Power struggle also for public perception
Today, vestiges of this mentality remain, despite the fact that listings are required to be shared electronically, and the vast majority of brokers agree that co-broking is the way to fetch the highest sale price possible for a property. Take, for example, the fact that Manhattan is one of the only real estate markets in the country without a conventional Multiple Listing Service.
Yet with technology improving at warp speed, Manhattan is now seeing vast changes in — and intense battles surrounding — who controls real estate information.
Listings aggregators like Streeteasy.com, PropertyShark.com and even Trulia.com and Zillow.com now dominate consumers’ searches for real estate listings — publishing price cuts and other information never available to the public before. And there seems to be little that the Real Estate Board of New York or individual brokerages can do about it.
Moreover, these aggregators, along with websites like Yelp, have given consumers a plethora of ways to voice their opinions about for-sale apartments, new development projects and even brokers. Sometimes, this still largely unregulated commentary provides helpful feedback, but it can also unfairly damage reputations.
Other areas of the industry are also seeing a shift in balance of power when it comes to information. So-called broker specialists, who dominate resales within certain buildings and have the inside track on new listings coming to market, have fought off challenges from outside brokers during the downturn. As a result, many now recognize the need to diversify their business models.
While the majority of brokers say they embrace the market’s ever-growing transparency, some have responded to all this adversity by becoming less willing to share information than before. Hoping to give themselves an advantage in the market, some brokers are violating REBNY rules that require listings to be updated in a timely fashion and distributed throughout the brokerage community within 24 hours of a signed exclusive.
Read the stories below for more on the battle for listings:
Keeping listings close to the vest
Feedback, online style
Last to list