This month, Mahler Realty, the oldest real estate agency on Long Island, and a company with a long history of community ties to Baldwin, is celebrating a milestone anniversary — 65 years in business.
“We like to think of ourselves as a mom and pop store,” said Erik Mahler, owner of Mahler Realty. “Our approach to business has always been meeting everyone’s needs with a personal touch.”
Mahler Realty is a family-run company that has been working to solve real estate problems and help homebuyers and sellers since 1953.
“My father started the business,” said Rolf Mahler, 81, Erik’s father and former owner of Mahler Realty. “I took over when my father couldn’t work anymore, and when I retired, Erik took over.”
Rolf’s parents, Karl and Ruth, emigrated from Germany to Rockville Centre in 1950. In 1953 they moved to Baldwin and opened Mahler Realty on Grand Avenue in the shopping center across the street from the former site of Pathmark. The business stayed in the shopping center for more than 10 years, before relocating to their present location on Merrick Road in 1962.
Rolf joined his parents’ business around that time, and took over the reins in ’68.
Rolf said that one of the factors that set Mahler Realty apart from other agencies is their dedication to community involvement.
The Mahler family has been actively involved in promoting growth and development in Baldwin. Three generations of Mahler men have taken leadership roles in the Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, they’ve had a hand in many community endeavors, including the design and construction of the Baldwin Historical Society building in 1976.
As part of his Eagle Scout project for Boy Scout Troop #182, Erik’s son Peyton is going to be painting and repairing part of the roof of the Historical Society in May.
“I think the people that are brought up in families that volunteer and do a lot of community service, might be drawn to other people that have that same mindset,” said Erik’s wife, Tracy, a manager for the company who has been working full time since 2011.
“It seemed like we were involved in everything, the chamber, the church, and I was then president of the Milburn PTA… There was this real sense that Mahler Realty wasn’t really about just selling houses, it was about making Baldwin better.”
Erik spoke about he business’ long history in Baldwin. “The interesting thing is, because we’ve been around so long, my grandfather sold houses, I have sold those same houses, my father has sold those houses. We have sold some houses 8-10 times in the last 65 years.”
Rolf ran the company until he retired in 2004, leaving control of Mahler Realty to his son. Erik is a lifelong Baldwinite and current president of the Chamber of Commerce, and was even named Herald Person of the Year in 2009 for his many contributions to the Baldwin community.
“We are a family-run business, and everybody is family here — including our clients.” Erik said he is personally invested in Baldwin’s success, and when he helps clients buy homes, he’s really welcoming them to the family. “I see their kids grow up, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.”
“When people do business with Mahler Realty, this is a personalized service,” Erik explained. “Besides your family, your home is probably your largest asset, and you’re not a number here, like you [would be] at many franchises... We consider each other a family here.”