According to a recent article by the Real Deal, StreetEasy®, a Zillow Group-owned New York City real estate portal, has threatened to remove Douglas Elliman’s rental listings from their portal.
Sources tell RISMedia that an email notice to Douglas Elliman agents warned of a potential impact to rental listings on StreetEasy—and its NYC rental Network, which also comprises Naked Apartments®, Hotpads®, Zillow® and Trulia®—due to an ongoing contract dispute between the two organizations. However, sources say they hope to resolve the issue before any impacts occur.
StreetEasy has sparked controversy over the past several years with brokerages after launching its Premier Agent service, and then again when it cut off automatic feeds, requiring agents to manually update their listings and provide copies of their exclusive rental agreements to verify the accuracy of data. StreetEasy now charges agents $6 per day, per listing.
In an email obtained by the Real Deal, StreetEasy reportedly stated “Douglas Elliman agents will no longer be able to create or publish new rental listings.”
Douglas Elliman called StreetEasy’s threat “heavy handed,” adding that the brokerage was still negotiating “some aspects” of their relationship, according to an internal email to agents obtained by RISMedia.
The email also stated the team was making “great progress” in negotiations with StreetEasy.
“StreetEasy values relationships with all our partners, who are critical to achieving our shared goal of helping NYC buyers, renters and sellers find their next home. Unfortunately, we’re engaged in an ongoing contract dispute with Douglas Elliman, which may impact their agent’s ability to access StreetEasy’s rental platform if the dispute is not resolved by June 19, when the contract may be terminated,” a StreetEasy spokesperson told RISMedia.
“To be clear, this is not our preferred outcome,” they added. “We know that StreetEasy is a valuable marketing tool for agents and a trusted resource for consumers to find the latest listings and information about New York City real estate. We are committed to ongoing conversations with Douglas Elliman and sincerely hope we can find a swift resolution before any impact on agents’ access to the Rental Network occurs.”
During a panel discussion moderated by RISMedia president and CEO John Featherston, held at the 11th Annual NYC Real Estate Expo in October 2019, panelists discussed the pain points associated with real estate portals like StreetEasy. Panelists argued these companies have been charging brokers for their own data, and also setting a precedent with buyers that the brokerage is inefficient.
“We keep giving them our money. If we stop, things could change,” said panelist Heather McDonough Domi, chairperson of the New York Residential Continuum (NYRAC).
Douglas Elliman announced a partnership with StreetEasy in 2017 in order to develop an exclusive listing entry platform that would allow Douglas Elliman agents to input, manage and market their own listings on the platform. The exclusive platform, however, never materialized. The company also joined StreetEasy’s Premier broker program in 2017.