After a Half-Century, Rockland Realtor Reveals ‘Grand’ New Plans
Fifty years ago, Patsy Duncan and late husband Fred set up shop in Rockland County’s Stony Point as a boutique realtor, becoming a cornerstone of the local real estate scene and mentors to many along the way.
Now, the venerable broker, a virtual institution in the area, has decided the time is ripe for a vigorous new stage of growth.
To fast-track her strategy, Duncan has joined forces with co-branding specialist Michael F. Levy to form Grand Lux Realty-Hudson Valley, LLC.
Under Levy’s aggressive and nurturing leadership as Principal Broker, Grand Lux Realty, with roots in Westchester County (N.Y.), has been rapidly spreading its wings to cover a wide swath of real estate throughout the lower Hudson Valley.
With Grand Lux Realty maintaining offices in Chappaqua, Ardsley, and Mamaroneck, the new Duncan alliance gives GLR its first outpost west of the Hudson. (GLR, which belongs to four Multiple Listing Systems, also is licensed in Connecticut.)
Fifteen GLR agents who reside in Rockland and Orange counties will join the dozen agents who have been on the Duncan team. "This is an important stepping stone,” says Levy, “as we forge ahead to plant a flag across the Hudson and build a robust new real estate brokerage model.”
Operating through the decades as Spoon River Real Estate in Stony Point, Patsy and late husband Fred became shining models of the American Dream. “We took great pride in owning our own real estate company in a historic town, and being part of a close-knit, family-oriented community,” she says. Speaking of family, Patsy’s is comprised of four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, with two more soon to arrive.
Growing up on farms in Illinois, after marriage a job relocation steered the couple eastward in 1965. “But Fred longed to open his own business,” says Patsy, and Spoon River Real Estate was born.
Over the years, the couple mentored a couple of generations of real estate agents who became top producers in their own right. Patsy’s real estate pedigree includes serving as past president of the Rockland County Board of Realtors.
After turning down previous overtures to work with others, the couple had a change of mind after meeting Michael Levy, “a force of nature,” in Patsy’s words, “who brings energy, experience and expertise to a changing business.”
Everything about Levy and GLR “closely aligned” with her values. “I was impressed with the company’s white glove customer service and his helping agents build successful careers. That was the legacy my husband would have wanted me to continue after he passed in the winter of 2021.”
The new Grand Lux Realty-Hudson Valley joint venture is the latest example of Michael Levy’s “strength in numbers” business model.
“We're looking for more growth-oriented independent brokers to join our chain,” he says. “We require that they have a retail location with at least five agents and five listings. It's like a franchise, but without the burdensome costs and contracts."
Levy invests considerable time and resources in the constant care and training of GLR agents – whom he calls team members – and he invests financially in their success.
"Agents are attracted to us because we offer the fastest no-fee route to 90% commission splits,” Levy says. Compared to other brokerage firms, GLR agents keep more of their commissions with no fees. “We provide all brokerage services for them.” As a result, he adds, “we have extremely low turnover.”
The co-branding concept’s appeal has swelled GLR’s roster of agents to more than 225. The agency sells almost $100 million of homes a year.
Grand Lux Realty-Hudson Valley is located at 16 South Liberty Drive (Route 9W) in Stony Point, New York 10980. (845) 942-1116. GrandLuxRealty.com.
[photo caption] Patsy Duncan says joining a company like Michael F. Levy’s Grand Lux Realty is “the legacy my husband would have wanted me to continue.”