Compass joins nascent New York MLS

Move comes amid fresh backlash between NYC brokers and StreetEasy
By E.B. Solomont | February 11, 2019 07:00AM

Compass CEO Robert Reffkin and New York MLS Jim Speer (Credit: iStock and New MLS Info)

Compass is joining the nascent New York MLS amid the brokerage industry’s latest dustup with StreetEasy.

The SoftBank-backed firm plans to announce today that its listings will appear on NewYorkMLS.com, a new multiple listing service that’s attempting to gain a stronghold in New York City — a market that has for years lacked such a system. Compass also feeds its listings to the Real Estate Board of New York’s residential listing service (RLS) and will continue to do so, sources said.

Robert Reffkin, Compass’ CEO, said in a statement that by participating in the New York MLS, Compass aimed to help agents showcase their listings to “millions of new consumers.” Compass’ listings will be automatically imported to the New York MLS, which displays listings on NewYorkMLS.com.

With 810 listings valued at $2.21 billion, Compass was No. 3 on The Real Deal‘s recent ranking of New York City firms with the highest dollar volume of listings. (The ranking was based on a one-day snapshot of listings in November.)

The New York MLS is less than a year old. It was formed last year by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and the Long Island Board of Realtors, which merged their MLS systems into a single entity that includes the entire metro area, including the five boroughs.

New York MLS currently claims to have 40,000 members with approximately 60,000 active listings across Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley.

“We built NewYorkMLS.com because Manhattan brokers told us they needed accurate data, and a means to market their listings to consumers where the listing broker is always the star of the show,” CEO Jim Speer said in a statement.

New York City is one of the few (if only) major markets in the U.S. that does not currently have an MLS system and the last attempt to create one here occurred nearly two decades ago.

But over the past two years, as brokers have clashed publicly with Zillow Group and StreetEasy, some have renewed calls for a multiple listing service. Last year, REBNY syndicated the RLS, which serves as a de facto MLS. But StreetEasy has refused to accept the RLS feed. As of last month, StreetEasy is also encouraging agents to manually input listings via a new Listing Tools application.

Last month, Reffkin called for one national MLS — instead of 634 separate MLS systems. Over the past few years, the National Association of Realtors pumped at least $15 million into building one, called Upstream, but NAR called it quits on the controversial project late last year.