At long last, NYC is getting a regional MLS

The Long Island and Hudson Gateway entities are merging
By Meenal Vamburkar | September 26, 2018 01:15PM

(Credit: iStock)

The multiple listing services of Long Island and Hudson Gateway have merged to encompass roughly 40,000 real estate professionals in the New York City metro area.

The new entity, New York MLS, will serve Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, and Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Orange counties, according to a statement.

The move comes after discussions that began in 2017 about consolidating the services into one regional MLS, as The Real Deal reported. It’s expected to be fully operational some time next year.

Despite the volume of high-priced deals, New York City’s residential firms have never shared a central listings system. The industry took a stab at creating an MLS 17 years ago, but it didn’t work out. Earlier this year, the Real Estate Board of New York syndicated its listings feed, called the residential listings service (RLS) — and also planned to syndicate listings to consumer-facing websites.

“With the alliance of two successful MLSs, members gain entry to a vast selection of integrated technology tools and resources which will better serve their buyers and sellers,” Jim Speer, who was senior vice president of operations for MLSLI, said in the statement. He will be CEO of the new MLS.

The move towards building more encompassing MLSs is part of a wider trend. Last year, the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors absorbed the Manhattan Association of Realtors, whose membership had dwindled to about 100. And last week, a group of five listing services from California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Oregon and Utah announced that they would band together to share data.

Meanwhile, in New York, Zillow’s StreetEasy remains a popular, if not the most popular, place for agents to post their listings. Though it hasn’t been without its troubles lately. Some agents have been concerned about recent changes to the portal’s controversial advertising program, Premier Agent. Separately, Zillow sent an email to agents using the program last week, warning of scammers attempting for money in exchange for fake leads.

Brooklyn, for its part, has its own independent listing service. The Brooklyn MLS dominates the southern and eastern parts of the borough, and has seen a more than 50 percent jump in membership over the last five years. It has more than 4,100 agents.