Currently, Zillow's subsidiary company StreetEasy dominates the New York City listing service, being the most popular and widely used platform when searching or listing a rental property or home for sale in the area. But CoStar Group (NASDAQ: CSGP), the mega-giant commercial and residential real estate technology and data company, is making major moves to take over.
StreetEasy, meet Citysnap
In mid-October, CoStar announced a partnership with the Real Estate Board of New York City (REBNY) and CoStar Group's subsidiary company HomeSnap to produce a new, customized listing platform and mobile app called Citysnap.
Citysnap, which is poised to launch in Q2 2022, will pull real-time data from New York City's residential listing service (RLS), making listing information instantly and easily available to brokers, listing agents, property managers, owners, and consumers. On average, the RLS has more than 40,000 active listings across 600 brokerage firms and individual owners, which equates to around $50 billion worth of real estate. It's a huge real estate market to tap into.
Putting agents first
The ultimate goal of Citysnap is to bridge the gap between brokerages and listing data among the five boroughs of New York. Right now, the system is disjointed. Creating an aggregated, real-time, user-friendly source for all listing information gives knowledge and power to consumers and simplifies communication and access for agents.
Unlike Zillow's StreetEasy, which has gotten some pushback after the implementation of its Premier Agent service into StreetEasy caused confusion for consumers regarding whom the actual listing agent for the property was, Citysnap will simplify the process by promoting the idea "your listing, your lead."
This concept will allow listing agents to list properties, without any additional costs or fees, and reduce confusion for the end-user. CoStar has indicated it will have a pro version of the app, which will be made available for free to the roughly 12,000 professionals who are participating members of the RLS.
Homesnap, the nationwide residential listing platform and parent company of Citysnap, was acquired by CoStar Group in late 2020. Given that CoStar has recently faced challenges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) blocking planned acquisitions, it seems new product creation -- like we're seeing with Citysnap -- may be an alternate solution for helping the company grow.
The Millionacres bottom line
It's unlikely StreetEasy will become obsolete. People like options. Nationally, there are dozens of real estate listing platforms, all competing in the same space. But StreetEasy will definitely have a new major competitor on the block.