Starting January 1, 2020, StreetEasy the Zillow-owned New York City-based listing portal, will hike its fee for agents and brokers to post rental listings to $6 per day, while sales listings will remain free.
StreetEasy last raised the fee from $3 to $4.50 in December 2018, to promote better listing integrity and weed out fake listings that sometimes appear on the site. A spokesperson for Zillow reported that, in the past year, StreetEasy has seen an 83 percent reduction in the number of consumer complaints about fraudulent and stale listings and a 20 percent reduction in the number of days it takes to rent a unit.
“Data integrity is our foundation and at the core of why customers turn to StreetEasy,” Viet Shelton, a spokesperson for Zillow, said in a statement. “Our continued investments in this have dramatically improved the quality of listings on the rental network. With listings they can trust and engaging content, a growing number of renters continue to visit StreetEasy to find their next apartment, helping real estate professionals connect with more interested renters in less time.”
The company has launched a number of new initiatives in the past year, aimed at providing agents more services, including the recently revamped building experts program, where agents can advertise themselves as experts on certain buildings and give StreetEasy a referral fee if they close on one of the leads generated from the program.
Earlier this year, the company also released a new listing management platform and agent app called Listing Tools, designed at making it easier for agents to manually create and enter listings into the portal. The platform was built in partnership with Douglas Elliman.
StreetEasy, at the same time, has been transitioning to direct entry, no longer accepting feeds from brokerages. That transition doesn’t have a hard deadline – with many brokerages having already powered down the feeds. It’s a move that’s reportedly drawing the ire of some in the industry.
“We will not go backwards in our ability to quickly and accurately utilize technology to market and sell properties,” the email read, according to The Real Deal.
Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman also apparently criticized the decision, according to The Real Deal, citing multiple sources.
Shelton, in a statement, said changing the way StreetEasy receives listings was also about data quality.
“Our top priority is quality data and ensuring we continue to deliver information our customers – consumers and agents – can trust. For listing data in NYC, feed technology was a barrier to innovation and we had to evolve in order to solve the pain points of today’s buyer, seller, renter and agent. The evolution of listing entry on StreetEasy is fueled by some of the biggest frustrations we hear from our partners – around cumbersome listing entry, listing issues and clean data.
Quality data is at the center of not only a good consumer experience, but an agent and brokerage’s business as well.
Also, more than 50 percent of listings on StreetEasy are already entered through Agent Tools. The feedback is that it’s saving agents time — especially via the app — we’re seeing fewer errors and delays compared to listings from feeds, and able to deliver buyers and renters real-time updates. It was a natural next step for our customers to extend these for all agents.
Finally, just as before, when a NYC listing is published on StreetEasy it will automatically be updated across Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads and Naked Apartments.”
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