X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The media have used such words as “cat fight” and “war” to describe the dispute over the creation of a multiple listing service that will incorporate all New York City residential listings into one user-friendly database. Indeed, last month the residential real estate community broke into two factions, both claiming that they will have a working MLS up by January 2001.

As reported by GlobeSt.com earlier this month, the Corcoran Group joined with Douglas Elliman, and later the Halstead Property Group and Bellmarc Realty, to create an MLS system. That’s when the fun began–the four firms control 68% of NYC’s residential real estate market, and the move created ripples of anxiety in the industry. Some 45 residential real estate firms, including 16 of the top 20 in NYC, immediately formed an MLS Task Force to create their own system, also aiming for a January 2001 start-up.

Why the argument? Explains William Zeckendorf, chairman of Brown Harris Stevens, “Corcoran and Douglas Elliman were forming an MLS, and they owned it. We, meaning the other brokerage firms, were told that we should call them to sign up, and we didn’t think that was in the spirit of the MLS. We just didn’t think it was fair for two to make the rules for everyone.”

Shortly after announcing their plans, Corcoran and Douglas Elliman began recruiting people. One potential recruit, Joyce West, president and director of sales at Charles H. Greenthal & Co., recounts the deal she was offered: “They felt a percentage of everyone’s commission would go to the MLS and they would take the lion’s share.”

To which Marilyn Harra Kaye, president of MLBKaye International Realty, counters, “If you’re going to create a unified MLS you don’t bring people in one at a time to join you, you assemble the whole community.”

The idea behind the Corcoran/Douglas Elliman MLS plan is that a separate corporation called the NYC-MLS would be created. The new organization would be controlled in a cooperative fashion by all participating members, with each brokerage firm having representation on a board that would make all laws governing its operation.

Is a happy resolution possible? Will there be two MLS systems or one? Corcoran and Douglas Elliman officials contend that their goal is to create one MLS with everyone in the market having an equal say in its operation.

Information is circulating that truce talks are in the works for some time after Labor Day. Despite all the speculation, both parties seem optimistic that things will work out. And despite the animosities,” all the anger is being shown now, but after the anger settles there will be one MLS,” West assures. The worst-case scenario, according to Kaye, is that “there will be one MLS, or two talking to each other.” (Anthony Garritano is associate editor of Real Estate New York, a Real Estate Media Publiction).

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Dig Deeper

 

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt
Live Chat

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.