Adobe Stock / Andrew Bayda

The New York Department of State is looking to update its regulatory policies with respect to real estate advertising, HousingWire staffer Kelsey Ramirez reports, a move that could shake up online real estate advertising in the state.

While the department hasn’t made any official announcements, it shared its thoughts with Zillow and other affected parties weeks before it is expected to issue formal guidance on the matter.

Some argue that real estate agents can’t advertise on a property that is the subject of another agent’s exclusive. While real estate websites are not an agent or broker, New York regulators may now say they still have to comply, meaning programs such as Premier Agent will be a form of advertising on another agent’s listing.

Zillow bought out the StreetEasy Premier Agent advertising program in 2013 in order to gain access to the New York market, and other third-party real estate sites such as realtor.com, Ramirez notes.

Zillow told HousingWire, “The guidance issued will not be specific, in any way, to the Premier Agent advertising program. The clarifications will affect things such as the display of brokerage and licensing information in all online real estate advertising across the state. We fully expect that the Premier Agent program will allow brokers to comply with the guidance when it is issued in the coming months.”

However, if the ban does ban or even limit Zillow’s program, it could be a major hit for the company, especially if other states begin to follow New York’s lead and change their advertising regulations. In 2017, Premier Agent revenue grew by 35%, totaling $604.3 million for the year.

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