HGAR’s Haggerty Makes the Case for a Unified Listing System

Real Estate In-Depth | August 2019

HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty told an online radio audience on Aug. 20 that the planned regional MLS will launch in the fourth quarter of this year. “This is going to be a powerful regional MLS, and the goal is to empower our members and take advantage of the geography of New York City, the most powerful geography in the world,” he said.

NEW YORK—Inaccurate data is the major driver of financial and time drains for residential real estate professionals, according to Richard Haggerty, CEO of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc., and president of the New York MLS, LLC. That’s why the time has come for a unified Multiple Listing Service in New York, he noted.

“It’s interesting that the Multiple Listing Service exists in every other part of the country, every other urban area—Chicago, Miami, LA—you name it. And it’s something real estate professionals take for granted,” Haggerty told Good Morning New York, Real Estate host Vince Rocco Aug. 20 in Manhattan.

“I do think we may be turning the corner in Manhattan. There’s more receptiveness to the concept of an MLS for the first time,” Haggerty added. “Part of that is really because we’ve expanded our boundaries. But, I think StreetEasy has played a role in making folks a little bit more willing to talk.”

Haggerty was the featured guest on Rocco’s online radio show, which broadcasts live Tuesdays at 9 a.m. from Smash Studios, 307 W. 36th St. on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel. Also joining the round-table discussion entitled “Do Real Estate Agents Need an MLS System in New York City?”—were Sean Attebury, CORE Real Estate; Tracie Hamersley, Douglas Elliman; Jordan Shea, Douglas Elliman; and Phil Horigan, frele/Leasebreak.com.

Haggerty shared with the panel HGAR’s efforts over the past 18 months to merge its Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service with the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island to create a regional MLS for New York. “Those (efforts) are coming to fruition,” he said. “We should launch in the fourth quarter of 2019. This is going to be a powerful regional MLS, and the goal is to empower our members and take advantage of the geography of New York City, the most powerful geography in the world. It can’t just be about Manhattan, or just Manhattan and Brooklyn—consumers want to have access to a broader geography of data, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”

Rocco asked Haggerty to expand on why a unified MLS is vital for Manhattan. “It’s very simple,” Haggerty said. “It’s the orderly exchange of real estate information … in a way where it’s accurate, standardized, easily accessible. Every other real estate professional in the country is used to having that. Agents in Manhattan have a challenge—they’ve got to work so much harder to get that information.”

Rocco agreed with the need for a unified MLS, but questioned how it would be better than other databases. “We all use a variety of probably one back-end database, RLS, etc. … the accuracy of the data is probably not good. The input of data is a human thing and so if I mess something up when I put it in, I don’t care what system I’m putting in into, it’s still going to be messed up. Right?”

Haggerty agreed: “If you put garbage in, you’re going to get garbage out. The challenge is a lot of different systems plug into RLS and those different systems do not always have the same definitions to their fields … or even the same fields. The quality of data is marginal at best.”

It’s not a quick fix, Haggerty said, and it will require a “collaborative effort.”

“Brokers have to make sure they’re putting in the correct information, because it doesn’t just stop with them,” Haggerty said. “That information goes to so many other different sources, including back-end systems in brokers’ offices, to create statistical reports. And if you’re getting garbage in, garbage out, the quality of those statistical reports is going to be compromised. We all have to be part of the solution.”

Haggerty will be sharing more about the goal of New York’s unified Multiple Listing Service at upcoming events in the fall.

To listen to the show in its entirety click here:  https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/116835/do-real-estate-agents-need-an-mls-system-in-nyc