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Friday, February 10, 2017

Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® Inaugurates 2017 President

Buffalo, NY – On January 7, 2017, Dawn Brown, was named 2017 President of the Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® (BNAR), a trade organization with more than 3,000 local members whose mission is to promote professionalism, real estate property rights and values and the voice for real estate in the Western New York area.  Dawn Brown was installed by Honorable Judge Joseph Fiorella.

An Amherst NY resident, she has served as an Officer of BNAR for the past two years before becoming President.  Her past accomplishments include REALTOR® of the Year for BNAR and have served on many of our Associations Committees as well as at the State and National level.

“Brown goes above and beyond to further her personal and professional development and is a champion for the real estate industry and in her community. A Realtor for 35 years, she is a trained Mediator for the Realtor® Association, and has earned her Graduate Realtor® Institute Designation and Certified Real Estate Brokerage.  In her community, Brown is a member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, Board of Assessment Review, and the Women’s Council of REALTORS®.  Her designated charities this year will be Kids Escaping Drugs and Child and Family Services, creating awareness by attending events and having a fundraiser” said John B. Leonardi, BNAR Chief Executive Officer. 

In addition to Dawn’s installation, the following individuals were installed by Merle Whitehead her friend and real estate broker/owner:  Officers – Rebecca VanDorn, President Elect;  Eric Winklhofer, Secretary/Treasurer;  Annabelle Aquilina, Vice President;  Sharon Ciminelli, Past President and Marlene DeCarlo her Presidential Advisor.  Directors serving three year terms are: Kathy Crissy, Brendan Cunningham, Margaret Hartman and Lynn Logan.  One year term as Director at Large is Peter F. Hunt and Matthew Whitehead.   Appointed as Regional Director is John Wallin who is representing Genesee Valley and David Stefik who is representing Niagara County. 

Also at the event, James Roberts was named Realtor® of the Year and Annabelle Aquilina was named Realtor-Associate® of the Year.  The awards are based on exemplary service and participation in the BNAR, the real estate community, the National and State Association and involvement and service in civic, community, church and charitable projects as well as business accomplishments.  In addition, the Community Service award went to Dennis Penman, who was recognized for his dedication to improving the quality of life in Western New York and the Buffalo Award to Dan Locche, for exceptional accomplishments in the service to the BNAR.
Dawn Brown was installed as President of BNAR by Judge Joseph Fiorella

Dennis Penman receives the Community of Excellence Award and Dan Locche receives the Buffalo Award 

Annabelle Aquilina, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® of the Year and Jim Roberts, REALTOR of  the Year® 

Officers and Directors taking the Oath of Office

Monday, January 30, 2017


Mary Wagner to sponsor the #54T car for 2017 Lancaster Speedway season

LANCASTER, NY – January 30, 2017 – Mary Wagner, a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Orchard Park, is sponsoring the #54T race car at the Lancaster Speedway for the 2017 racing season. With over 150,000 fans, the 2016 season at the Lancaster Speedway was record-setting, and more are projected to enjoy the 2017 racing season.

The driver of car #54T is Jayme Thompson, whose family has been racing at the Lancaster Speedway for over 30 years. In addition to the many exciting races car #54T will be racing in with Mary's sponsorship, there will be a special commemorative race to honor Jayme's brother-in-law and crew chief, Joe Reilly, who passed away last year at 47 years old. The commemorative race, called The Joe Reilly Sportsman Summer Slam 75, will be held Saturday, June 17, 2017.

“As a HUNT Realtor, I am committed to the tradition of working with a local company and supporting my community,” said Wagner. “I am thrilled to sponsor the family at Thompson Racing. The tradition and core values they exemplify is what makes Western New York such an amazing place in which to live and work.”

About Mary Wagner
Mary Wagner is a local real estate expert with the Orchard Park office of HUNT Real Estate ERA. After an extensive career in commercial real estate of 20 years, Mary moved to residential real estate. She is active in numerous local charities, including Over the Edge and the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

About HUNT Real Estate ERA
HUNT Real Estate Corporation is the parent company of HUNT Real Estate ERA and operates over 40 branches throughout western, central, and upstate New York, and Phoenix, Arizona. Founded in 1911, HUNT Real Estate ERA is the largest family-owned and operated real estate company in the area and is ranked the 42nd largest real estate firm in the nation for closed transactions in 2015 by REALTrends. HUNT also operates a commercial brokerage, mortgage banking firm, two insurance agencies, title agency, an award-winning Relocation division, residential building company, and a fee-for-service brokerage. HUNT’s mission is to build its presence through successful sales associates, to grow profitably, and to provide the highest quality of real estate and homeownership services. For more information about HUNT Real Estate, visit

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Great Lakes Real Estate welcomes new agents

Welcome Mr. Bill Vrooman, Associate Broker to the Great Lakes Team! He comes to Great Lakes with a whopping 53 years of experience in Real Estate! WOW! As an experienced professional, he’ll make every aspect of your experience in buying or selling an easy process.
Having experience in literally every aspect of real estate, he it totally prepared to help you with everything from residential, new construction and commercial, to Waterfront, Condos/Townhouses, Vacant Land, Luxury homes, etc. Give Mr. Vrooman a call, come meet him and let the experience begin! Mr. Vrooman can easily be reached at 914.414.6038.

