Remember the happy day when we learned that REBNY plans to make New York City listings publicly available online? We should have known it was never going to be that simple. Curbed has anonymous information that a mutiny of some independent and smaller REBNY members is brewing. Curbed was forwarded the following:
REBNY RLS PUBLIC WEB PORTAL
Whereas REBNY is organized to represent the best interests of its Member firms, and,
Whereas the proposed RLS Public Web Portal appears to serve only the interests of the largest Member firms, and
Whereas the decision to embark on this project was neither transparent nor democratic, therefore
We the undersigned REBNY Residential Broker Members hereby demand that the Board immediately cease plans to implement this Portal and instead seek further discussions with the members, after which the proposed plan would be approved or rejected by a majority vote of all Member firms.
My knee jerk reaction: I am so sick of these smaller firms bitching and moaning about the bigger fish. Smaller firms are SCARED!
Although the Real Estate Board of NY intends to make ALL member (including the small firms) listings available on one site, the smaller firms continue to resist. My speculation is that in many cases the smaller firms have little to offer clients other than “information," a reality that threatens to make them obsolete. They simply can’t compete with the marketing goliaths that have the largest part of the market locked up.
Now that the listings are becoming public, firms that aren’t good at much besides sharing listings are losing their sacred stronghold on information.
I suggest that these firms find a way to exploit their small size and focus more on the advantages (not many but some) of working with a boutique firm and release their information hostage.
By the way, I frequently see some of these smaller firms exhibiting larger firms’ properties on their web sites. To the opponents of public information… stop the bellyaching and start providing a significant service to earn your commission. Then, and only then, will you have nothing to worry about.
UPDATE: More on this topic.