StreetEasy, Citysnap, and Pocket Listings

From The Real Deal:

In 2020, the Zillow-owned platform had told agents to post their sales listings on its site within 24 hours of advertising them elsewhere or they could lose professional access to the site. The new policy bans the offending listings, not the agents, meaning they can still post other properties on StreetEasy.

Although the revised policy is less aggressive than the old one, agents still don’t like it. For StreetEasy, it is part of a balancing act of maintaining its dominant position and maximizing revenues without upsetting agents — who are customers — too much.

“This is them trying to create an ironclad de facto MLS,” said Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty. “They are seeking to make StreetEasy as powerful as possible.”

Hmm. So… StreetEasy was implementing its own version of NAR’s Clear Cooperation Policy? It has now walked that back to banning just the listing, not the individual agent, but that’s StreetEasy trying to create a de facto MLS?

I don’t know about that. Seems to me StreetEasy was already a de facto MLS back in 2020, and it’s easing things up in 2022 after a ton of bitching from agents and brokers.

I imagine that the upcoming Citysnap (the CoStar partnership with REBNY) website will have to have something similar in place if it’s going to have the “most complete inventory of residential real estate listings in New York City.” Then again, it’ll be interesting to see how the “Your Listing, Your Lead” policy interfaces with any kind of a requirement to enter listings into Citysnap. Fun times are ahead.

Fact is, pocket listings are hell for aggregators of any kind. They haven’t figured out how to deal with it anymore than the MLS has figured out how to deal with it. Balancing that with agent and consumer demand for pocket listings (and yes Virginia, there are valid reasons for consumers to want pocket listings) will be difficult whether you’re an MLS, Zillow, or CoStar.



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Rob Hahn

Rob Hahn

Managing Partner of 7DS Associates, and the grand poobah of this here blog. Once called "a revolutionary in a really nice suit", people often wonder what I do for a living because I have the temerity to not talk about my clients and my work for clients. Suffice to say that I do strategy work for some of the largest organizations and companies in real estate, as well as some of the smallest startups and agent teams, but usually only on projects that interest me with big implications for reforming this wonderful, crazy, lovable yet frustrating real estate industry of ours.

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