Blocks & Lots

Open Listings For Rentals: Everything you should know

What is a rental open listing?

A rental open listing allows several agents to market an apartment, as opposed to having an exclusive agreement with just one agent.

The result of an open listing arrangement is that one apartment may appear on several different agents’ websites or on one website several times with several different agents’ names attached to it. The agent that brings the tenant to the landlord gets the commission. With an open listing, it is the landlord who pays the commission, not the buyer.

Why do major brokerages pass on their open listings to their junior agents?

For brokers, open listings are akin to “survival of the fittest” and they compete to collect a commission, which could range from 8 to 15 percent of the listings’ annual rent. It’s not something more successful agents or their brokers are interested in spending their time on as there is a risk they will make no money at all. However, for a junior agent, it is a chance to get to know the business, prove themselves, earn a commission and make contacts.

Why would an agent agree to sign an open listing?

In a very in-demand market like New York City, many agents are willing to enter into open listing agreements because there is a high probability it will get rented quickly.

If an agent has clients they represent who are relying on them solely to find them an apartment they may enter into this type of agreement. This might be the case with out-of-own clients who will not be attending multiple open houses or talking to other agents.

Why can’t an open-listing be included on the MLS (REBNY)?

REBNY is the equivalent of the MLS in New York and they only allow exclusive listings to be advertised on their site. That means the listing must be represented exclusively by one brokerage. Open listings do not adhere to this.