Property Grunt

Friday, February 17, 2006

REBNY relevant?

As we all know the real estate world is up in arms over recent developments including the popularity of Zillow over the Olympics, the alliances of real estate services countering Zillow and the aftermath of craigslist charging for broker ads. What it all comes down to is information and who has access to it. I predict there will be a boom in online real estate services that offer information about properties and areas resulting in the weakening of the broker. But I also can see REBNY slowly lose its standing in the brokerage world.

As I have stated before, REBNY’s tool to keep the brokerages in line is their R.O.L.E.X database that shares all the listing from brokers across town. Play by their rules and you get to play their game. If you don’t like the rules, well there’s the door.

But if the information that R.O.L.E.X provides is already available for free or for a much lower cost than what is the incentive for brokerages to pay their membership dues? REBNY has no leverage if brokers can elsewhere for their information. Brokers would not only save more money by not paying dues but they would be able to operate under their own rules by leaving REBNY. The end result would be brokers running wild in the streets.