NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - A pioneer in online real estate, StreetEasy changed the way New Yorkers house hunt. But with the site's recent decision to charge a broker fee to list apartments, many are now wondering if it will continue to be the service for the largest rental audience in the city.
"For agents, for renters, for buyers this has been a free service and suddenly it's like the rug is being pulled out from under them," Real Deal reporter E.B. Solomont said. After the fees launched last week, listings on the website dropped dramatically, she said.
The price for the Zillow-owned site is $3 per day per listing.
StreetEasy General Manager Susan Daimler said the dip was expected.
"We saw a dip because agents removed stale listings, they removed listings that were not accurate," Daimler said.
She added that other brokers didn't realize the fees were implemented and have since signed back up. Daimler said the narrowed-down listings ensure customers aren't wasting their time with bad listings.
"StreetEasy is banking on the fact that at only $3 per day per listing, the rental agents will cough up the money," Solomont said. "But I think it's a rude awakening for some of the agents who have been using this as a free tool."
She said that only time will tell if real estate agents will now pay for what used to be free.