The Real Deal New York

Oxford Property Group cut off from RLS

DOS is looking into complaints about the 450-agent firm
By E.B. Solomont | June 20, 2018 05:00PM

Oxford Property Group’s Adam Mahfouda and Greg Harden (Credit: Oxford Property Group)

Oxford Property Group, a high-commission brokerage with 450 agents, has been abruptly cut off from the Real Estate Board of New York’s syndicated listing feed, The Real Deal has learned.

Oxford also dropped its REBNY membership in recent weeks, though it’s unclear whether the firm was asked to leave or opted out on its own terms.

But last week, the New York’s Department of State confirmed it is investigating complaints against the company. A spokesperson for REBNY declined to comment.

According to sources, Oxford agents who were not members of REBNY may have been accessing the residential listings service (RLS) in violation of the feed’s terms of use. Losing access to the RLS means Oxford cannot share its exclusives with other firms in the city via the REBNY feed.

After brokers input their listings, the RLS disseminates the information to other firms and to third-party portals like Realtor.com, the New York Times and others. (The Real Deal also plans to launch a portal.)

StreetEasy — the website with the biggest consumer following locally — does not accept the RLS, and some firms have opted to feed the RLS exclusively. Some agents at those firms have decided to break ranks and post their listings directly, however.

In an email, Oxford co-founder Adam Mahfouda said the RLS issue was sparked by a decision by some of his agents not to maintain their REBNY memberships — either because they work part-time or for other reasons.

“Since REBNY requires 100% participation to participate in the RLS, we are at this time not party to the RLS,” Mahfouda said. “We are working with our agents and with REBNY to resolve this matter.”

REBNY charges principal brokers $1,650 a year in dues, while sales representatives pay $325 a year.

Those membership fees include a dues increase approved in 2016 to fund a $1 million investment in the RLS. The syndicated feed officially launched this summer.

Oxford, which was started in 2010 by Mahfouda and Greg Harden, has more than 450 agents. It merged last year with a brokerage called the Hecht Group.

The firm — not to be confused with Toronto-based real estate investor Oxford Properties Group — offers agents high commission splits in exchange for fixed monthly fees ($349 monthly for 100 percent commission or $48 monthly for 90 percent).

Oxford claims it brokered $350 million worth of rentals and sales last year, up from $175 million in 2016. The firm has an office at 286 Fifth Avenue and recently expanded to White Plains.