The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is partnering with Homesnap to create the first-ever, consumer-facing search website and mobile app for its Residential Listing Service (RLS).
Called Citysnap, REBNY says it will include the most complete inventory of residential real estate listings in New York City when launched in Q2 of 2022.
The service will create the city’s first direct challenge to the ubiquitous StreetEasy, owned by Zillow, which has corned the market so far in New York but irked brokers with fees and agent promotion deals.
Currently 84 percent of New York City renters and 85 percent of buyers use a Zillow Group brand in their search. The company said all competition is good for the consumer.
“The increasing interest and investment in transforming the real estate industry underscores the incredible customer demand for an easier, tech-enabled transaction,” said spokesman Viet Shelton.
“Our platform arms consumers with information that puts them in control when finding their next home, which includes the publishing of accurate housing data and providing convenient and transparent tools to connect with real estate professionals – whether it’s a seller’s agent, buyer’s agent or rental agent. We do this because we know how important it is for all consumers to have someone in their corner directly representing their interests when shopping for a home.”
But Richard Ferrari, president & CEO of Brokerage, NYC and Northeast Region at Douglas Elliman, called Citysnap “a gamechanger.”
“The creation of Citysnap is a major inflection point for the New York City real estate industry,” he said. “For the first time ever, agents will have the full power of the RLS in the palm of their hands and consumers will have a single source of truth they can rely on when searching for a new home. It will be the ultimate gamechanger.”
In partnership with REBNY, Homesnap, a CoStar Group company, will provide a custom version of its national search portal specifically for New York City and exclusively feature data from REBNY’s RLS.
Citysnap will provide real-time residential listing data to brokers, agents, building owners, property managers and consumers. All leads will go to the listing broker or agent — with no additional cost or daily listing fee.
Spearheaded by REBNY’s RLS Board of Directors Co-Chairs, John Wollberg and Clelia Warburg Peters, the partnership will provide 12,000-plus New York City real estate professionals who are participating members of the RLS at REBNY with free access to Citysnap Pro, a professional version of Homesnap’s agent-only productivity mobile app.
“As a community, the real estate industry has worked together to create a tech-friendly solution that will give consumers the same real-time access to residential listings as agents. From its inception, the RLS was conceived as a tool to improve the home-searching process for agents, renters and buyers alike. The creation of Citysnap will take that vision to the next level,” said Pamela Liebman, president & CEO of The Corcoran Group.
“The Citysnap portal features the type of transparent real estate information New York City buyers, sellers, renters and agents are craving right now. Through this incredibly valuable platform, data integrity will no longer be an issue when it comes to searching for properties in the five boroughs,” said Bess Freedman, CEO of Brown Harris Stevens.
“The public portal for New York City’s RLS will improve access to listings for consumers and empower agents to grow their businesses,” said Rory Golod, President of Compass Tri-State. “We are very excited to deliver this innovative solution and the positive impact it will have on the New York real estate community.”
“New York City is the most dynamic and complex real estate market in the world. Our partnership with Homesnap underscores our commitment to providing our community with the robust tech solutions needed to close the real estate transactions that drive our local economy,” said REBNY President, James Whelan. “This extraordinary effort – driven by the industry, for the industry – represents a significant upgrade in both technology support for the industry and in transparency and accuracy of listing data that consumers and the entire residential real estate community can trust and adopt. We are excited to hit this significant milestone and we thank our members for their incredible involvement and thoughtfulness throughout this process.”
“CoStar Group believes that agents deserve to capture the value of their listings and that consumers should have access to complete, transparent and accurate information. We have a track record of building successful products for the real estate industry, and we are committed to investing the resources needed to make Citysnap successful in the New York City market,” said CoStar Group Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andy Florance. “REBNY spent years searching for the right technology partner to help it develop the right product for its members, and we are proud to be creating that product for New York City’s brokers, agents and consumers and to arm New York City with the most comprehensive, accurate and user-friendly home search platform for the area.”
REBNY’s RLS includes an average of more than 40,000 active listings from nearly 600 brokerage firms and property owners, representing a total of $50 billion worth of residential real estate in New York City.
The RLS provides the infrastructure that allows brokers to share residential property listing data with other brokerage firms and a network of third-party websites and products so consumers can find new homes.
The RLS provides up-to-date listing information available in the five boroughs because it comes directly from brokerages and property owners and is centralized through a single feed.
Launched in 2012, Homesnap combines people, property and data with enterprise-grade software for real estate professionals to run and grow their business. Homesnap features listings from over 240 MLSs throughout the country and is the public-facing brand of the Broker Public Portal, the collaborative nationwide venture between real estate brokerages and MLSs to provide a national home search experience that connects home searchers directly with the listing agent and delivers leads for free.