Citing an increase in traffic and decrease in rental time, StreetEasy announced it is raising rental listing fees beginning January 1, 2020.
“The value of the rental network continues to grow and we’re adjusting prices to reflect that,” said a spokeswoman.
According to the Zillow-owned site, agent messages have increased 25 percent on the NYC Rental Network compared to 2018 and the number of days it takes to rent a unit has fallen by 20 percent.
First introduced in 2017 with a $3 per day price tag, the cost increased to $4.50 last year. Starting January, the new price will be $6 per rental listing per day.
Rental agents are angry, according to David Schlamm, president of City Connections Realty, who said StreetEasy’s dominance of the New York City listings market was a result of the industry’s own lack of foresight.
“For many years, the industry watched as StreetEasy built its platform using our information. Now it almost feels like a monopoly,” said Schlamm.
Efforts by both REBNY and the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors — as well as upstart ventures such as Igluu and Localize.city — have so far been unable to break StreetEasy’s grip on the local listings market.
Said Schlamm, “Years ago, we were all paying huge amounts of money to newspapers like the New York Times then NYT.com to advertise our listings and then along came this free service that really worked. The industry should have wondered then how long it would take to monetize it.
“In a perfect world, a single MLS that’s open and available to everyone at no cost — just like every other market in the US — would certainly solve the problem,” said Schlamm. “But until then we are at the mercy of the dominant player and the question we are already asking is ʻWhat are they planning to do next?ʼ”
Steve Kalifowitz, president of Localize — which lists apartments attached to a data engine detailing everything from nearest subway to local construction plans — said, “No matter what others in the industry do to nickel and dime their customers, we’ve built the first real estate marketplace that is founded on the principles of transparency, empowerment and truth. We don’t play the bait and switch game.”