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While Other Real Estate Platforms Start Charging Agents $3-Per-Day Exposure Fee, Agorafy Remains Accessible To All

For those agents who are not ready to pay for exposure, there is a platform without restricted access, free to search and free to publish—and that’s Agorafy.

By Richard Du July 20, 2017

Real Estate searching platform are always finding news ways to diversify their revenues models. Case in point—on Tuesday July 18, Streeteasy, one of New York City’s top listing platforms, introduced a new business strategy which disrupted the local real estate industry and effectively divided it in two halves. From now on, real estate professionals are to pay a $3-per day fee for every rental listing they wish to publish on the platform. The new program, described by many as “tax on agents”, has elicited mixed reactions. While some agents decided to opt-in and pay the fee, others, including such giants as Corcoran and Citi Habitats, stopped sending their feeds to Streeteasy.

It is yet unclear how this controversial decision will affect Streeteasy’s relationships with NYC’s brokerages and agents. The number of listing inventory available on Streeteasy is still fluctuating by high margins as agents are deciding whether or not to play ball.

Meanwhile, it might be interesting to step back and ponder—what were the grounds behind such a controversial decision that disrupted the industry and caused so many heated debates?

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Surely, pure desire to gain profit couldn’t be the only consideration behind the $3-per-day new model. There are other, more legitimate reasons behind this controversial decision. One of these reasons, in our opinion, deserves a closer examination.

As has been mentioned in The Real Deal, one of the main goals behind Streeteasy’s unpopular move was “wiping the slate clean” by removing stale or inaccurate listings from the portal. Improving data accuracy sounds like a worthy goal. The tactic behind it seems to be effective, too—a $3 daily fee shifts the responsibility for the listing accuracy to the agent. Who wants to pay money to gain exposure for inaccurate or outdated information?

But here comes an important question—what defines the best data? If it’s only about accuracy, then Streeteasy might have just discovered the ultimate success recipe. However, we believe there is another key element to data quality—completeness. Making sure that all the data you have is hundred percent accurate is just one half of the job. The other half is putting ALL the relevant data together, without gaps and omissions. It is only when these two key elements—completeness and accuracy—are combined, the data finally acquires meaning and value.

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Quality data is of paramount importance for all the players on real estate market. Real estate professionals, owners, and potential home buyers need to have a full picture of the real estate market and its current trends in order to make informed, successful business decisions.

What’s more, real estate listing services have lots of amazing opportunities to capitalize on a wealth of data relevant to real estate industry. Statistics, infographics, markets snapshots and quarterly reports are natural by-products for any digital platform that collects real estate data and an invaluable source for anybody looking to complete any kind of transaction in this industry. Eliminating half of potential data sources doesn’t seem to be the best way to achieve better data quality and creating meaningful market analytics.

And this is exactly why we at Agorafy do not restrict access to any player on real estate market nationwide. While data accuracy is crucial to our platform, so is data completeness and accessibility to all.

Streeteasy’s move might have helped the company to gain better data accuracy—along with a revenue stream. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of data completeness.
What Streeteasy might have lost is more than a bunch of rental listings. In effect, they have officially gave up on becoming both an all-inclusive, accessible real estate platform—and reputable industry experts.

At this point, it is too early to predict future of Streeteasy and whether or not they will stand by their business decision. One thing we know for sure. For those agents who are not ready to pay for exposure, and for those real estate customers who want to see the full data available on the market, there is a platform without restricted access, free to search and free to publish—and that’s Agorafy.

Richard Du

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Richard Du

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Richard Du

Richard Du, founder and CEO of Agorafy, was born in Vietnam and raised in the United States. As a child, he worked to support his family until he had the chance to immigrate to the America. Here, he began his career as an agent at Helmsley Spear, which he eventually parlayed into a lucrative real estate business. More than a decade later, Mr. Du is at the helm of Agorafy.

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