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CoStar Teams Up With REBNY To Take On Zillow With New Listing Platform

CoStar CEO Andy Florance speaking at the CREtech event in New York City Oct. 13, 2021.

The New York real estate industry’s powerful lobby group is joining forces with the dominant player in commercial real estate tech to create a new platform for residential brokers to market their listings.

The platform is called Citysnap and will be available next year, the Real Estate Board of New York announced Wednesday. REBNY is partnering with Homesnap, which is owned by The CoStar Group, to create the venture.

The public-facing platform will exclusively feature data from REBNY’s RLS and will include the “most complete inventory” of residential real estate listings in the city, REBNY wrote in a press release. It will operate with a “your listing, your lead” governance, which means that all leads will go directly to the listing agent without any extra fees.

CoStar CEO Andy Florance announced the partnership during his keynote address at the CREtech New York conference Wednesday morning, adding that CoStar is committing at least $30M to "building the premier residential marketing site in New York City."

“While we have a long way to go to compete with StreetEasy and build traffic, we have a lot of experience building traffic and marketplaces," Florance said. "And we have the slight advantage that the agents will probably like our model better where we don't try to intercept their clients.”

StreetEasy, which is owned by Zillow, dominates the online listing market in New York City, but it has been hit with major backlash for years from the broker community regarding its introduction of a listing fee and a Premier Agent feature that some brokers said allowed competitors with a listing to move in on other brokers’ deals.

Right now, the listing site that is managed by REBNY is only available to professional agents, but Citysnap would open it up to the public. REBNY currently has over 40,000 listings linked to 600 brokers and owners.

“We're rebuilding not only consumer sites but very powerful pro-agent tools,” Florance said. "We're definitely making it customized in New York City."

He added Citysnap will offer loan data and models for calculating how fast something would sell at different price points.

“We're very familiar with New York City, it's our largest commercial real estate market," he said. "We've been here for 25 some years, we're doing well over $100M in revenue already here. And so we're picking up all the nuances and details that you would need.”