By Linda O’Flanagan
The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is going mainstream with a new one-stop internet program that will let buyers see every listing in the city.
The group’s Residential Board of Directors has voted to introduce IDX – Internet Data Exchange – for the REBNY Listing Service (RLS).
It’s a system that allows participating agents and brokerages to display their competitors properties’ on their websites, something that’s already available in most U.S. markets.
“This technology, widely used across the country, will simplify consumer searches by giving them a larger number of venues from which to search properties. And what eases the process for the consumer can only be good business for us,” said Frederick Warburg Peters, president of Warburg Realty and co-chair of the Residential Board.
Steven O. Goldschmidt, co-chair of the RLS Board of Directors, said REBNY has been studying the IDX system since its own listing service got a technological shot in the arm last Fall that gives it the capability to introduce the new feature.
The biggest difference consumers will find is that they don’t have to register to see anybody’s listings, a system already perfected by such third-party listing sites as StreetEasy that lets apartment hunters browse everything for sale in New York City anonymously.
“I’m so pleased that an IDX is now going to become a reality,ˮ said Barbara S. Fox, president of Fox Residential Group and a board member.
“This decision comes after years of working to find better, simpler, and more transparent ways for the consumer to access all listings in the city of New York,”
Over the next few months, REBNY will be offering its IDX to all of the city’s brokerages — they can chose to be part of it or not.
Agents affiliated with RLS firms that participate in IDX will, with their firm’s permission, be able to add it to their own individual websites. The system is a voluntary and reciprocal process, said Goldschmidt.
Diane M. Ramirez, CEO of Halstead Property, said IDX “has the potential of transforming the consumer search experience for anyone buying, selling, or renting New York City real estate.”
And Michael Bisordi, president of Tungsten Property and co-chair of the Residential Board of Directors, believes it is a win-win for everyone.
“Drawing high fidelity information from the source is generally better for all parties involved in what is one of the most robust real estate markets globally, and IDX will allow for this,” said Bisordi. The Board will be working with Stratus Data Systems — the company that currently operates the RLS’ data transmission engine — potential IDX vendors, and participating brokerages, brokers and agents, with the goal of having the system up and running by the fourth quarter of 2014.