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The New York Times and REBNY team up to showcase NYC real estate listings

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The real estate section's long history of paid listings is over

One month after the Real Estate Board of New York launched its long-in-the-works syndication service, known as the RLS, the group has announced a big partnership with one of the city's best-known listing marketplaces—though perhaps not one that you’d expect.

Starting this fall, the New York Times Real Estate section will feature residential listings from the five boroughs, provided by the RLS. By tapping into that feed—rather than charging brokerage firms to list on the Times, as has been its practice—the real estate section's decades-long history of paid listings is over.

"As the industry has gone to a free model, we've thought long and hard about how we can provide a better customer experience,” says Andy Wright, senior vice president of advertising for the paper. “Part of that is to have a comprehensive, complete set of listings … and putting agents, via their exclusives, directly in touch with their customers is part of this as well."

It’s also a boon for REBNY; its RLS feed, meant to streamline the process for sending rental and sale information to listings aggregators, does not have a consumer-facing website. Partnerships like this one, then, are crucial for its success. (The Gray Lady is also the most high-profile New York-focused outlet to sign a "direct feed" agreement with REBNY; other sites that use its listing service include,, RentHop, LeaseBreak, Whichdoor, LeaseHop, CampusCribz and YourNeighborhood.)

"REBNY will be responsible for coordinating and ensuring that the listings are consistent, clean, and without error," says REBNY president John Banks. "Once we were able to provide that quality feed, the Times—along with others—began a discussion with us about being able to accept the RLS to put it on their portals to ensure as broad and diverse listings as possible."

The Times is hoping that more listings mean more eyeballs, and more advertisers, freeing them from charging brokers to list their properties. That means consumers can expect a more robust selection to peruse through, including listings from smaller brokerages that previously could not afford to list through the Times. "In Manhattan we've already got a majority of the listings," says Wright, "But the REBNY feed will round that out and give us more comprehensive listings in the outer boroughs."

Reps for both REBNY and the Times glossed over the current tension between the brokerage community and aggregator StreetEasy, and how said tension may open up opportunities for another website to take StreetEasy's place as the go-to listing database in New York. "REBNY's efforts in this area go back a couple years, so the StreetEasy phenomenon that took place over the last six months really didn't play a role in our decision to do this," Banks says. "Nonetheless, we're now able to make this [listing feed] available to a broad group—and we'd love for StreetEasy to accept the feed when they're ready."

StreetEasy has maintained that it won’t accept REBNY’s RLS feed. The site, owned by Zillow Group, angered brokers after it instituted a new “Premier Agent” program, following a $3/day fee for brokers to list rentals on the site.

Last month, Compass, Stribling, Brown Harris Stevens, and Town announced they would no longer feed any of their listings to StreetEasy instead sending their listings to the RLS. On the other hand, Realogy, the parent company for Corcoran, Citi Habitats and Sotheby's, inked a long-term deal with Streeteasy to place each firm's listings with the site at no cost to the agents.

As for the RLS feed showing up at the Times, it will be unrolled over the next month and will be complete by early October. "From a historic perspective, we're two institutions that have been involved in real estate in the city in New York for over 100 years," says Banks. "We're looking forward to a long, productive relationship with the Times."