Compass, the heavily funded real estate brokerage, has signed on to send its listings directly to New York MLS, the city’s only multiple listing service.

New York City has long been one of the only markets without a multiple listing service (MLS) but that finally changed in October with the launch of New York MLS. Compass, one of the city’s biggest real estate brokerages has signed on to send its listings directly to the nascent service.

Will others follow suit and adopt New York City’s first MLS with a consumer-facing site and, in the process, spurn StreetEasy, which has been the city’s de-facto public-facing MLS?

New York MLS was born out of a 2018 merger between the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service and the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island (MLSLI) and boasts that it’s the first Realtor-run MLS in New York City. The site currently has 40,000 active listings, but only 44 in Manhattan.

Different boroughs in New York City have multiple listing services, but this is the first one that covers all of New York City. Staten Island and Brooklyn have their own MLSs and Queens listings previously appeared on MLSLI.

Looking through the 44 listings, brokerages including Master Keys, Rock Realty, Manhattan Network and now Compass appear.

“We view Compass’s participation in New York MLS as a win for their clients, their fellow real estate professionals, and most of all, the Manhattan real estate market,” Jim Speer, CEO of New York MLS said in a statement. “We look forward to the day when other Manhattan brokerages join.”

Compass’ participation makes sense, as its CEO Robert Reffkin has long been a public advocate for stronger MLSs to get consumers off of listing portals, and even called for one unified national multiple listing service at Inman Connect in New York City in late January.

“At Compass we put our agents and their clients first,” Reffkin, said in a statement. “We are always looking for ways to give our agent’s clients the most exposure possible and this will help showcase their listings to millions of new consumers.”

Some of the industry’s biggest players in New York are absent from NewYorkMLS.com at this time, which has only been live since October. There’s no Corcoran, Douglas Elliman, Halstead, Stribling & Associates or Warburg Realty.

Listings from those companies, including Compass, populate StreetEasy, the consumer-facing portal owned by real estate technology giant Zillow. A spokesperson for StreetEasy did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

But many brokers were publicly critical of StreetEasy’s new listing tool, which was developed in a partnership with Douglas Elliman and unveiled last month, for agents to manually input their listings. For $333 per sales listing, each month, for three months, agents can be featured exclusively on their listing – essentially a workaround for Premier Agent, which allows agents to advertise buyer’s agent services on listings.

Frederick Warburg Peters, the CEO of Warburg Realty, was one of those that publicly spoke out against the new offering, telling Inman, that it was, “another example of StreetEasy’s lack of respect for the hard work that agents put in to acquire and market listings.”

That doesn’t mean he’s ready to run to New York MLS.

“Unless an MLS site is extremely well funded to promote their website, and unless that website has a great user experience and easily used analytics, they will simply become another also-ran in the debris field of data providers whose sites no one visits,” Peters told Inman.

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) currently has a listing service, but it’s not public-facing. The Residential Listing Service sends its listings to realtor.com, RentHop and Homes.com — but not StreetEasy.

“Manhattan does not need an internal MLS; that will add nothing to the sharing of information which already takes place through the Residential Listing Service (or RLS) powered through REBNY,” Peters said. “What we need here is a content-rich public facing site which can compete successfully with the national aggregators.”

A spokesperson from Halstead told Inman that the brokerage has no plans to send its listings to the New York MLS at this time and that REBNY’s RLS is far more robust.

Corcoran, Douglas Elliman and Stribling & Associates did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Although in an interview with Inman earlier this year, Corcoran CEO Pamela Liebman told Inman that online portals are their biggest competition going forward.

A REBNY source told Inman that, at this time, the association has no involvement with or plans with New York MLS currently, but had no knowledge of future plans.

REBNY, as noted above, does not syndicate its RLS feed to StreetEasy. The source told Inman that StreetEasy isn’t taking the feed, but REBNY is happy to work with StreetEasy on a way to get its RLS feed to the portal.

Update: Story updated to include information about borough-specific MLSs and a clarification about the public-facing nature of New York MLS’s website. Also includes a correction to specify that New York MLS currently has only 40,000 active listings, due to originally incorrect information supplied by New York MLS. 

Email Patrick Kearns

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