HGAR, RISMedia Co-Host Forum in New York City on Real Estate Data

Real Estate In-Depth | May 2019

(From left) Richard Haggerty, CEO, Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® and president, New York MLS; John Featherston, founder, CEO and publisher of RISMedia; and Jim Speer, CEO, New York MLS

NEW YORK—Top real estate experts joined event sponsors the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and RISMedia at “The State of Real Estate Data in NYC” on May 20 to discuss the importance of accurate data in residential listings and the need for a unified system.

Richard Haggerty, CEO of HGAR and president of the New York MLS, the multiple listing service that includes the New York metro area and the five boroughs, welcomed the 75-plus industry professionals in attendance at Convene NYC.

(From left) Jed Garfield, managing partner, Leslie J. Garfield & Co.; Rory Golod, general manager, Compass; Bess Freedman, CEO, Brown Harris Stevens; and Richard Haggerty, CEO, Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® and president, New York MLS.

“At HGAR and New York MLS, we are staunch believers in accurate and clean data and how it can better our industry,” said Haggerty. “We are thrilled to partner with RISMedia and host some of the leading minds in real estate to brainstorm where we are and where we could be.”

Haggerty outlined the costs of disparate data and also pointed to several factors “disrupting” the industry, including litigation against brokerages, an increasing infusion of venture capital, technology and artificial intelligence.

“We have to embrace technology. We have to embrace change,” he told the gathering. “We have to figure out how to make it work for us all, recognizing that it’s going to enable us to give a better level of service to the consumer.”

(From left): Lucie Fortier, executive leader, Product Management, CoreLogic; Jed Garfield, managing partner, Leslie J. Garfield & Co.; Tracy Weir, CEO, August Partners; Joseph Rand, chief creative officer, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate- Rand Realty; John Featherston, founder, CEO and publisher of RISMedia; Jim Speer, CEO, New York MLS; Sam DeBord, CEO, Real Estate Standards Organization; Richard Haggerty, CEO, Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® and president, New York MLS; Mitch Skinner, Esq., managing member, Larson Skinner; Rene Galicia, director of MLS Engagement, National Association of REALTORS®

Haggerty said inaccurate data is the key driver of “monetary and time drains” for industry professionals, and NewYorkMLS.com could change that. “We can help with this challenge. New York MLS will make it easier for brokers to access accurate data that covers the entire region. The New York MLS will encompass listing information from the Hamptons through Manhattan and the boroughs into the Hudson Valley. New York MLS will make a difference. Let’s make this happen.”

John Featherston, founder, CEO and publisher of RISMedia, moderated a discussion on the benefits and pitfalls of an MLS, with Mitch Skinner, Esq., managing member, Larson Skinner; Rene Galicia, director of MLS Engagement, National Association of Realtors; and Sam DeBord, CEO, Real Estate Standards Organization.

“We’re talking about ways to thrive, not just survive,” Featherston said, and emphasized the value of organized data. “Your word is your bond. Your reputation is what you’re presenting. Your brokers and agents need the most accurate and up-to-date data to compete in this marketplace.”

Richard Haggerty, left, CEO, Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® and president, New York MLS, and Keynote Joseph Rand, chief creative officer, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate- Rand Realty.

The second panel examined the state of data in Manhattan real estate. Moderated by Tracy Weir, CEO of August Partners, the panel featured Stefan Martinovic, vice president, Investments, Midwood Investment & Development; L.D. Samuelson, co-founder and CEO, Cherre; and Lucie Fortier, executive leader, Product Management, CoreLogic.

The event’s keynote speaker was Joseph Rand, chief creative officer, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, on “Why the Time for Accurate Data Has Come.”

New York City doesn’t “have a common repository of information, shared by everybody,” Rand said, citing examples of incomplete and inconsistent data, and getting “different reads on the market” by some of the top companies. “This is not a tolerable state of affairs for a market as critical as Manhattan. It’s not the fault of any particular broker—it’s the fault of the industry.”

Featherston then guided a discussion on the “uniqueness” of Manhattan’s real estate market with Rory Golod, general manager, Compass; Bess Freedman, CEO, Brown Harris Stevens; and Jed Garfield, managing partner, Leslie J. Garfield & Co.

(From left) Ron Garafalo, President, Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS®; Richard Haggerty, CEO, Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® and president, New York MLS; Leah Caro; Chairperson, Board of Managers, New York MLS; Renee Zurlo, President, Hudson Gateway MLS; Ann Garti, COO, Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS®; and Jim Speer, CEO, New York MLS

The participants came together for a Town Hall discussion and Q&A moderated by Featherston. He asked the audience about the future of the market and whether they have the right tools to be efficient and profitable. “You’ll be doomed if you don’t solve your data problems to increase your value to customers,” he said. “Get control of your data.”

The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors is a not-for-profit trade association representing more than 12,000 real estate professionals in Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties. It is the second largest Realtor Association in New York, and one of the largest in the U.S.

The New York MLS LLC was formed in 2018 when the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and the Long Island Board of Realtors merged their MLS systems. Later this year, the New York MLS will be able to offer more than 40,000 members and 60,000 listings serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley.