The Real Deal New York

Amid StreetEasy dispute, REBNY cozies up to its rival, Realtor.com

Unlike its Zillow-owned competitor, the listings site will take the RLS feed directly
By Rich Bockmann | August 07, 2017 07:00AM

John Banks and the Realtor.com website

UPDATE, Aug. 7, 9:50 a.m.: StreetEasy rival Realtor.com will begin taking the Residential Listing Service feed directly from the Real Estate Board of New York. And it’s formulating a marketing plan to let consumers know.

Brokers who started syndicating their listings on the RLS when the service launched last week may have noticed that there was no option to syndicate to Realtor.com. That’s because the site, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., accepts the vast majority of its feeds (more than 95 percent) directly through a multiple listings system. It usually won’t take feeds from third-party “administrative hubs” like the ones that handle syndication on REBNY’s RLS: Bridge Interactive’s Cheque platform (which is owned by StreetEasy parent company Zillow Group) and Listhub.com (which is owned by News Corp.).

In other words, even as syndication went live on the RLS, brokers still had to send listings directly to Realtor.com. But the company inked a deal with REBNY to take the feed directly, and will start syndicating listings later this month.

“We’re working with REBNY from a marketing prospective to increase brand awareness,” said Ray Picard, Realtor.com’s executive vice president of sales. He declined to provide additional details on the marketing campaign.

REBNY president John Banks said the addition of Realtor.com is a “significant step in our ongoing efforts to increase the visibility and reach of New York City’s most accurate and consistent listing information to consumers.”

StreetEasy has refused to accept the REBNY RLS, claiming it would be a disservice to consumers.

The agreement with REBNY could help Realtor.com steal market share from StreetEasy, which is facing backlash from the brokerage community after launching its controversial Premier Agent program and a $3 daily fee on all rental listings.

Ten of the city’s top brokerages — Brown Harris Stevens, Compass, Stribling & Associates, Town Residential, Warburg Realty, Leslie J. Garfield, Kleier Residential and Fox Residential, Bold New York and Tungstencut their direct feeds to StreetEasy after syndication started on the RLS. The Corcoran Group cut off rental listings but has declined to say whether it will turns off its sales feed, while Douglas Elliman and Nest Seekers International continue to send listings directly to StreetEasy.

StreetEasy lost about half of its 32,000 rental listings after instituting the rental fee, and a good chunk of its sales listings after brokerages abandoned the Zillow-owned aggregator.

On Friday, The Real Deal examined how agents will explain to sellers why they won’t list a client’s property on StreetEasy, which is the largest and most visible online real estate platform in the city.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Realtor.com accepts all of its feeds directly from Multiple Listing Services. It accepts more than 95 percent of its feeds directly from MLSs.