MLS & Associations

Merger creates ‘Suncoast Realtor Association’ on Florida’s Gulf Coast

Combined association will apply for funding under NAR core standards program

Two Southwest Florida Realtor associations will soon merge, a move their leaders say will allow them to provide better services to members, give them a bigger voice at the state and national level, and maybe even lower their dues. After a two-month exploratory process, the members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR) and Manatee Association of Realtors (MAR) voted to merge on Sept. 16. The merger will take effect Jan. 1, and the new group will be called the Suncoast Realtor Association, pending approval by the National Association of Realtors, the trade groups said. Combined, the memberships of both associations include about 5,250 Realtors and 489 affiliates, such as title, mortgage and moving companies. Sarasota is the larger of the two with about 3,600 members. This consolidation may be part of a coming wave of Realtor association mergers. David Phillips, CEO of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, has estimated that implementation of NAR's core standards, ap...