Talk is that the rental business among brokers plummeted by as much as 40% from the previous year, which was already down from 2014.
Few have blamed the new East Hampton Town Rental Registry Law. More often brokers speak of the changing profile of the rental market, one that has trended toward shorter term commitments rather than the season long ones of the past. And of course, a new generation of websites has exploded onto the internet to address and profit from the rental market as well. These sites are designed to connect landlords and tenants with a seamless transaction process, eliminating the need for a real estate agent, but, ironically, not always delivering a benefit to either party.
It’s not easy to understand, much less explain, but we’ve seen listings on direct to owner websites priced at a discount to the broker’s listed price. Why leave the money on the table? Price them both at par.
So while real estate brokers complain about the bad rental market, we’re not so sure the same holds true for landlords. In fact, for many it was a successful year, securing quality tenants through either a real estate broker, or through an online listing service. However we also suspect that many landlords have engaged in illegal rental activity, specifically short term or multiple short term rentals in communities where limits exist on both.
As the 2017 rental season approaches it will be interesting to see how things start, and then evolve, especially for the real estate brokerage community.