New York, NY– In recent weeks, moves by StreetEasy and REBNY have rocked the brokerage industry. It all started months ago when StreetEasy introduced Premier Agent, a pay-to-play program that enabled agents to advertise on other agents sales listings, causing a backlash among brokers. Then, a few months later StreetEasy changed their rental listing model from free to paid, charging agents $3/day for each listing.
Just this month, REBNY countered with a new listing service of their own that aggregates all listings like an MLS, though it is not customer facing, so it’s impact is yet unclear. It is worth noting that all REBNY members already had access to every market listing through third party services such as OLR. But just as the dust is settling on that move, the story has taken another dramatic turn.
This week some big firms have announced they will opt out of sending their listing feed to Zillow, Trulia and StreetEasy – effectively leaving the most important person of all (the customer looking for an apartment) at a disadvantage. So what happens next?
Your guess is as good as anyone’s, but one thing is increasingly clear. The only person with both access to every listing and the ability to close a deal is the agent. Now more than ever, choosing a good agent is tantamount. Do your research and pick someone with valuable experience and a track record of personal integrity. While the listing game keeps changing, a good agent will be the one constant you can count on to be your ally through it all.