It’s only getting worse for rental brokers. In summer of 2017, StreetEasy upset boatloads of New York City real estate agents when it introduced a daily fee for rental listings. Now it’s upping the cost.
The portal will charge $4.50 per rental listing per day, up from $3, StreetEasy’s general manager Matt Daimler wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. The price increase will be effective on Jan. 1, the company said.
As it did a year ago, StreetEasy said the move was rooted not in money but in cleaning up stale or fraudulent listings to provide a better consumer experience. According to Daimler, the portal has seen a 60 percent drop in complaints about fraudulent listings since the initial fee went into effect. He also claimed there has been a 40 percent uptick in messages sent to rental listings.
The move by the Zillow Group-owned firm to start charging for rental listings in July 2017 drew immediate backlash. Within 24 hours, the number of rentals posted on StreetEasy’s platform had plummeted 55 percent to about 14,000. But it adeptly maneuvered around what was a surprisingly unified brokerage community, cutting individual deals with some of the city’s biggest brokerage firms. Realogy, for example, struck a multiyear pact with StreetEasy to cover the costs of posting rental and sales listings for its agents.
Many smaller firms and agents have been forced to play ball with the listings goliath, which claims that 85 percent of renters used StreetEasy, Zillow, Trulia or Hotpads in the last year.
“The reality is that StreetEasy, right now, is the biggest platform. As a broker, there’s no other choice,” Keller Williams NYC’s Stan Broekhoven told The Real Deal in July 2018. Brokers, he said, are generally spending a few hundred dollars a month for listing fees.
As of Tuesday afternoon, StreetEasy had nearly 17,400 rental listings across the five boroughs.
Starting in February, the $4.5o daily fee will also apply to Naked Apartments, which Zillow acquired for $13 million in 2016.
Stay tuned for updates.