Brokers in the New York metro area are taking on the real estate industry’s 800-pound gorilla.
Realtors in Westchester and Long Island, who merged their multiple listing systems in 2018, launched a consumer-facing portal on Monday.
OneKey MLS, which debuted last year as an MLS for agents, currently has more than 40,000 listings from Montauk to Manhattan to Monticello, said the group’s CEO Jim Speer, speaking at a Zoom news conference to introduce the site.
“In this day and age, accurate data is everything,” added Richard Haggerty, president of OneKey MLS and CEO of Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, who said listing data in New York City comes directly from brokerage firms.
OneKey executives did not mention StreetEasy or its parent company Zillow by name, but they cast their site as a place where agents will retain control of their listings. The relationship between New York City’s brokerages and StreetEasy has been tense since 2017, when the listings portal introduced Premier Agent, an ad program that lets agents advertise to be a buyer’s agent.
“The consumer will never be offered pay-to-play agents,” said Leah Caro, the chairperson of OneKey’s board of managers and president of Park Sterling Realty in Bronxville.
Like aggregator sites, OneKey offers a slew of information about each listing, including neighborhood data translated into 20-plus languages and information about recently sold properties nearby. Users can save favorites, sign up for updates and see when a listing was last updated. (OneKey syncs with local MLS systems every five minutes.)
In the five boroughs, where data comes directly from brokerage firms, users can see a unit’s block and lot number, as well as the unit’s sales history from ACRIS. Users across the metro area can also schedule a tour from the OneKey site.
The site currently has 24,432 for-sale listings. By comparison, StreetEasy has 15,258 for-sale listings in New York and New Jersey.
A deeper search, however, shows StreetEasy still has the upper hand in Manhattan — by a lot. OneKey currently has 1,093 for-sale listings compared to 6,616 listings on StreetEasy.
New York City brokerage firms have clashed publicly with StreetEasy over the site’s agent advertising programs. Last year, StreetEasy said it would stop accepting brokerage feeds, and instead encouraged agents to send listings directly.
Many New York firms already cut ties with StreetEasy, instead sending listings to the Real Estate Board of New York’s syndicated Residential Listing Services. The RLS has hinted at launching a consumer site but hasn’t gone public with concrete plans to do so.
Haggerty said OneKey does not get an RLS feed. Instead, it gets listings directly from major firms, including Compass, Keller Williams and several others. Agents from Douglas Elliman and the Corcoran Group have also shared listings with OneKey, according to the site.