REBNY rallies members to fight proposed cap on rental broker fees

Group sent out petition, request for broker stories

New York /
Mar.March 01, 2019 02:30 PM

John Bank and Keith Powers (Credit: Larry Ford, YouTube, and iStock)

The Real Estate Board of New York is urging its members to sign a petition against a proposed bill that would dramatically slash rental broker fees.

An email blasted out by the co-chairs of REBNY’s Residential Board of New York asks its members to help “fight Intro. 1423, the proposed legislation that would put residential agents out of business.” The message refers to a bill put forward by Manhattan Council member Keith Powers, which seeks to cap broker fees at one month’s rent. That would mean, in some cases, brokers going from a 15 percent cut of annual rent for their services to roughly 8.3 percent.

The email, sent out by co-chairs, Stribling President Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan and Tungsten Partners founder Michael Bisordi, asks members to contact the bills’ sponsors and their local council member and to send stories of how they’ve guided renters through the process of finding an apartment.

Ellen Cohen, an agent with Stribling, said the bill doesn’t recognize the amount of leg work and research that goes into being a residential broker in New York.

“As an outsider, it’s very easy to judge what brokers do,” she said. “It’s a little bit frustrating when other people are trying to decide what we are worth.”

She added that commissions are often shared with other brokers and with the brokers’ firm.

“I need every penny I make,” she said. “I’m out there hustling every day.”

The bill is part of larger package of legislation that seeks to cut down on initial payments required of renters. A separate measure would limit security deposits to one month’s rent, while another would allow tenants to pay it in six monthly installments. Powers told TRD last month that broker fees as they stand are a financial strain and a hefty upfront cost for New Yorkers.

“There are a significant number of apartments that you have to commit to paying a fee before even seeing an apartment,” he said. He added, however, that he is sensitive to concerns about the reduction of income for brokers and will engage in conversations on “how to best move forward.”

The broker fee bill, which was introduced earlier this month, already has 25 sponsors.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
John Banks
High expectations: A look at John Banks’ 4 years at REBNY
High expectations: A look at John Banks’ 4 years at REBNY
John Banks
John Banks to step down as REBNY president
John Banks to step down as REBNY president
REBNY Awards
Newmark Knight Frank wins REBNY retail award for Alamo Drafthouse deal in FiDi
Newmark Knight Frank wins REBNY retail award for Alamo Drafthouse deal in FiDi
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty; iStock)
Investment sales fell by half in December to finish year down 48%
Investment sales fell by half in December to finish year down 48%
(Illustration by The Real Deal)
Americans bought 5.6M homes last year — the most since the bubble
Americans bought 5.6M homes last year — the most since the bubble
Randy Mastro and 21 East 83rd Street (Photos via Getty; Google Maps)
Former deputy mayor Randy Mastro, lawyer in Lucerne controversy, lists UES home
Former deputy mayor Randy Mastro, lawyer in Lucerne controversy, lists UES home
Compass CEO Robert Reffkin and REBNY president James Whelan (Getty; Whelan by Anuja Shakya; iStock)
REBNY slaps Compass with $250K fine
REBNY slaps Compass with $250K fine
Overall, the number of housing units that started construction last year was up 7 percent from 2019. (iStock)
Residential construction had busiest year since 2006: MBA
Residential construction had busiest year since 2006: MBA
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...