Dear Real Estate Agents,

Scrooge strikes again.  Listing fee increase of 50% on StreetEasy.  Fee increase of 13,400% on Naked Apartments.  

OMG.  StreetEasy decided to give agents an early holiday gift.  StreetEasy just announced that they are increasing the cost to list a rental from $3 a day to $4.50.  This is a 50 percent increase in just a year’s time.  It means that it will now cost $135 per month to list a rental with them, up from $90 per month.  OUTRAGEOUS.  Who treats their customers this way? A 50% increase in one year, after being free the 10 years before that?

By the way, it is even worse on Naked Apartments.  Naked Apartments was charging about $1 per rental per month. Thousands of agents use this platform.  Now that Naked Apartments is being folded into the same rental network, these users will also be paying $135 per rental per month.  For Naked Apartment users, this is a PRICE INCREASE OF 13,400%! 

But StreetEasy (accidentally) reveals that their recent business moves are already starting to hurt traffic to their website. 

In their email to agents, StreetEasy said that their traffic per rental listing is up 40% since launch of the $3 fee.  That’s way lower than it should be if you stop to think about it.  After all, don’t forget that the number of the rental listings on their website dropped about 50% over the same time period.   So, the traffic per listing should have roughly doubled if the number of listings on their site halved.  Instead the traffic per listing only went up 40%? For all of you math geeks out there, this means that you are receiving 1.4X the traffic instead of the expected 2X the traffic.  This implies a 30% decrease in overall rental traffic to their website since they launched the new PAY to PLAY rental platform in 2017.

What can we do as a community? 

Enough is enough. Change takes time but together with your help we can do it.  Consumers, agents, and landlords deserve a free and transparent real estate marketplace.  They deserve to not be beholden to a near monopoly who continues to extort hard working real estate agents.

At every chance you get, you should let your clients know about this.  They should know that not only does StreetEasy have only a fraction of the available rental inventory, but they will have even less listings once this new fee is implemented in January.  People should be using other websites (and brokers) to help search for rentals.

Here is another thing we can all do:
Make sure your managers “opt in” to all free transparent rental websites through the RLS.  Believe it or not, many brokerages have NOT yet opted in to all free rental websites.  Your listings may not be getting maximum exposure.   

We can never move from the status quo if we don’t give every new listing website a chance to succeed.

Let me explain further.  If you remember, I spoke a lot about how REBNY’s RLS would help “level the playing field”. One thing has made it much harder than I thought: REBNY’s RLS is an “opt in” only platform.  Only senior members of the individual brokerage can “opt in” to a particular listing website.  This means only one or two people in high positions at your firm have the power to “opt in” or not “opt in” to a particular website for any host of reasons.  These reasons may or may not be in your or your client’s best interest. While being a great first start,  the RLS has not yet been as “plug in” capable as it could be.

Given the state of the industry right now, agents (and their clients) have a right to be upset if managers were not doing everything in their power to list their exclusives on as many legitimate platforms as possible, especially if they are free!  Just ask me and I can tell you if your brokerage has opted in or not to Leasebreak and Frele, both free and extremely transparent websites.

Here’s what I’m doing…but need your help! 

1.Frele created an amazing searchable NYC Rental Guide you can use or send to your clients (  Free of course. 

This rental guide is a free “broker friendly” NYC rental guide ( with over 40 NYC rental articles and videos. You can use it yourself to brush up on rentals or send it to your clients to get them up to speed.  Just type in relevant keywords and the articles pop up! Feel free to comment and add your expertise on ANY article and maybe you can get new business from prospective clients (Some of the articles get great traffic).   

Reminder: What is Frele?  (Pronounced “Freely”)  As a reminder, with the help and feedback from many of you, we created a rental website Frele ( with a 4 Point Pledge ( including the promise to always be a free place to list your exclusives.  Our primary mission is to honor and protect the integrity of the real estate marketplace.  Use the purple feedback button on any page to send me feedback on  Frele and let’s continue to build a great site together.  If it makes no money, so be it.  Principles sometimes come first.     

2. For free, continue to use, the #1 short term rental website for short term rentals, leasebreaks and shares

Almost all of you know that Leasebreak is the #1 “go to” marketplace to post and search rentals for under 12 months, leasebreaks, and shares.  We also get some traffic on standard 12 month listings.  All free of course.

3. Move over Naked Apartments.  We developed the best program to get rental exclusives or work with renters.  

Seriously, agents rave about this program.  We have a very unique, incredibly fair, and low cost way to help you get rental exclusives and work with renters through our Special Lead Program.  We now have over 600 agents signed up.  If you are interested you can try it out and get a free lead by clicking here and scrolling down.

The fun is just getting started.  And with your help, and with our absolute pledge of always being free and transparent ( we can bring integrity back to New York City Real Estate, one listing at a time!

Phil Horigan
Leasebreak: We are #1 in shorter term rentals but have everything
Frēlē: A just launched honest and free real estate marketplace


Philip Horigan is the founder of - a leading marketplace for rentals in NYC, founded in 2013. He launched Frēlē - a more comprehensive NYC rental marketplace - in May 2018 with a 4 point pledge ( Phil has been a New York City real estate agent for 14 years working for some of the top firms in the city. He became an independent broker in early 2017 so that he can focus more on his entrepreneurial endeavors. Phil believes strongly in building businesses in an ethical and transparent way.

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