Dear Real Estate Agents,

The real estate agent is now much stronger.  Thanks StreetEasy!

The value the real estate agent provides has increased dramatically since StreetEasy lost its status as the “go to” real estate marketplace.  It became impossible for StreetEasy to remain the “go to” when they lost 50% of their rental listings and 30% of their sale listings 3 months ago.

So – thanks to StreetEasy – now there is one more reason to use a real estate agent:

The agent knows where to find all listings.  

But we as agents have to help get the word out and educate consumers about this.  After all, unlike agents the average consumer is not thinking about real estate every day.  This is where you come in…

How Two Agents Are Getting the Word Out
Here are just two simple examples (out of many) demonstrating how real estate agents are getting the word out about the changing landscape and how agents can add value.  If you have more examples, I would love to hear about them!

1. Kristin Hurd from Brown Harris Stevens
Several weeks ago Kristin Hurd and her team from Brown Harris Stevens posted this on Instagram.  Wow, what a great summary of the current situation and what a great way to educate clients, and make new ones!

2. Christine Toes from Compass
Christine Toes from Compass puts this message near her signature in every email she sends out. Great way to spread the word about the changing landscape!
“Did you know, StreetEasy no longer aggregates all of the listings in NYC? The New York Times is the “go-to” website once again! Or check out our site, Compass.com for all of New York City’s available homes.  

Some Agents Frustrated: Is Change Happening?
Some agents are frustrated because change is not happening fast enough.  Why is StreetEasy still the dominant player, they ask.

Well, despite tectonic shifts happening behind the scenes, StreetEasy WILL be the dominant player at least for a little while.  The main reason is because real estate is not a daily activity for most consumers (unlike agents) so it will take a while for consumers to figure out that the lack of inventory on StreetEasy is actually a “StreetEasy” problem as opposed to a “market” issue.

This is why it is so critical to educate clients and consumers like Kristin and Christine are doing.  Heck, if it makes it easier for you, feel free to copy and use any part of this newsletter (or any other past newsletters) as your own.  I am fine with it.  Whatever helps you!

Yes. Significant Change IS Happening.  
However, when you look at the dramatic changes in just the last few months, you can’t help but get excited about the prospects ahead.  Let’s have a quick look:

  • StreetEasy Website Traffic Down. StreetEasy’s traffic has declined every month since July, the month they instituted the monopoly tax on rentals (according to SimilarWeb, a company which tracks website traffic)
  • StreetEasy Inventory Still Way Down.  A lot of people thought by now brokers and listings would come back to StreetEasy in droves.  It hasn’t happened. StreetEasy’s inventory hasn’t changed much since the dramatic declines in July/August.
  • Brokers Unite Around RLS. Almost all brokerages have opted into RLS syndication within the last month, which is going to reshape the real estate landscape for years to come.
  • REBNY Builds Big Team. This year REBNY has dramatically beefed up their RLS department and their technology. Leasebreak has interacted with the new team many times and we are quite impressed.
  • The NY Times. The New York Times started taking the RLS feed this month and should be showing all of your listings. They used to be #1 in the city.  Give them some time.  They will be a force.
  • Realtor.com. Realtor has a lot of money and is making a real play to gobble up market share in NYC. They also don’t seem to like Zillow/StreetEasy very much. They could also be a force.
  • Don’t Mess With NYC Brokers. Many brokerage firms continue to refuse to pay the StreetEasy $3 daily monopoly tax on rentals or send them their sales listings.  This continues to have a dramatic effect and ensures competition will rise up.
  • Leasebreak.com + Others.  Leasebreak and other companies are working ferociously behind the scenes. For example, Leasebreak will launch a new product soon. Stay tuned!

So, the transformation is happening. I see positive steps every day.  But the big change will happen in months and years, not days and weeks.

At the end of the day there are HUGE consequences when a firm takes advantages of its customers, especially when most of those customers happen to be principled NYC real estate agents and brokerage firms…

…And more competition in the marketplace will ensure they never take advantage of us again. 

To remind you, here is the Facebook group where brokers discuss the current changing landscape and share tips.  The Facebook Group has almost 400 agents as members!

And here are my previous emails about the changing landscape:

Brokers Unite: RLS “Opt-In” Surges – September 26th, 2017
StreetEasy Bows To Corcoran (After Elliman) – September 8th 2017
Zillow/StreetEasy Stock Down 20% – August 17th 2017
5 Ways We Can Crush The StreetEasy Monopoly – August 3rd 2017
Agents To StreetEasy: No, We Don’t Need You – July 18th 2017
Our Response to StreetEasy’s Greed – July 13th 2017

Phil Horigan
Dedicated NYC Real Estate Agent for 13 Years
Founder, Leasebreak.com