Westchester real estate associations consider merging, could combine listings systems

From left: P. Gilbert Mercurio, CEO of WPAR,
and Gary Leogrande, president of EAMLS

Three Westchester real estate associations are considering a merger, which
could include combining their listings services, Westfair reported.

The Westchester Putnam Association of Realtors has been
negotiating with its two neighbors to the west, the Orange County
Association of Realtors and the Rockland County Board of Realtors. The
groups are facing declining membership, but a combined organization
would have about 9,500 members.

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The new group might get the Hudson
Gateway Association of Realtors, and the merger could be in effect by
Jan. 1.

The reason for the merger is that the volume of real estate business across the Hudson River is steadily increasing, many “common customers” tend to move between these counties already and there will be an ability to maintain large databases on the Internet,” said P.
Gilbert Mercurio, CEO of WPAR and its subsidiary Empire Access Multiple Listing
Service. If the merger takes place, the groups are still debating
whether they would combine their existing listing services or use a
product from a new vendor, an issue that would likely not be resolved
for at least two years.

Gary Leogrande, president of EAMLS, said the software between
Westchester and Orange County’s MLS “could be compatible, but it will take a
lot more logistics. We [at EAMLS] don’t track the sizes of rooms for
example, so there are certain nuances to address so no one feels that
they’re losing something.”

Bill Thorne, president of the Rockland County Board of Realtors,
declined to comment before the deal is officially struck. Mercurio
pointed out that WPAR was already a successful merger between the
Westchester and Putnam groups. [Westfair]

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