The listings service’s membership has shot up in recent years — without help from REBNY or NAR— but that may be harder to maintain
Brooklyn MLS mostly covers the eastern and southern parts of the borough.
Over footage of the Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island and smiling couples standing in front of their homes, Brooklyn MLS boasts that it’s “some 4,000 brokers and agents strong” and “works tirelessly to assure that sellers, buyers and real estate agents always have the most accurate, relevant data at their fingertips.”
The online and television commercial, along with several bus ads, is a part of the company’s goal to make its listings service as well-known as its home borough.
Indeed, the MLS — which mostly covers the eastern and southern parts of Brooklyn — has rapidly expanded its reach. While its listings of single-family houses and apartments have held steady at about 4,000 over the past five years, its membership has jumped more than 50 percent, from 2,700 to 4,100 in the same period.
Moreover, it achieved these numbers without relying on the Real Estate Board of New York, the city’s largest real estate trade group, or the National Association of Realtors, which it ended its membership with roughly five years ago. And most of the city’s largest brokerage firms, including the Corcoran Group, Halstead Property and Citi Habitats, are absent from Brooklyn MLS’s membership.
Barbara LaBarca, a lifelong Brooklyn resident who started her real estate career in the early 1980s and took over as the MLS’s president for a second time in May, said she and her cohorts are happy to remain independent from groups like REBNY and NAR. The five-person team has no plans to hitch its wagon to a larger organization, she explained.
“It’s been good that we’ve been independent,” LaBarca, who also works as a registered Coldwell Banker broker, said in her thick Brooklyn accent. “We’ve been growing.”
Brooklyn MLS’s CEO, Richard Schulhoff, gives much of the credit for the organization’s growth to its recent advertising push. “Nothing works like advertising in this country,” he said.
Schulhoff formerly worked in sports entertainment, where he was head writer on ABC’s famed “Wide World of Sports” program from 1981 to 1985 and won an Emmy in 1992 for a live broadcast of the Breeders’ Cup he did for NBC Sports. Schulhoff’s first foray into real estate was in 2001, when he took over communications at the Staten Island Board of Realtors. He became the MLS’s first CEO four years later.
The Brooklyn listings service office in Gravesend.
“We’re doing amazing amounts of advertising, and it pays off,” said Schulhoff,爱上海同城