Four months after Douglas Elliman launched its new online agent platform, a Chicago-based software company is suing the brokerage for allegedly ripping off its technology.
In a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court Wednesday, the company, Go One, claims that it is owed more than $208,850.
According to the complaint, Go One had a handshake deal with Douglas Elliman to build an intranet system that would allow agents to share listings, store documents and work together online. The company claims it worked on the system from July 2013 until September 2015, but never received the promised payment.
“To add insult to injury, after refusing to compensate Go One for its services, Douglas Elliman rolled out a platform notably similar to that which Go One was creating for the Company,” the complaint reads.
Douglas Elliman declined to comment. The company launched its online platform, dubbed Douglas, in June. It gives agents access to an app store and online marketing tools, among other things.
Elliman, along with six other city-based brokerages, recently struck a deal for a backend data platform created by RealScout. Elliman also said last year that it hired StreetEasy to build a back-end portal for its agents. Douglas Elliman’s then-COO (and current president) Scott Durkin told The Real Deal in November that the company initially planned to build its own system, but concluded doing so could cost up to $5 million.
“We’re not a technology company, we sell real estate,” Durkin said. “If anyone thinks they can build [a system] internally and deliver it to agents in a timely manner — without it being obsolete by the time it’s ready — we weren’t prepared to attempt to do so.”