After months of false starts, the Real Estate Board of New York’s highly anticipated new listings system – widely called the RLS — launched today, a spokesperson for REBNY told The Real Deal exclusively.
The transition to the new RLS — the electronic portal through which all REBNY members can view and share listings, enabling them to co-broke – has been years in the planning.
The new system replaces an older transmission system maintained by RealPlus — dubbed R.O.L.E.X. — that was originally slated to be rolled out Jan. 1 but was beset by vendor conflicts. REBNY subsequently missed a self-imposed launch deadline of Aug. 1.
Steven Goldschmidt, a broker with Warburg Realty and REBNY’s RLS board co-chair, said this morning that the switchover is complete and that “reports from the field have been good.”
Developed by Katonah, N.Y.-based Stratus Data Systems, the new system conforms to a nationwide industry standard called the Real Estate Transaction Standard, or RETS. Brokers have awaited a RETS-compliant system for years, decrying the fact that New York City has been technologically behind every other metropolitan area in the nation.
“Having worked meticulously with each of the RLS vendors on the transition to the new engine for more than a year, participating RLS brokerage firms will now be able to take advantage of a powerful tool to improve their day-to-day business operations and help brokers better serve their clients,” REBNY said in a statement to The Real Deal.
And the earlier delays were only to assure a smooth changeover, Goldschmidt insisted.
“This was never a deadline-driven process,” he said, although one firm head had said in July that there was pressure from REBNY to transition systems Aug. 1. “We just made an assessment in early August and felt an extra few weeks of beta testing would make the transition, which was smooth, even smoother — and our patience paid off.”
The new system will be accessible via mobile apps and will offer more options for listings, such as different fields for “terrace” and “balcony.”
Many in the industry worried that the changeover, which Goldschmidt once compared to the change between running Windows or an Apple operating system, would be fraught.