High Hopes for Suncoast Realtors’ Group Debut


Enhanced client servicing and better efficiencies can be expected with the realtors’ associations of Manatee and Sarasota counties merging into the Suncoast Realtor Association (SRA), effective January 1, 2015, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports.

In an overwhelming vote, members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR) and the Manatee Association of Realtors (MAR) approved the merger in late August 2014. The approval brings into motion a consolidation of SAR and MAR’s memberships which total about 5,250 Realtors and 489 business partners.

Louder voice in advocacies

High Hopes for Suncoast Realtors’ Group Debut

According to SAR president Peter Crowley, the merged association will enable stronger realtor advocacy and representation for property rights in the two counties. SRA, with close to 6,000 members, “will have a significant seat at the table” whenever issues arise on those rights, Crowley said.

The current and previous advocacies of the realtors associations in Sarasota and Manatee include reforms on property tax, foreclosure proceedings, homelessness and housing affordability. Both groups have also been active in local government hearings and school board proceedings on other various issues affecting the real estate industry in the Southwest Florida region.

More expansive market network

In addition to a stronger stand on pertinent realty issues, the consolidated SRA will likewise bring about a wider network of realtors, a rich reservoir of sharp insights on local market conditions. Availing of the services of an agent with access to this regional network offers an advantage, especially on determining home valuations, for prospective home buyers in the two counties, Sarasota Bay Real Estate notes.

Notably, SRA will maintain offices at the newly built headquarters of the Sarasota realtors group and at the MAR facility in Lakewood Ranch. All support personnel at these two offices are expected to be retained and continue extending staff services on various projects previously initiated by the two trade associations.

Regional advantages

Pooling the resources of SAR and MAR is a sensible step, considering that Sarasota and Manatee now have evolved into one regional market. This trend holds true not only in real estate but also in other sectors of commerce, trade and industry, prompting major collaborations of the two counties in recent years.

For instance, in an editorial citing the SAR–MAR merger, the Sarasota Herald Tribune noted the successful regional water alliance which is composed not only of Manatee and Sarasota but also Charlotte and DeSoto counties. The resulting Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, the paper observed, has been instrumental in helping local governments either “create or expand high-quality water sources sufficient to meet long-term demands.”

Likewise cited in the editorial are the joint efforts of the two counties’ tourism bureaus on various promotional ventures here and abroad, which describe the whole region as a single destination. Also worth adding is the recent collaboration between Bradenton and Sarasota in their successful joint bid to host the 2017 World Rowing Championship. In terms of economic gains, this international event is projected to draw into the region 100,000 visitors and generate tremendous world media exposure, likewise beneficial to the real estate sector in the Suncoast region.