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Engel & Völkers Chides OREX, Adopts MLSLI, Street Easy

Originally Posted: March 01, 2010

Southampton - In a strongly worded statement, Jonathan Lerner, Managing Director of Engel & Völkers, said his company will no longer participate in the private listing service OREX (Open RealNet Exchange), and its public website HREO. Rather it will rely on it's own worldwide real estate listing service, Multiple Listing Service of Long Island (MLSLI), and has contracted with Street Easy - Manhattan to disseminate all its listing information on its public domain and share the same information with all agencies using their service.

Why the change? According to Lerner, "For years both buyers and sellers in the Hamptons have been at a disadvantage. Basic information such as home listings have not been shared. Sellers are being short-changed because they're not reaching all potential buyers. For buyers, it's a logistical nightmare trying to find the perfect home. We've had enough, and we're out."

Already several other major brokerages are following Engel & Völkers lead, including Agawam Realty which has also announced that it plans to follow suit.

The benefit of the MLS system is that an MLS subscriber may search the MLS system and get information about all homes for sale by all participating brokers. MLS systems contain hundreds of fields of information about the features of a property. These fields are determined by real estate professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced in that local marketplace. Whereas public real estate websites contain only a small subset of property information.

"It's easy to see that under the present OREX system, buyers and sellers simply aren't getting a fair shake. The only ones who end up benefiting are a small group of realtors who talk more amongst themselves, than to potential buyers and sellers," Lerner added. "Our company, along with others in the area, are out to set a higher level of service to our clients. That's simply what it's all about.

Engel & Völkers is a leading real estate firm with over 400 offices in approximately 35 countries. The company deals exclusively with homes and properties of distinction.

For more information go to www.engelvoelkers.com.

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Guest (Miriam) from New York City says::
Anonymous, so Streeteasy is a way to publish property information for the public but sellers may not understand that there is no "cooperation" with the entire Long Island real estate community in terms of sharing commission. So if I am an agent let's say from Riverhead and I have a buyer the Hamptons agents may allow me to show their listing but there is no obligation to share the commission which certainly hurts sellers and obstructs a natural flow of buyers. On a MLS rather than a site such as Streeteasy or HERO.com there is an obligation to share the commission which means a seller is paying any and all agents to bring a buyer which is what a commission is supposed to be about. Do sellers out there realize that?
Mar 17, 2010 5:52 am

Guest (anonymous) from the Hamptons says::
When HREO first came to "town", it was a godsend. Now the price and service are not in balance.
Mar 13, 2010 11:19 am

Guest (anonymous) from anonymous says::
A big thank you should be extended to this site, and its writers, for permitting exposure to an inside element going on in the Hamptons- thanks for that. Many Realtors are embarrassed by such behavior as not informing a seller of greater exposure options at the risk of having to share the fees in a real estate transaction, or allow outside agents in. Miriam, Streeteasy is NOT an mls- it's simply a place for listing companies to provide property photos/additional exposure, along with public records closings- not yesterdays closings, as can be located on an mls, due to required input of its members. MLS/Realtor.com is isn't. Realtors use an mls to find property info. Realtors with buyers.
Mar 6, 2010 6:53 pm

Guest (Julie Crowley) from The Hamptons says::
This is a significant move. I have listed and sold in Southampton for a few years now while utilizing the MLS capability. It is wise for agencies to utilize this MLS resource. If OREX can continue to compete, only good things can come of it! It will be good for buyers, sellers and REALTORS. MLS has helped agents and brokers practice fairly and ethically. Most of us value our ethics, let's continue to strive for ethical practice in real estate!
Mar 6, 2010 12:58 pm

Guest (Miriam) from New York City says::
Is Streeteasy also a private sharing of listings? Is there an obligation to share commission on that site or is it the same as OREX just not as expensive? Could someone explain? Do REALTOR ethics attach?
Mar 6, 2010 7:18 am

Guest (Parrishnut) from Sag Harbor says::
Good for you!!! BIG SET of -----
Mar 5, 2010 4:31 pm

Guest (Joseph Kazickas) from East Hampton says::
The "Big Shift" manifests itself.
Mar 2, 2010 2:32 pm

Guest (J. Philip) from New York says::
How refreshing to see someone of Jonathan's stature make such a strong statement.
Mar 1, 2010 5:27 pm

Guest (Phil) from NYC to the Hamptons says::
Jonathan echoes the sentiment of several thousand agents and brokerages cut off at the Canal, supplying lucid commentary on the fraudulent activities of the Hamptons oligarchy, as well the platform that enables this racket to operate. When more Buyers & Sellers see the Emperor(s) naked, you'll see them run for cover. This decisive action from a sophisticated firm, surely brings the market one step closer toward transparency. It's a towering shame it can't happen much sooner. Will other agencies, raped and pillaged by the astronomical fees of OREX, follow suit?
Mar 1, 2010 5:00 pm

Guest (laurie@options) from riverhead says::
On behalf of ALL OF THE REALTORS, SELLERS AND BUYERS on the east end...if a standing ovation could be conveyed on a blog, the sound would be deafening. May doing the right thing bring sellers and buyers to your door in DROVES- you deserve it.
Mar 1, 2010 4:09 pm

Guest (Miriam) from New York City says::
Kudoos to you Jonathan. What you are doing for the public, both buyers and sellers, out in the Hamptons is a wonderful thing. I hope that everyone follows your lead and that real estate out there becomes consumer centric rather than agent/broker centric. Great move!
Mar 1, 2010 3:55 pm

Guest (George Simpson) from Southampton says::
Jon Great move. You were to nice to say that another reason you are dropping out of O.R.E.X. is the exorbitant price. I expect that you and Agawam will start an avalanche of agencies doing the same thing.
Mar 1, 2010 3:11 pm


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