Brokers no longer need to buy stock to join Brooklyn MLS

CEO Richard Schulhoff said the organization is looking to boost membership
By Eddie Small | February 15, 2018 05:20PM

The Brooklyn listings service office in Gravesend (Credit: Jhila Farzaneh for The Real Deal)

Buying a $20,000 share of stock will no longer be necessary for brokers looking to join Brooklyn MLS.

The organization’s board of directors announced on Thursday that real estate professionals interested in joining will now have the option to join as subsidiary members, a new class of membership that will not require the previously mandatory stock purchase.

Subsidiary brokers will have the same listing and selling rights as shareholders, and they will also have access to the same information. However, they will not be allowed to vote on shareholder issues or get elected to the Brooklyn MLS Board of Directors.

They will also have a different dues structure, paying a $750 initiation fee and $1,500 in annual dues. Additionally, each agent listed under the subsidiary broker’s license will pay $395 in annual dues.

Dues for shareholders will remain the same at $360 annually for brokers and $180 annually for agents under their licenses.

Brooklyn MLS CEO Richard Schulhoff said the change is an attempt to boost membership, particularly among brokers who are just starting out and may find the $20,000 price tag for a share of stock too expensive. Ideally, subsidiary members will see the value of the MLS and become stockholder members after one or two years, he said.

The news comes on the heels of Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and the Long Island Board of Realtors’ announcement earlier this month that they plan to merge their MLS systems into a single entity that would cover the entire metro area. At the time, HGAR’s CEO Richard Haggerty told The Real Deal that their move was part of a nationwide trend of creating larger, regional MLS systems.

TRD profiled Brooklyn MLS last month, examining its growth in recent years and whether it would be able to sustain this going forward. The group operates independently from larger organizations like the Real Estate Board of New York and the National Association of Realtors, and its membership has jumped from roughly 2,700 to 4,100 over the past five years.

It draws its strength from neighborhoods deeper in the borough, such as Bay Ridge and Midwood, while neighborhoods closer to Manhattan such as Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights are more dominated by REBNY’s Residential Listings Service.