Five East End real estate agencies have joined forces to create a new online marketplace for their listings.
The website Hamptonsre.com, which was launched last week, is a venture from the recently formed Hamptons Real Estate Association, a nonprofit made up of Sotheby’s International, Saunders and Associates, the Corcoran Group, Brown Harris Stevens, and Halstead. It provides listings of homes for sale and rent on the South and North Forks.
The organization is inviting all other agencies with local listings to join and become co-owners of the platform, said Theresa Quigley, executive managing director at Saunders and Associates, who serves as vice president of H.R.E.A. “We’re hoping to be the number-one source for everything Hamptons related,” she said.
The website will compete with Out East, which is owned by Zillow, the online real estate company.
The agencies decided to pool their listings for this portal because they wanted more control over how their properties are marketed and because they have been “frustrated” by the lack of accurate information on Out East, said Ms. Quigley. The prices for home rentals on the site, for example, are confusing because they don’t take into account the seasonal nature of the market, she said. “Trying to fit our needs into Out East has not been easy.”
“The Hamptons is the number-one second-home market in the country, and our customers demand accurate information,” said Nanette Hansen, a manager at Sotheby’s and a director of H.R.E.A.
The new platform puts agents “front and center,” she said. “Everybody in this business knows that buyers want to work directly with the listing agents — they’re the ones who know the most about the properties.”
Agents who have used the website have found it easy to navigate and elegantly designed, Ms. Hansen said. “It ticks all the boxes.”
The organization has developed a marketing campaign, which it will soon roll out here and in New York City, Ms. Quigley said, and it plans to launch a smartphone app for the portal.
The venture, she said, has been proof that real estate agencies can benefit from temporarily putting aside their rivalries to collaborate. “We’re all fierce competitors, but we were able to accomplish something that is good for all of us,” Ms. Quigley said.