In February, news broke that StreetEasy’s parent company Zillow was planning to introduce in New York City a program called Premier Agent, a lucrative lead-generation tool that the company had been using in other markets for some time.
The controversial program leads consumers to agents who advertise, instead of those who actually have the listing on a property — and it’s caused an uproar among the brokerage community. Several top brokers have spoken out against it, the Real Estate Board of New York has asked the Department of State to investigate if it violates advertising laws, and some brokerage chiefs are even spearheading a boycott.
For The Real Deal’s cover story this month, we look at the increasingly hostile relationship between Zillow and the brokerage world and ask: Is there a resolution in sight?
Meanwhile, we look at why New York City still does not have a consumer-facing Multiple Listing Service. We examine the remaking of East Harlem, and ask what Trump’s $6.2 billion cut to the Department of Housing and Urban Development could mean for New York City.
Elsewhere in the issue, there are stories on how rising U.S. interest rates are encouraging foreign investors to spend on real estate, how buying construction materials from overseas-based companies has become standard practice, and profiles of Rob Speyer and A&E Real Estate.
Finally, in our Closing interview, MetLife’s global head of real estate Robert Merck talks about growing up in Georgia and how he uses his southern accent as a negotiation tactic.
To read the April issue of TRD, click here or on the “Magazine” tab on the top left of the homepage. Enjoy! — Miriam Hall