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REBNY Web Portal Mutiny Brewing?

A few weeks back, the Real Estate Board of New York announced with some fanfare that it planned to introduce its own listings metasearch service—a website where, get this, you'd be able to search for listings from all the major (and minor) players on the same site.

Yet even as we prepare to welcome REBNY to the brave new world of 1997 comes word from rebel forces within the industry that all is not well. For those who must, a shadowy informant weighs in, including news of an "unprecedented private gathering" today among the heads of the major independent brokerages. Ahead, the full bile.

Writes our informant:

REBNY recently announced its public web portal, which will have, unlike the NYTimes, Craigslist, Trulia etc., all of its 7,000+ listings available free online with no duplicate or fake listings. This, plus REBNY’s seven figure R&D and advertising budget likely makes the Portal’s existence one of, if not the, most significant and disruptive internet related events in New York City real estate.

Unfortunately, the form and funding of the Portal was a forgone conclusion and was clearly never meant by REBNY to be up for a vote by the constituency. As a result, there is major dissent within the brokerage community, most of which fear that the few largest corporate brokerages are gearing the Portal towards their unsanctioned advantage without clearance of the many, or any due process. Adversaries are aligning in defiance, as showcased by an unprecedented private gathering of the heads of the major independent brokerages this Tuesday. As it seems a large-scale event is brewing, we thought Curbed should be aware.

PS. We have included a recent widely distributed petition from Chris Shiamili, Principal Broker of Ardor Realty.

And indeed, they did:
To: Steven Spinola
Eileen Spinola
Diane Ramirez
Fred Peters

Petition
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.

What's fascinating to us, admittedly looking at it as outsiders, is that one might have reasoned that a search portal would have benefitted smaller firms by putting their results right alongside those of the big guys. But clearly, something must have hindered that reality. What of it?
· NYC Flirts with Open Listing Service (Sort Of) [Curbed]