OLR launches public listing portal to tackle “marginalization” of agents

Linecity gives agents full control over listings, the company says
By Meenal Vamburkar | March 21, 2019 01:00PM

OLR President Jonathan Greenspan and the Linecity website (Credit: LinkedIn and Linecity)

As agents’ frustration with listings portals continue, On-Line Residential has launched a consumer-facing marketplace for residential listings.

The website, dubbed Linecity, promises to give agents full control over their listings.

“We’ve seen growing frustration with the digital landscape and the marginalization of the agent,” OLR President Jonathan Greenspan said in the statement. “With our deep industry experience and the robustness of our historical database, we feel that we’re in an optimal position to serve this market.”

As of the first day of Linecity’s soft launch, Greenspan said the portal has more than 16,000 listings — and expects that number to grow over the next 90 days as the company seeks to make more partnerships in the industry. There is no charge for agents to use the platform.

OLR has been a central data provider for residential brokers — and helps to manage listings and send them into the RLS. It also lets clients track deals completed by a firm, office, team and agent. The firm said roughly 12,000 agents use OLR.

Linecity gives the company a public-facing platform. The company touted Linecity’s commitment to “sanctity of the relationship between the agent and their listing.” Brokers will have full control over listings and leads will be directed to individual agents.

Greenspan didn’t directly comment on StreetEasy, but said Linecity is “the natural evolution of our product and market conditions.” The company is “responding to the broad demands of the industry,” he said.

The launch comes as the city’s brokerage community has become increasingly frustrated with the accuracy of data as well as Zillow Group’s StreetEasy. Its Premier Agent advertising program, in particular, has generated complaints that the portal diverts leads away from the listing agent. Earlier this year, when StreetEasy launched Agent Spotlight, a paid program that allows brokers to bypass Premier Agents, that was also met with criticism.

When it launched in 1995, OLR was the first to offer an electronic platform for sharing residential listings. As the marketplace has become more competitive, the company has made changes. Last year, OLR beefed up its development team and added real-time push notifications to its mobile listing tool.