Robert Shandley of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in White Plains and Emi Cacace of Portico Real Estate Group in Manhattan and Scarsdale. The Global Business Council has already met several times and is planning two exciting events.

The first event is being planned in conjunction with the HGAR Fair Housing and Cultural Diversity Committee and will take place on July 12th at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown. The event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and will showcase allied organizations that provide tremendous networking opportunities. The organizations that have agreed to participate to date are FIABCI (the French acronym for “Federation Internationale des Administrateurs de Bien-Conselis Immobiliers,” which means “The International Real Estate Federation”), AREAA (Asian Real Estate Association of America), NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals), and NAGALREP (the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals). The program will be followed by a cocktail reception and is free to all members. I encourage you to attend and learn how these organizations can help you grow your bottom line.

The second event being planned is the Global Real Estate Summit, which HGAR is again co-hosting with the Staten Island Board of Realtors. The summit will be an all day event conducted on October 22nd at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan, and will include a one-hour continuing education course on the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation. Scheduled speakers include internationally renowned industry expert Stefan Swanepoel, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, and a broker panel discussing a paradigm for the future, which will include Scott Durkin, president and COO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Leonard Steinberg, president of Compass, and Eric Eckardt, CEO of Purplebricks, US. This is just a brief taste of a full day of excellent programs geared towards providing you with tangible tools to grow a global footprint.

If you’d like to become involved in the HGAR Global Business Council, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at

In closing I would like to acknowledge two icons in the world of real estate who passed away recently. Edward I. Sumber, longtime legal counsel to several Realtor Associations, was a true friend and mentor who was respected not just for his wisdom but also his humanity. Alan Yassky was a true leader and visionary in our industry, having served as president of the Rockland County Board of Realtors, president of the New York State Association of Realtors, and Treasurer of the National Association of Realtors. They will both be greatly missed.

Richard Haggerty