Also welcome Mr. Michael Jones. Michael hold a Bachelor’s in Business Management and an MBA in Strategic Marketing – both from Niagara University. This enterprising young man, in addition to selling real estate, owns a vegan soap and retail company in Niagara Falls entitled “Prince of Wales Vegan Shoppe” sold on and stores around the country. Michael is looking forward to a wonderful year in real estate with the Great Lakes Family. 

Come on in and say hello and meet these two fantastic new agents!
Bill Vrooman
Michael Jones

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


January 18, 2017 (Clarence, NY) – Essex Homes of WNY is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year as a leading custom home builder headquartered in Clarence, New York. Founded in 1992 by the Nanula Family, Essex has consistently ranked among the top five premier homebuilders in Western New York and is the recipient of multiple local, state and national awards for building excellence. The firm employs a staff of 20 and has built more than 1,500 upscale and moderately priced single-family homes, patio homes and one and two-story villas ranging from 1,800-5,000+ square feet in communities across the Erie and Niagara regions, including Amherst, Aurora, Clarence, Grand Island, Hamburg, Lancaster, Lockport, Orchard Park and Wheatfield. The announcement was made by firm president, Philip J. Nanula.

“We have some exclusive events planned for our 25th anniversary celebration, say Nanula. These will include: money-saving promotions, new phases of development in select communities and the roll-out of new home plan designs that will provide more options to prospective customers in an ever-changing and competitive building marketplace.”

According to Nanula, much of the success of his locally owned and operated business can be attributed to an unwavering dedication to its mission statement - We pledge to you: commitment, quality, service, value and a pleasant home building experience. “The growth and longevity of our firm is also a testament to our dedicated team of associates, the many people who entrusted their home building needs to Essex and word-of-mouth referrals from those we have built for in the past. It is very rewarding to build for a couple and then years later have their children come back to build a home with us too. Essex is not only a business, it is a family. We appreciate the confidence and loyalty the community has shown to us over the last 25 years and we look forward to serving our many existing and new customers for years to come, he says.”

To celebrate 25 years in business, Essex Homes recently unveiled a new logo that will be used to promote its anniversary and the first of many promotions in 2017. “As part of our ‘25th Anniversary Promotion’ we’re building value into every Essex home by offering up to $20,000 in free options, says Nanula. Customers who build with Essex this year will have the opportunity to customize the home of their dreams at unbeatable savings, enjoy the flexibility of making their own selections and choosing the amenities and options most important to them. We appreciate that everyone has their own personal taste and we believe in giving our customers the opportunity to have significant involvement in the building of their new home. We want them to get exactly what they want from the quality of a well-built home in a great neighborhood to substantial savings and great resale value in the years ahead,” he says. According to Nanula, promotional dollars may be used in a variety of ways at the buyer’s discretion. As always, we are fulfilling our commitment to providing maximum value in every home we build,” he says. The “25th Anniversary Promotion” is now available for a limited time to qualified buyers of an Essex home. Some restrictions may apply and programs and savings may vary.

Phil Nanula - ‎President & CEO at Essex Homes of WNY

Over the last 25 years, Essex Homes has been recognized with numerous awards and honors for excellence in home building as well as its involvement in many charitable organizations and events. These include recognition by Builder magazine on its “Fast Track Hall of Fame” list and being named “Builder of the Year” by the Niagara Frontier Builders Association. Camp Good Days and Special Times also awarded the “Spirit of Teddi Humanitarian Award,” one of the highest community honors, to Essex president, Philip J. Nanula in recognition of outstanding dedication and service to the organization. Essex Homes was recently nominated for a 2017 Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Award (BNBEA) which recognizes companies that demonstrate a strong commitment to ethical business practices in their everyday operations and in response to crises and challenges. The firm is now embarking upon additional phases of development in its newest successful subdivision, Essex Greens at Waterford, a luxury patio home community in Clarence, NY, as well as phase two development of Knoche Farm Estates, a single-family home community in Orchard Park, NY. In 2016, Essex also launched a new website to help improve communication and responsiveness with existing and potential customers and increase awareness across social media channels. “We are always looking at new ways to improve operations, adapt with the times and be a leader in the industry as well as with our customers,” says Nanula.”

