Historically, the primary reason StreetEasy is a top source for buyers and renters to find a new home is that they cover the entire NYC residential market with all the feeds they receive from the brokerage community. This all changed yesterday. StreetEasy will no longer be the sole source for residential rental inventory for the Manhattan market. With StreetEasy now charging landlords and brokers to post their listings on their digital platform, there has been a substantial drop in their inventory.
On Tuesday, July 18, StreetEasy put in place a $3/day tariff for each rental listing on StreetEasy. So only those properties which pay to advertise are shown on the StreetEasy platform. What does this mean? Well, about 37% of the market will not be found on Streeteasy. However, it is more than that; the units that are being advertised are the more expensive properties on the market, in my opinion. These are the ones that the landlords and brokers generate a larger commission, and therefore there is less friction to paying the fee charged by StreetEasy. For 13 years, StreetEasy was known as a place to make a deal, a true source not controlled by a brokerage firm, landlord or the almighty dollar. Now, StreetEasy has done an 180 on the industry.
StreetEasy came into existence right after the Freedom of Information Act was passed. They leveraged that new legislation to bring transparency to the market. The entire brokerage community bought in and used this open platform as a centralized data source. Today, there is no free information. It’s pay to play and the price will continue to rise over time to appease shareholders, the best deals will be hidden again and the client will bear the cost and true burden.
To see the substantial drop in listings on StreetEasy, look at the numbers below. These numbers are real-time:
7/18/17 (first day for new SE rental policy):
- All Manhattan rentals: 15,198 (today 8,757)
- Manhattan 2,500-4,000: 6,618 (today 3,394)
- Manhattan 4,500-6,000: 2,012 (today 1,245)
- Manhattan over 6,000: 2,628 (today 1,544)
7/19/17: this should reflect a more normal inventory, after the one-day disruption.
- All Manhattan rentals: 9,815 (35% drop from 7/17/17)
- Manhattan 2,500 – 4,000: 4,378 (34% drop)
- Manhattan 4,500 – 6,000: 1,374 (32% drop)
- Manhattan over 6,000: 1,474 (44% drop)
All of this disruption has created new opportunities. REBNY is coming out with an RLS data feed which will be piped into over 30 digital real estate assets. Realtor.com and Apartment.com see this disruption as the perfect opportunity to wedge their way into the NYC residential marketplace and unseat StreetEasy as the premier digital platform. In the short-term, the big winners will be the sellers of residential real estate marketing assets in NYC since many different corporate factions will be flooding the market with advertising dollars. If you want any additional information please contact Brian Meier at 212.500.7054 or Doug MacFaddin at 212.500.7017.