Among Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches members who cast ballots, 99 percent voted in favor, Chief Executive Dionna Hall said Thursday. Among Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors members, nearly 98 percent voted yes, President Ron Lennen said Thursday.
The merger is expected to take effect in mid-June. The combined group will have 25,000 members, making it the third-largest regional Realtor association in the country after organizations in Miami and Houston.
The tentative name of the new group: Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale
The marriage means savings of a few hundred dollars a year for agents in Boca Raton, who often join both associations.
Before their merger was announced earlier this month, the two associations had been in off-and-on negotiations for more than a decade.
Talk of a combination was renewed after the Miami Association of Realtors in 2015 expanded into Palm Beach County by buying Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound Association of Realtors. That move led to speculation that the Broward and Palm Beach associations might join forces to fend off the growing Miami group.
The expansion-minded Miami Association of Realtors has 46,000 members — more than many state associations of Realtors — and is the nation’s largest local Realtor association. The Miami Association of Realtors reported $16 million in revenue in the year ended June 30, 2015, dwarfing the revenues of the Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach associations.
In 2011, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors filed suit in federal court against the Miami Association of Realtors, saying the Miami group aimed to poach its members. And in 2015, the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches sued the Miami group, alleging fraud related to access to the MLS.