Halstead joins StreetEasy boycott
Firm to send sale and rental listings exclusively to REBNY feed
Halstead Property became the latest residential brokerage to cut off StreetEasy on Wednesday, discontinuing its automatic feed to the listing portal.
In an email to agents, Halstead said it would send all sale and rental listings to the Real Estate Board of New York’s new residential listing system (RLS), which has worked out several partnerships to send listings to third-party sites — excluding StreetEasy, which has refused to take the RLS, arguing that doing so could compromise its data quality.
“We strongly believe the RLS syndication is an effective tool for streamlining the process of sending the most accurate and consistent data to listing aggregator websites,” said Halstead CEO Diane Ramirez. “StreetEasy does not accept the RLS and, while Halstead has sent listings to the site on behalf of our agents in the past, we will discontinue our automatic feed of sale and rental listings.” Agents who want to send new listings to StreetEasy may do so, and Halstead’s back-end listing system will have an “opt-in” for those agents.
Halstead has nearly 1,000 active sales listings and more than 600 rental listings in New York City. Earlier this month Ramirez indicated her intention to cut off StreetEasy, saying that once additional aggregators start accepting the RLS, Halstead would “pivot” to the RLS. Although several major firms dumped StreetEasy on Aug. 1, Ramirez — who sits on the broker advisory board of Move Inc., the parent company of Zillow rival Realtor.com — explained the decision to wait a few weeks this way: “While we do not agree with the different directions [StreetEasy] has taken, our commitment, first and foremost, is to our agents and their clients.”
To date, REBNY has worked out deals with several portals to take the RLS feed, including Realtor.com and Homes.com, as well as local startups like RentHop, LeaseBreak, LeaseHop and Whichdoor. In addition, the RLS funnels listings to aggregators through two administrative hubs.
Along with Halstead, at least 10 other firms have stopped sending sales listings to StreetEasy — or said they plan to do so — including Brown Harris Stevens, Town Residential, Compass, Stribling & Associates, Warburg Realty, Fox Residential, Kleier Residential, Leslie J. Garfield, Bond New York and Tungsten. Individual agents at those firms can choose to update their own listings.
Over the past few weeks, StreetEasy has reached out agents whose firms said they won’t feed listings to the site, urging them to break with their company and post listings themselves. Nearly a third of sales listings from four major firms — BHS, Town, Compass and Stribling — were manually updated by listing agents as of Aug. 9, according to StreetEasy data provided to The Real Deal. On the rental side, nearly two-thirds of listings from the four firms were manually updated, StreetEasy said.
But some brokers who aren’t opting in say StreetEasy is misleading consumers by denoting listings as “no longer available,” even if they are on the market.