A year after acquiring the Hamptons’ go-to site for residential listings, StreetEasy is sunsetting Hamptons Real Estate Online.
Starting today, visitors to HREO — a relic of the dial-up era — will be automatically redirected to Out East, a glossy new website tricked out with photos and hyper-local search filters.
“The first iteration of this site was paying people to drive around and pick up photos from agents,” said Matt Daimler, Out East’s general manager and an architect of the website’s acquisition last year by the Zillow Group subsidiary. “At the end, the market moved past them in terms of software consumers and brokers needed.”
Like StreetEasy, Out East pairs historical sales data with neighborhood guides and granular search functions.
For example, search results are plotted on a map to orient renters and buyers, who can apply market-specific filters to search for properties on the water or with ocean or bay views. Listings also depict the proximity to beaches and transportation, farmer’s markets, fitness studios and cultural spots. “The map has a real value in shopping in the Hamptons,” said Susan Daimler, general manager of StreetEasy (who is married to Matt).
On the rental side, Out East is tackling the issue of how to display open listings, which previously appeared several times in HREO search results. Now, each listing will appear once. Out East will use a “round robin”-type algorithm to ensure each agent gets a turn to have their listing featured. “We’re cycling through to make sure every agent gets a fair shot at getting contacted,” Matt Daimler said, pointing out that agents may use different photos or listing descriptions to draw attention to the property. “Our hope is we can show all the variations” in a way that streamlines the process for consumers.
On the back end, Out East will continue to be connected to RealNet, an MLS-like software that agents use to enter and search listings. RealNet and HREO had a direct connection, and so will Out East, meaning the website will have real-time information and updates. (RealNet data is exported and sent in feed format to aggregators like the New York Times and Realtor.com.)
Matt Daimler said RealNet was always a paid service, and StreetEasy will continue to charge agents to use the system. Brokerages pay $1,000 a month plus $60 per month for each active agent. For new customers, the setup fee and on-site training is $7,500. StreetEasy did not disclose how much brokers paid before the acquisition, but said it lowered the cost for brokers by an average of 35 to 40 percent.
Like StreetEasy in New York City, HREO — and now Out East — was the Hamptons’ de facto multiple listings service. Months after the Zillow subsidiary bought HREO, a group of residential firms abandoned plans to form a centralized listings service.
But who controls real estate listings is an ongoing issue: Last week, realtors from Westchester and Long Island said they plan to merge their MLS systems into a new regional entity that would cover the entire metro area — including Suffolk County. The Long Island Board of Realtors and Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors have 21,000 and 13,000 listings, respectively.
Out East is launching with 2,825 for-sale listings and 14,462 rental listings across the Hamptons, North Fork and Shelter Island.