WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- William Raveis Associate Real Estate broker Marcene Hedayati has been selected to become President of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors at a special time in the organization’s history.
Hedayati, a Realtor with more than 20 years experience who has had various roles with HGAR, was selected President for HGAR’s 100th anniversary year. She will be installed on Thursday, Jan. 21, at The Ritz-Carlton in Westchester.
“It’s going to be exciting to be the President during the centennial year,’’ said Hedayati, the broker of record, part owner and manager of William Raveis Legends Realty Group. “We have about 10,000 members in four counties and we’re the 17th largest board of realtors in the nation. I’m very proud to be its President for the next year.”
Hedayati has held positions as secretary, treasurer and chairman of several committees for HGAR over the past 10 years. She spent the past year as the President-elect, serving as the understudy to Drew Kessler. “It’s been a good experience,’’ Hedayati said. “It prepares you for the final year.”
Since 1916, HGAR has been an advocate for buyers, sellers and agents in the Hudson Valley. It helps buyers and sellers in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties. Founded in 1916 as the Westchester County Realty board, the organization has gradually expanded its geographic footprint. It merged with the Putnam County Association of Realtors in 2009 and with the Rockland County Board of Realtors and the Orange County Association of Realtors in 2011.
Hedayati said her main focus during her tenure as president will be to get membership more engaged, communicate better within the organization and share technology tools among members.
“A lot of tools have been created but many of the members are not aware of them,’’ Hedayati said. “There are many ways of communicating with our members and the public, and it’s important that we touch all those different languages. The whole point is to try to speak everybody’s language.”
Hedayati, an Irvington native, took an unusual path to her real estate career. She graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and worked in the fashion industry in Boston and New York. She worked as the division head of five boutiques for a high-end fashion house designer.
“There is a common thread between the fashion industry and real estate,’’ Hedayati said. “First, I owned a business, so I have entrepreneurial spirit. Second, my strength has always been in management. You’re managing people and relationships, no matter what business you’re in.”
Hedayati worked for several agencies before affiliating with William Raveis in 2010. Over the past few years, Marcene and her partners opened offices in Briarcliff, Irvington and Hastings-on-Hudson. Legends Realty Group has grown from its original five partners to more than 60 agents, with the most recent additions being some of the best top producing agents in the area.
Hedayati feels one of the reasons for her success is HGAR. Shortly after she and her partners started her business with Legends Group, the recession hit and many real estate organizations folded.
“If I hadn’t had the board and have them provide the tools, I don’t think we would’ve survived or made it,’’ she said. “For me it was a lifeline. I’m not sure we could’ve made it without them.”