Battle Lines Drawn in New York Portal Wars as CoStar Circles around Zillow Dominated Market

December 16, 2020
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For a while now it has been no secret that the American commercial real estate giant CoStar is coming for Zillow. Last month CEO Andy Florance fired a shot across Zillow's bow in an interview with Brad Inman in which he openly criticised Zillow's business model and subtly called the Seattle company a failure. The latest development in the narrative of CoStar moving in on Zillow's residential turf comes from New York where Zillow owned market-leading portal StreetEasy may soon have competition from a collaboration between CoStar and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

According to an unconfirmed report from AIM Group, REBNY is working with HomeSnap, a company in the process of being acquired by CoStar for $250 million, to build a public-facing portal for the New York City area which would be in direct competition with StreetEasy. Despite being a clear market leader, the Zillow owned portal has a long history of spiky relationships with those in the city's agent community and CoStar backed HomeSnap will be hoping that a collaboration with New York's agents' trade association will get customers on board to take on Zillow.

It won't only be Zillow and StreetEasy that a potential CoStar backed New York portal would be in competition with, however, as over the Summer many of the city's agents banded together to create the OneKey MLS and portal. On top of competition from OneKey, a fourth player emerged in the New York property marketing scene this week in the form of Homes.nyc, the brainchild of Gabriel Technology Solutions founder Michael Gabriel. Homes.nyc has already run into trouble, with REBNY complaining that Gabriel's portal is apparently listing properties that it does not have consent for though there is speculation that the REBNY complaint itself is perhaps not so much about the listings themselves and more about protecting the interests of the potential partnership with HomeSnap and CoStar.

 

December 16, 2020
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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