WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. When Gil Mercurio took the position of CEO of the Westchester Putnam Association of REALTORS®, he thought he'd be there for a while, but 31 years exceeded even his most optimistic expectations.
"I was attracted to the association because I had a background in city planning and architecture," he said earlier this week, after being honored by the group he led for more than three decades upon his retirement. "But I didn't think I'd be there this long. I may have been in there a long time, but there's such a rapid rate of change in our industry that the time passed rather quickly," he continued. "The industry has been in a revolution just about every year, it seems."
Looking back on his career with the group, Mercurio said he is most proud of its legislative influence. "I think our legislative work has been outstanding in this group. We have Realtors® who understand what goes on in Washington and Albany, and we've made some real, substantive, changes."
Citing laws requiring such things as real property disclosure, agency disclosures, additional education for Realtors® and fair housing, Mercurio said the legislation the group has helped promote is "good for industry, but it benefits the public, too."
Looking at the current state of the economy in general and the local market in particular, Mercurio noted, "There are always cycles in the real estate industry. You know that it's going to be up and down, and hopefully more up than down. I don't have to tell you how difficult it is in this economy. I think the industry is going to struggle for a few years. The good thing is this area tends to be last in and first out of recession. We're healthier here than in many other parts of the country."
Mercurio will be succeeded by Richard Haggerty, who is currently Deputy Executive Officer of the organization. "I will be very active through 2012 as a consultant on a part time basis," said Mercurio . "But mostly I'm going to spend more time with my children and grandchildren, just enjoy having more private time for myself, easing off a bit."
Certainly, after more than three decades spent in the public eye, Mercurio has earned at least that much.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.