By Richard Haggerty
Residential real estate brokers and agents face myriad challenges on a daily basis. And, with all of the issues disrupting the industry in New York City—rent regulations, caps on commissions, etc.—it’s clear our colleagues are getting bogged down in the process. They should at least have easy access to clean and accurate listings data.
But we know that’s not the case. In New York City, they suffer from data disorder. Disparate data continues to plague the industry and it’s the key driver of monetary and time drains for residential real estate professionals. This needs to change. The time has come for a unified regional multiple listing service.
We’re driving that change.
Our journey started nearly two years ago, when we realized the data void in Manhattan. We knew we needed to do a better job of leveraging the power of real estate data in New York City to the benefit of our members, as opposed to letting outside entities do it.
We met with the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island with the goal in mind to create a regional MLS for New York. We put together our leadership and quickly realized there were so many synergies that it really made sense. We want to make this work for the entire geography—one MLS to the benefit of our broker members and, consequently, the benefit of consumers.
Our efforts are coming to fruition. Our new MLS name has been announced, OneKey™ MLS, and the site will be going live by the end of this year. This is going to be a powerful regional MLS, which will empower our members and take advantage of the geography of New York City, the most powerful geography in the world.
The Multiple Listing Service exists in every other part of the country, every other urban area—and it’s something those real estate professionals take for granted. In Manhattan, brokers need to work that much harder because they don’t enjoy the same resource. And the consumers are really stuck right now. Everything that everyone takes for granted in other parts of the country—strong consumer-facing websites, MLSs that have accurate data, etc.—they don’t exist in Manhattan.
The new MLS will make it easier for brokers to easily access accurate, standardized data that covers the entire region, from the Hamptons through Manhattan and the boroughs into the Hudson Valley.
There are skeptics, of course. Many folks in Manhattan are very entrenched in doing business the way they’ve done business for a very long time. Some brokers are resistant to change, but that reluctance is eroding their business.
The status quo is not acceptable. If we cannot drive change to the benefit of our members, then we need to get into another business.
We’re encouraged by the visionaries, those who are helping turn the corner in Manhattan. Change is coming. Let’s embrace it and collaborate for the betterment of our industry.
Richard Haggerty is the CEO of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc. and president of OneKey™ MLS.