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Realtor association mergers: easier said than done

History, politics, culture, MLS ownership, job loss issues can stand in way

Editor's note: This is the final installment in a two-part series detailing the consulting work former Realtor association executive Jerry Matthews is conducting for the National Association of Realtors to facilitate association mergers.Realtor association exec-turned-consultant Jerry Matthews says that when he's working with associations that want to explore mergers, he can "get them to the preacher," but "it's up to them to get married."Although there are compelling reasons for Realtor associations to consider consolidation, there's also no shortage of issues that can derail merger talks -- even after they're well under way.Having an objective third-party mediator "is probably the biggest thing" determining whether merger talks will succeed or fail, he said."When one member tries to drive the process, they are biased or perceived as biased," Matthews said. "When you have negotiations between parties, one of the parties can't be the f...

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