New Merger Creates Third Largest Association in America
Friday, May 19, 2017
by Victor Lund, WAV Group
Consolidation of Associations of Realtors® and Multiple Listing Organizations has been the chapter and verse of our industry over the past few years. If we all learned anything during the recession it is that the organizations that support Realtors® need to deliver a higher bar of services. WAV Group is excited to share the announcement of collaboration between two of Americas great Association Boards who have come together to form a more perfect union.
The State of Florida is one of America’s great Realtor® chapters. Along with New York, Texas, and California they boast one of the highest member counts. The Miami Association of Realtors® is the largest Association in America, followed by the Houston Association. This merger appears to bump the Long Island board down a notch by a narrow margin (around 2000 if my count is right). This merger combines the MLS and the Associations of Ft. Lauderdale and the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches and covers a four county region along the east coast of Florida stretching north from Miami.
The cornerstone of this consolidation is a result of the hard work of the staff and the volunteer leadership. The forward thinking leadership of the board presidents along with the capable and progressive attitudes of CEOs Dionna Hall and Rick Barkett pulled this merger together. Mr. Barkett will be retiring at the end of the year, culminating the career of one of our industry’s greatest CEOs. Hall will helm the new organization.
The new company will be named Realtors® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale.
The new company will be offering an MLS service that covers the four county area with a front end website of choice using either FBS Flex MLS (current vendor for Palm Beaches) or CoreLogic Matrix (current vendor for Fort Lauderdale).
In re-imagining how they will operate the Association of this size over such a large geography, they have established 5 regional boards, each of which has 10 regional volunteer leaders. It will keep policy-making local, training local, government affairs local, etc. On top of that local dedication will be the wider, all encompassing service delivery that a membership and subscriber base of more than 30,000 Realtors®. According to David Charron, Chief Strategist for the Bright MLS consolidation says “services get better and less expensive when you scale over 30,000.
Importantly, I admire their decision to create both the local service centers and primary points of contact for the markets. This is leadership! Bob Hale of the Houston Association of Realtors® says that “When you have a large membership you can do so much more for the members and the support for home ownership through government affairs is far superior.” Like the Miami, Houston, and Long Island, these firms combine the activities of the Realtor® Association and the Multiple Listing Service.
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