Merger of Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale creates third largest in the country

President-elect Ron Lennen and Dionna Hall
President-elect Ron Lennen and Dionna Hall

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors and Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches are merging to become the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale, creating the third largest association in the country.

Together, the two organizations will have more than 30,000 members in Broward, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties, according to the announcement. The deal is expected to close within the next two months.

The Miami Association of Realtors is the largest in the country with more than 46,000 members, followed by the Houston Association of Realtors.

In a press release, the Broward and Palm Beaches associations said the merger will give their agents access to a much larger territory without having to join multiple associations, will synchronize technologies, and create a bigger lobbying power locally, statewide and on a national level. Members will be able to choose between Matrix and FlexMLS, and membership fees aren’t expected to increase, according to a fact sheet.

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Together they will have more 40,000 active listings totaling more than $21 billion in inventory, according to the release.

Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors President Ron Lennen will be president of the new association next year. Fort Lauderdale’s CEO Richard Barkett will retire once the merger is completed, and Dionna Hall, current CEO of Palm Beaches association, will be CEO of the merged group.

“We’ve been trying to merge for 12 to 15 years,” Lennen said. This merger has been in the works since February, he said. “This will give us a unified voice when we go to lobby for home ownership rights in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.”

All six offices of the Palm Beaches and Fort Lauderdale associations will remain open. The new association will also have five regional boards “so that the local issues stay local,” Lennen said.