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Igluu Looking To Seize The New York Listings Crown

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Another competitor has thrown a hat into New York’s crowded ring of real estate listing providers.

Igluu’s new homepage Igluu, originally a platform used to find roommates in New York City, relaunched Wednesday as a residential rental and sale listing site. Its team thinks the new concept will be more successful. “I am pretty competitive and set bold goals,” Igluu founder Martin Mucha told Bisnow. “By the end of 2018, we are aiming to be the leading platform in NYC.”

The initial launch uses residential feeds, like REBNY’s newly launched Residential Listing Service, RealPlus and Nestio while OLR and Spherexx will be added in September, Mucha said. While Igluu enters a crowded field dominated by competitors like, and StreetEasy, Mucha insists his platform is different. “Many of these websites are more national than they are New York-centric,” Mucha said. “Plus, there are too many restrictions on StreetEasy.” With the relaunch, Igluu’s goal is to grow a consumer-centric product with more social elements like ratings and reviews. While the present iteration is largely focused on listings, Mucha said his team is “playing with gamification theories” to give the site a better community feel and to pair users with agents based on algorithms.

“There is room for a new kid to come in and move the model from corporate monolith like StreetEasy to a more user-friendly model with brains and brawn behind it,” said New York attorney Mel Dogan, who sits on Igluu’s advisory board. “When there is disruption in the market, there is room for other players to come in and take their spot.”

StreetEasy drew criticism this year after introducing its Premier Agent platform. The service allows a broker to pay to be featured on the site as a listing’s go-to contact instead of the seller’s broker, even if that broker has an exclusive listing. The Real Estate Board of New York asked New York regulators at the time of the launch to investigate whether the program violated state law.  It garnered outright rejection from the city’s real estate community in July after it rolled out a new policy where agents had to pay $3/day for each listing. The site’s listings dropped 55% in a day, and leading agencies like Citi Habitats, The Corcoran Group and Brown Harris Stevens quit using the service and said agents would have to pay for it themselves if they continued listing.

“While I do think an advertiser should be paid, I have an issue in their gatekeeper policy of who gets access,” Compass real estate broker William Stahlke said. “The StreetEasy war has thrown off the brokerage community in many ways.” REBNY launched its RLS Aug. 1 after spending two years improving its existing feed to give members access to accurate information and monitor for stale listings. The same firms that ditched StreetEasy sped up syndication on the new REBNY platform, which was sent to 200 consumer-facing listing sites. StreetEasy did not take the RLS feed, claiming it was created to halt growth on its own site.  Mucha still faces an uphill battle. As of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, had over 41,000 rental listings and StreetEasy had over 17,000 on their respective websites. Igluu had just over 3,000. Mucha said listings are steadily increasing as the feeds syndicate to his site and expects to hit 5,000 by early Friday, gaining thousands more as brokers opt-in to Igluu through their feeds.

“ and have been online for 10 years,” he said. “Theirs is not a new product.” Mucha said Igluu, like StreetEasy, will naturally have fewer listings because the company and users will monitor and flag stale listings that will get deleted. With StreetEasy stumbling after the rollout of Premier Agent and its listing fees, some in New York’s real estate community see where Igluu has a path to be the market leader. “There’s a myriad of players trying to take StreetEasy’s space,” Stahlke said. “Who that will be, I don’t know. Who is the best? I would say Igluu.”

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Igluu Is The New Best Way To Buy And Rent Homes

Filling in where StreetEasy falls short, Igluu touts the most number of active listings in the NYC marketplace and an intuitive platform that focuses on simplicity and transparency. 
When StreetEasy’s rental listings halved after it unrolled a $3 per day per listing pricing policy, serial entrepreneur Martin Mucha saw an opportunity to create the new industry standard for a residential real estate site. pulls its listings from top feeds such as REBNY’s RLS, ListHub’s RealPlus and Nestio – and September integrations with OLR and Spherexx. On the day of launch, Igluu featured over 5,000 listings and will cover more than 95% of all active listings by the end of 2017 – approximately double the number of listings on StreetEasy.
Igluu is built around seamless search and discovery - incorporating the latest usability philosophies. Unlike other sites, Igluu only hosts exclusive listings and doesn't support Premier Agent, where unrelated brokers can bid on listing opportunities. Martin believes that the practice of selling leads dilutes the quality of broker service which causes users to have bad experiences. Instead, Igluu can quickly find and contact the broker best suited to show the property.
At the other end of the platform, the site is also engineered with the real estate broker’s best interests in mind. The site avoids daily listing fees, and features brokers in visually-rich and engaging profile pages. “The idea is to personalize the brokers and to create a community feel,” says Martin. “Our goal is to eliminate all the obstacles which keeps brokers from doing their jobs effectively.”
The Igluu team is betting that technology will continue to shape the real estate space and have scheduled innovative features and integrations to be unveiled in the coming months. Although secretive about what exactly these updates will be, Mucha believes users will be more than pleased – “We’re experimenting with artificial intelligence, blockchain and working on powerful ways to keep people engaged.” says Martin, “We are committed to advancing the online real estate experience and it’s going to be really cool.”
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