Essex Homes has five, fully-furnished and decorated models open for public viewing in various communities across Western New York including those in Shadow Woods and Essex Greens at Waterford (Clarence, NY); Cross Creek Estates (Lancaster); Knoche Farm Estates and Ridgewood Estates (Orchard Park, NY). More information on Essex Homes, including community properties available for sale or lease can be found at  HYPERLINK ""

Thursday, December 15, 2016

HUNT Real Estate Explores Neighborhood Data and Makes Homebuying Process Easier

- Locally-owned and operated real estate firm shows investment in the communities it serves with launch of -
BUFFALO, N.Y. (Dec. 14, 2016) – HUNT Real Estate today launched, a tool designed to help customers explore neighborhoods and community data throughout Western and Upstate New York.

HUNT Real Estate is the largest locally-owned and operated real estate firm serving Western, Central, and Upstate New York. The team has extensive knowledge and data of the communities it serves. Homebuyers can sign onto and enter their desired neighborhood, city or county. They are then connected to a wealth of local community data, including properties for sale, market trends, school information, and even reviews of the best restaurants on town.

“As New York natives, nobody knows the local communities better than we do. These are neighborhoods we’ve served for 100 plus years. Our roots are deep and our expertise in these communities is unparalleled,” said Peter Hunt, Chairman and CEO of HUNT Real Estate. “We see our clients as an extension of our family, and we want to provide them all of the tools they need to decide in which community to purchase a home. With, they are able to learn about the different areas to live within the town or city of their choice.”
"As part of the development of, we spent six months capturing thousands of photos across many of our communities in New York State to create our #WeLiveHere video series," said Dan Mirsky, Marketing Director, HUNT Real Estate. "The #WeLiveHere series gives customers a glimpse into what makes each of the cities, towns and villages that HUNT serves so special."

For more information, visit

About HUNT Real Estate ERA
HUNT Real Estate Corporation is the parent company of HUNT Real Estate ERA and operates over 40 branches throughout western, central, and upstate New York, and Phoenix, Arizona. Founded in 1911, HUNT Real Estate ERA is the largest family-owned and operated real estate company in the area and is ranked the 42nd largest real estate firm in the nation for closed transactions in 2015 by RISMedia. HUNT also operates a commercial brokerage, mortgage banking firm, two insurance agencies, title agency, an award-winning Relocation division, residential building company, and a fee-for-service brokerage. HUNT’s mission is to build its presence through successful sales associates, to grow profitably, and to provide the highest quality of real estate and homeownership services. For more information about HUNT Real Estate, visit

Contact: Kailey Kolozsvary
Martin Davison Public Relations
(716) 242-7472

Friday, November 11, 2016

Dear Board of Director and Past Presidents

I would like to congratulate our RPAC Leaders, Margaret Hartman (local RPAC Chair) and Sharon Ciminelli (Western Regional NYSAR Chair) on achieving their respective 2016 goals! BNAR surpassed its 2016 financial goal, we collected $48,594, 110% of our $44,195 target.  We also achieved a 78% success rate (786) of our targeted participation goal of 1,006.

The Western Regional RPAC district achieved 111% of its financial goal.

Additionally, congratulations to Margaret (again) for not only leading the BNAR's RPAC charge but for her success as state RPAC Chair.  New York State achieved 104% of its financial goal, and 80% of its participation goal.  

Sharon and Margaret, thank you and what a GREAT JOB, truly outstanding! On behalf of them and the Leadership team to all those who contributed thank you.  Now, on to our 2017 goal! It is never too early to start…

Very Respectfully,

John B. Leonardi, CEO, RCE
Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS
200 John James Audubon Parkway, ste 201
Amherst, NY 14228
7166363699 D
7166369121 F

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS, Inc.: Matrix (MLS) Update

Hello MLS/BNAR Member,

The MLS is set to cut-over to our new MLS system called Matrix" on Wednesday, September 7, 2016.  We have provided a few links to help you with the process.  There is a section on adding and editing listings, for those who have the permission to do so and the Data input forms are there as well, as we wait for Instanet to load them. 

Please take a moment to review the documentation in prepartion for September 7th.

For those agents who are not familiar with the system at all, here is the link to help you through the process.
Also there are numerous "Help Videos" in Matrix for those that have not been able to attend the many sessions that were offered or just prefer to "learn as you go" approach.
We know there will be a few bumps in the road and we will do our best to fix any issues that may arise.  Feel free to encourage your agents to send constructive criticism for us to consider and adopt, if possible.
Thank you for your patience through this long transition.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact BNAR.
Upcoming 1 and 2 Hour Free Basic Training - Hands On

Search Functions
Friday, September 9
10:00  - 11:00 am

Agents' Webpage
Friday, September 9
2:00 - 3:00 pm

Basic Overview
Friday, September 9
5:30 - 7:30 pm

My Information/CMA
Monday, September 12
2:00 - 4:00 pm

Basic Overview
Friday, September 16
2:00 - 4:00 pm

Please register through BNAR Member Services through your MLS Portal
Go to the BNAR calendar at for a list of other classes