Dear Fellow Real Estate Agents,

As you know I have written about StreetEasy many times before.  But this time is different. A legal line may have been crossed.

Imagine if Amazon punished you for listing your product on Ebay FIRST…

Imagine if StubHub punished you for listing your tickets on Craigslist FIRST…

Imagine if StreetEasy punished you for listing your apartment on your brokerage website or the RLS FIRST…

Oh wait, you don’t have to imagine. That is exactly what StreetEasy is doing.  If an agent posts their listing on another website FIRST, StreetEasy will punish the agent by not accepting that listing.

Obviously, StreetEasy recognizes the single biggest threat to their business would be if buyers started their searches on competitive websites (i.e. brokerage websites, other listing platforms, the RLS)

So StreetEasy is looking to control this, by strong-arming agents to ensure listings are not posted on competitive websites first.

Let’s call this what it is: RESTRAINT OF TRADE.

Does anyone actually think this is acceptable? Isn’t StreetEasy flexing its “monopolistic” muscles to restrain competition? Is this even legal?

Agents should be able to advertise where they and their clients see fit without fear of retribution from a powerful bully seeking to secure its dominance in the NYC listings marketplace.  

StreetEasy gives a very disingenuous justification for this policy stating that New Yorkers “deserve access to the most accurate and up-to-date listings”

But by punishing agents and blacklisting their postings, isn’t StreetEasy denying New Yorkers “access”?

I believe this is mostly a threat and a bluff.  Yes, StreetEasy will likely “punish” a few agents, hoping the scare tactics frighten others.

But they can’t punish every agent.  Because it would mean StreetEasy would have LESS listings, the very problem they are trying to avoid.

I hope agents and REBNY can take advantage of this critical moment and push back on StreetEasy’s obvious attempt to restrain competition.

Where and when an agent posts a listing should be based on what is in the best interest of the client, not what is in the best interest of StreetEasy. 

This time, I think StreetEasy has gone way too far.

Phil Horigan: Founder, Podcast HostFounder, in shorter leases and pioneered the Special Lead Program: a great way for agents to get rental exclusives and work with renters

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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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